Wednesday 2 April 2014

Short Sleeve Spins

I know I shouldn't be bragging and that this will probably come back to bite me in the backside, but so far spring (and winter to an extent) has been super generous/mild and dare-i-say warm. The cynic in me is terrified this means that when the girls go on 24/7 turnout on May 1st the heavens will open and it's going to rain solidly for the 6 months they are on "summer" turnout thereby negating my ability to ride them if they spend that time as miserable drowned rats...but best not focus on that as i may be lucky and it might not happen.

They mentioned MP & the Holy Grail on radio station I listen to, which obviously got me thinking about MP & The Life of Brian and packed me off to sleep with this song in my head ;-) Google Images
Despite working late hours again Tuesday evening (I was two hours later than normal leaving work) - thanks to the clocks-moving forward at the weekend the evening are stretching ahead of me again and the motivation to not stay at home and wallow has been ignited.

I had a wonderful spin on Nancy Monday evening, just the two of us in the large main arena. She settled really nicely into work and although we had some sticky moment with our right lead canter departs and got the wrong lead more times than right - this I KNOW is my fault as the right rein is my worst side!
I still haven't organised myself to have a chiro/oste/physio appointment to straighten me out...eyes from the ground tell me I'm completely crooked in the saddle on the right rein, tis no wonder my poor horses struggle on that side too. Although with Kika it is a case of we don't know which came first it being her bad side or mine as I had her three years before we moved to Lux... Chicken vs Egg scenario - whereas Nancy's right side was her weaker side when she arrived her, so that is not completely my fault but I do know I am doing anything but helping matters being lopsided myself.

Her patented "butter-wouldn't-melt" look .
.. while stamping front foot
Thankfully (for the moment) N & I seem to have overcome her leaning/speedy trot issue that had haunted us a bit last winter and earlier this winter & got me rather down in the dumps a few months back. The couple of lessons we had with the Guru's eyes on the ground worked wonders for our confidence together & re-building the teamwork. N & I still struggle with her curling in on herself a bit too much when working - but she is getting better and will hopefully continue to do so as she strengthens up, muscles up and if she ever stops growing (up & out)!
Sadly I was a muppet and forgot to snap a single Nancy shot either Monday & Tuesday night!

Tuesday evening was Kika's turn for a quick spin, and it really was a quick spin as lights go of at the yard at 10pm and I was climbing into the saddle at 9pm. Thankfully I had already brought Nancy & O in from turnout at the same time as I brought K in so at least i didn't have to trek back out to get them in the dark alone.
I was apprehensive after tacking up as K seemed quite "up" while I was getting her ready - recently while being groomed/tacked up she tends to doze, but this evening she was back to her old feet stamping and got quite a few irate slaps from me as I was trying to put on her tendon boots...silly sod! If she didn't insist on nicking herself I wouldn't have to use them or even just paid more attention to what her feet be doing she wouldn't need them!

Shared on instagram yesterday apologies to those who have already seen it
 - but K is FINALLY shedding out properly
However I needn't have worried, she worked lovely for the 20-25minutes we hacked around alone. I will never pretend that the work we did was perfect nor probably even correct, she does still get tense and resist things by hollowing her back and tossing her head from time to time - but she settles back down and accepts gentle correction much better and calmer now that she used to. Again I struggled a bit with our right lead canter, although our strike offs were correct it was regulating her speed I struggled with as we'd start off lovely and collected on a circle (or half a circle when unlucky) then if we wanted to down the longside the speed increased and her head came up with her stride getting choppy. Now she can be a pain in the @$$ in these scenarios as when in a sensitive mood i cannot slow her with the reins and to sit into her choppy rocking I wanna go canter is difficult to coax her to slow with my seat - however I shall work on it either alone or get eyes on the ground to help'll probably turn out that I am gripping with my knees which pitches me forward and in reality it is I giving K mixed signals.
I'll see if perhaps L is free this weekend for a lesson refresher course of heels down - look up - shoulders back etc etc.

