Saturday 5 April 2014

Super Spins

I have two days of spins to catch up on blogging about. Thursday and today, yep you read that right I managed to ride both girls after work on Thursday as I actually managed to get out on time (well only half an hour late). So that means I managed to ride N Monday, K Tuesday, both Thursday and both again today - things are deff looking up. *Yipee*
The longer brighter evenings deff help with the motivation factor. :D

Kika headshot from Thurs - Daylight!
We'll start with Kika, as I rode her first both days - actually I tend to ride her first whenever i ride both...weird, shall have to try to change it up and see if it makes a diff to anything, ;-)
I had dubbed Thursday "Transition Thursday" in anticipation of the blogpost title I was going to write when I got home (ended up being too tired - hence why you are sadly being subjected to a two-for-one special on blogposts today) - so the plan for both girls that evening was transitions & working on cleaning them up and getting them sharper.
Kika was as close to perfect as we have ever managed together on Thursday, not a hoof was put out of line as we really focused on transitions h/w/t/c in all different forms with the compulsory changes of rein & circles thrown in to keep everything even and balanced although I am anything but!
I had the flash back on her as she was in season (evidenced by the puddle she left in the grooming are *Le-Shame*) and I wasn't sure how well she'd listen without it as I have only recently started riding her sans-flash.
As always of late, I needn't have worried as she was an absolute super star, lovely and soft & responsive to everything I asked of her, really maintaining her frame and tempo in a way that we don't often manage to get right so consistently. We typically lose the run of ourselves on our right lead canter as evidenced by Tuesday evening's spin - where she kept getting herself a little too revved up cantering on that lead (our bad side).

Kika in her 'good wear' leather halter today for funsies
Today I rode her without the flash again and while she was very good we had the recurring issue (avoided on Thursday) of our right lead canter getting too choppy, her head popping up and back hollowing as she builds up speed. Everything else, including left lead canter was near perfect, even when we practiced some lateral work down the long sides of the arena.
Lateral work is new to me although K often works on it with the Guru, so she is well able to do it when I ask just right - however in typical mare-land fashion, she will play dumb and refuse to understand what I am asking for unless I get the aids correct - bless her she will make me a better rider ;-)

I plan to try her in the flash again tomorrow and see if we can get the same soft right lead canter as last Thursday - although when I ride during the week she has spent the afternoon outdoors roaming around "au natural" whereas my weekends spins tend to be pre-turnout, so I shall have to try my flash/no-flash experiment on weekend & non-weekend days before deciding if it makes enough of a difference to our right lead canter...

Nancy's reaction to all the work 'demanded' of her Thursday
Nancy was a bit of a plank on Thursday evening, this is due to a combination of things;
1. she too was in heat
2. she hadn't been ridden since Monday, and
3. perhaps I was being a bit of a plank too (no surprises there)

Nancy's good wear leather halter today
We always have difficulty with our bend on the right rein as that is my bad side and consequently both my mares' poorer sides also; I am not sure what came first their issues or mine - but we're all struggling with the same side problems - i'm still on the fence as to whether this is a good or a bad thing. But know that I deff need to visit a chiro/osteo/physio to get myself straightened out and then re-evaluate from there i guess - but I have been saying that for almost a year now and still haven't managed to get myself sorted out & seen to. *shame-on-me*

Some sitting trot - no idea what my hands are doing!
So N was struggling to bend to the right and making awful attempts at circling, as mentioned above this is my bad side so deff not wholly her fault - but she is usually more malleable than she was being on Thursday. This was not my bugbear about her behaviour that evening as I strongly suspect the issue with the bend on that rein is more mine than hers.
However she also refused to strike off on the correct canter lead on her good rein! No-way, no-how! That was practically impossible in Nancy-land on Thursday; needless to say we did get some correct strike offs before calling it quits on a good note. Hilariously ridiculous when I think back to Monday evening's spin when we couldn't get the right lead canter strike offs correct - oh horses how you love to keep me on my toes & guessing as to how I am going to fail you next ;-)

All ridden photos taken today
Today I decided to simplify things and bring it all back to basics as we returned to the larger arena (we worked in a smaller one on Thursday which may also have contributed to her struggles as she is such a BIG girl), I really focused on the quality of our walk before going anywhere near trot work and was very pleasantly surprised with how we did considering a few weeks/months back we couldn't work the walk without sporadically breaking into trot the whole time - yay for baby improvements!
Me not her as 99% of the time the issues are mine *blush*

When we did move up to trot work it was lovely and soft on both reins, I kept our bad rein circling to a minimum and worked more bending into our schooling with serpentines which for whatever reason we struggle less with but are by no means perfect at - but as I said baby steps & I do bear in mind that the majority of our issues stem from me...i just need some eyes on the ground to help me figure out where I am stuffing things up. ;-)
We also got some lovely canter work in on both reins, with correct lead strike offs in both directions - although she was a little more sluggish when cantering on the left lead (usually our better side and the one we struggled with on Thursday) so either she was tiring as it was towards the end of our ride or the arena surface was a little to thick for her - but she was fine on the other rein - either way who knows & it doesn't really matter as bottom line is she was very good on both reins. We did of course have our issues with circling on the right rein, again I am pretty sure this is 99% my fault as I have been told I am very lopsided when riding on that rein so if all my weight is wrong in the saddle it really is no surprise that the baby horse struggles to bend.

Overall though I am super happy with both girls and looking forward to hopefully playing with some polework tomorrow - yay!
PS: A massive thank you to my friend who sneakily snapped the riding pics today and sent them to me. Sadly she arrived just after i finished with Kika...but maybe tomorrow ;-)


  1. Hooray for getting to ride your ponies! Love Kika's halter, by the way.

    1. It was awesome getting to spend more time in the saddle this week - it really makes such a difference to my outlook on the week when i get to sit on a horse :-)
      Thanks - I love K's "fancy" halter too...N's is a lot more plain, but i still think it suits her whereas the black on K was too stark a contrast. N does also look good in brown, but as I already have the black she gets to use that until i *need* to buy another one - however I would like to get a name plate for hers...

  2. That's awesome that you got a lot of riding in. It's great to see pics of you riding! You look very nice on a horse and N looks really good too!

    1. Aw you're too sweet to say that about us, I am far from nice in the tack - but selected the least awful pics of me as between my heels and my hands I usually look a whole lot worse in the saddle.
      There is a bit of video which I didn't get to share in this post...perhaps tomorrow or later in the week if I have a gap in media ;-)

  3. Yes! for extra sunlight and the ability to get those rides in, even when there is so much we need to work on getting to ride makes life so much better. :)

    1. It sure does - makes everything else worthwhile horses do!

  4. Yay glad you are getting all the saddle time!

    1. Hopefully it spills over to this week although social calendar for this week is a little jam packed so sadly may not manage quite as much as last week, but we'll cross fingers & hope for the best!


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