I got to the yard some time between 6 and 7 on Saturday evening, with no plans bar ponies for the night so I was able to take my time fawning over them.
Yay for the pedicures the day before & guilt-free saddle time!
|If I don't plait N's mane she sweats like a mofo & my hands get tangled|
Note to self - carry hands away from neck
Kika started off in the walker, as she is wont to do of late as they are just the two of them on the field. Rather than leave one out on her own i bring them both in and let Kika spin on the walker as let's be honest she seriously needs to shed some of her padding!
|Sunday bath time Nancy's "Am i bovvered" face|
I had a lovely spin on Nancy in the main arena, despite the heat!
Gosh it was like a furnace in there despite my having waited till the evening to ride. We had some trouble with our initial right lead canter (back to my old issues - they weren't long in resurfacing!) - here's hoping starting lessons will help me gain more perspective and control as to what i am doing wrong here. However one improvement we have made is that such a niggly issue didn't derail the spin thereafter - we even got some quiet decent right (bad) side circles in trot. Trust me, this is a major positive for me as previously when things unraveled at the canter it would spillover and have a negative knock-on affect on later work.
Nancy-belle was well sweaty by the time we finished - not overworked by any means, but the heat was suffocatingly humid. I really thought we'd have thunderstorms for the evening. So she got a shower and got to hang out in an empty stable (well there was straw on the ground and i gave her some hay) while i worked Kika.
I don't like putting Nancy in the walker as it worries her needlessly, she doesn't like it and as she doesn't need it (per se) i don't see the point in stressing her without reason when she is so angelic towards me.
|Lucky girl got to sunbathe while i readied Kika|
Kika and i had a blast as I put on my girl pants & hopped straight on without hand-walking around the arena with her. Would you believe me if i said i was warm enough :p
She was a super star, we covered the basics, walk/trot and some canter - with lots of walk breaks due to the heat and her lack of fitness. I don't want to break her. We only cantered one circle and length of the arena on each rein - really concentrating on returning to softer less choppy trot as quickly as possible. This was better Sunday than Saturday - but K is always better for more practice and bless her we have been woefully out of practice since April!
She was white on her neck & under the saddle pad when we were done, she may have been stressing a little and we did do a bit more trot work than earlier in the week - but really it was the humidity! So she too got a nice shower after our spin and for the first time in the 7 years i have owned her she sought out a facial hosing! She was priceless - if i hadn't been wielding the jet spray I'd have tried to nab some video footage or photographic evidence - instead you just get to see the drowned rat-like photo i shared of her on instagram
|Bath time #2|
Sunday I decided to try & change things up a bit and put down three poles, spaced about two strides apart on the diagonal. I had hoped to be able to tackle them off both reins, but as usually my eye from the ground coordination was well off and i could only access them from one rein but both top and bottom, sorry that probably doesn't make sense - but hopefully when (if) i read back on this post I can have a flashback to what i did!
|Not sure is harshness of rain captured in snapshot|
Kika got to spin in the walker again while i prepped & rode Nancy. To change things up further I hosed her off prior to popping her on the walker hoping that it might help her feel better if she started out cooler it was almost unbearably hot this weekend.
Nancy & I had considerably more trouble getting our right lead strike off in canter on Sunday, I am sure this is my fault as I have been told before I am crooked as heck on that side, so my weight distribution must be all off. As we were working in the smaller arena we have less maneuverability to get things right for the strike off. I will work on this and try to sort myself out - in the mean time, a smaller circle to get her bending correctly helps immeasurably. My crookedness is probably also making it difficult for her to bend properly to the inside when we are on the right rein - I shall pay closer attention to what my body is doing & we will work through this - perhaps I will finally organise myself to see a chiro/osteo etc and get myself straightened out...
|The girls' reaction to the torrential downpour - Once N settled|
In saying all that we had lovely trot work through the poles & circling, serpenting, figure of eight'ing & changing reins holding our frame & tempo - baby steps! :)
She got a well deserved bath with shampoo! I was racking my brain (poor memory alert) and i think this is the first time i have properly bathed her since she arrived. Last summer they spent the majority of the summer months on a field off-site where we went hacking in the woods, no hose out there for washing! She handled it like the pro she is and the shine off her after - it is truly amazing to me to see the differences between her coat & Kika's especially as they get the same work, diet & turnout etc!
|Continuing the Derp+theme|
I finally rescued poor Kika from the walker, threw the tack on her and popped Nancy in the small lunging arena to wait the 20-25minutes I'd be riding Kika as the stable I had stored her in the previous evening had been freshly cleaned and hay'd so I didn't want her scoffing something meant for someone else. Plus as Kika is very much behind Nancy in the re-fittening stakes, I am not working her for a full 30minutes yet. She was very good for the work we did do, attentive and listening - might have had something to do with the fact I started the ride in spurs, but took them off as i felt I wasn't using my aids properly for fear of dawking her - plus they had the desired effect to that point which was to remind her to listen to my leg aid the first time i asked. There was no point in my keeping them on put not applying my aids correctly - she's too sensitive for me to mess with her mindset in that way.
Her trot was better than the previous day, she settled into it smoother than the Saturday. Our first canter was a bit hot and choppy, with some front leg flailing - but I remembered to apply leg and to support her which helped immeasurably.
|Kika's dapples only appear when she is wet. She is looking very yellow again :(|
Is it wrong for me to hope it's sun-bleaching & not liver problems back to haunt us...
I shall get the vet out for bloods just to be sure!
The first time we went through the line of poles, I lost impulsion coming off the corner and let her fall in so we lost the run of ourselves a bit through the poles and pettered out to a walk by the time we hit the third one as i had the tempo & timing all off through the first two. She is so much more squirrely & rubber-bally than Nancy despite having more training than N - I can better guide Nancy through turns than Kika who is very sharp through the turns whereas Nancy waits for me to show her the way. The rest of the time through the poles I made sure to have her just how i wanted and we glided through them - our last time she literally floated down through them actually using her backside - mission accomplished for the day! We cooled out and she too got her shampoo shower after i rescued Nancy from the mini-arena.
|In the words of MBC from insta OOSHINEY|
The heavens opened for a mother & father of a storm as the girls were tied in the cross ties, Kika was a saint considering the sound but N got a bit worried - long time followers of the blog...how is that for a turn up for the books?
I did have an internal giggle and figured i should've just turned them out and the natural power hose would've cleaned them for me - but the rain was really pelting it down, wouldn't have been remotely comfortable for them out there - so i was secretly "pampering-mama" style glad I had them out of harms way...
|The two girls keeping an eye on me as i cleared a few wheelbarrows of poop from their turnout.|
There is deff something funky going on with K's coat again - boo!
And last but not least - i may have taken advantage of my favourite tack site's 20% promotion for Helmet Awareness week & splurged on this new protection for my noggin. I got it a size smaller than my current helmet as (a) they didn't have my size and (b) mine has always been a smidge loose - fingers crossed i haven't gotten it too small and don't give myself headaches. Although if it is really too tight i will exchange it, but i still got it on sale. Smart shopping or not...we'll have to wait and see. I had hoped to try it on for fit on the shape of my head, but the nearest CO stockist to me is almost 2 hours away in Germany - so i bit the bullet...hopefully it doesn't now bite me in the ass!