I'm not sure this post is coming across as positive as I felt after the two rides, I always have a laundry list of stuff to work on but that is why I ride (well that and cos I HEART horses) if it was easy and perfect all the time it'd be boring right?!
Or is this just what I am trying to convince myself so that I don't get discouraged and pack it in (pfft - like that could honestly my girls too much to be without them in my life!)

Poor parting shot - but one more pic just to round out post!

Oh, and before I forget the reasoning behind title & start of the post is that the weather has been so glorious that 8pm on Monday night & 9pm on Tuesday evening I was able to ride in short sleeved t-shirts!

PS: I took the plunge and ordered an Ogilvy half pad this evening from an online tack store I often shop from based in Northern Ireland with great customer service and delivery times. So no customised colours for me (yet - as extra covers can be ordered separately right ;-) ) but hopefully I should have it some time next week if they have them in stock.
*fingers crossed*
I'm not 100% happy with K's saddle at the moment and I want to see if this will help while I save up for saddle fitter visit - but prob not until after my visit to my sister in VANCOUVER next month - eeep the excitement!
I'll be there from the 10th to the 22nd of May if anyone knows of any equine events and/or tack stores that are must visits in the area, PLEASE please please tell me about them so that I can go for a nosy. The Guru is coming with me so no problems on conflicting travel pal interests :p


  1. Too bad I'm not still in Seattle! I'm afraid I don't know much about Vancouver, though.

    And, yes, it is totally worth it and if it were always easy it probably would be boring. :)

    1. Aw that is a pity as we'd been thinking of spending a weekend in Seattle but have decided to go to Vancouver Island or Whistler instead.

  2. I feel your pain going to the right! GAHHHH! Does chiro work really help you with this problem?

    1. I haven't managed to organise myself to get seen to yet, but as I'm all over to one side on the right someone straightening me out can't hurt...well in theory I mean chiros are man-handlers ;-)

  3. Yay for warm weather and riding! It sounds like you are making good progress with both horses!

    I find that chiros for me and the horses is usually necessary, though I tend to need it a lot more than they do :) I still put mine off all of the time though. My fiancé always says that where we hurt when we ride is usually where they are hurting or out. I have to begrudgingly admit that he is probably right. I'm still not sure who throws who out of whack, but think that it probably goes both ways. Hopefully the Oglivy will help. I just ordered one too, but have a feeling that it will take a while to get here (even though I didn't order custom either). So, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of yours when you get it.

    1. The horses have seen more osteo/massage therapy then I have since they got here. I can never find the time for me to get done, sadly the woman who does them doesn't do people anymore ;-)

      I hope the ogilvy's get to us soon and we can try them out together :-D

    2. I hope that didn't come out wrong about the chiros :/ Certainly didn't mean that you don't get chiros on them too or that you should even if you didn't. Just relating in my own awkward way ;)

      Having a person that does both would be super handy!

    3. No no don't worry not at all, I was just saying that I am awful at organising myself and always put the ponios first cos I'm a sap ;-)

      Yard friends have a French guy that comes from Paris every month to do their horses and themselves. I'm hoping to catch him work some day to talk pricing *blush*

    4. Oops hit post too soon, I know the only way I'm going to get straightened out is to combine with equine appointment...which is pathetic on some level ;-)

  4. I love Life of Brian, and now that song will be stuck in my head alllllll day. ;)

    I totally understand how you can have a great ride and end up with a laundry list of things to work on. A lot of the time, that's how I can tell I had a good ride. Right?

    1. Oops, I'm after getting that song stuck in my head again - lol!
      Great film & fun tune :D

      Totally agree, good rides = things done well + laundry list to work on to improve...otherwise what's the point :p

  5. I need a chiro too lol. I hope you can get the crookedness sorted out. Maybe I'm crooked too and that's why I keep hurting my back.... hmmm......

    I miss lessons too! It's so helpful having someone on the ground reminding up of the one million things we have to remember while riding.

    I hope you had fun on your trip. I can't wait to read about it.

    1. *hangs-head-in-shame* I still haven't gotten myself to a chiro to get straightened out...i really need to sort that out!

      I really hope I can get back into some sort of a lesson scheme this winter - I miss having stuff to work on!


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