Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Cranky Nancy

Apologies in advance for lack of equine media accompanying this post, I offer puppy spam instead. Not my pooches, but 3 ruffians i was doggy-sitting for the weekend.

I guess I'd best start by addressing the title of this post. Nancy has been twice ridden by her part-leaser since I last rode her. Saturday PL said she felt stiffer than usual, I had been riding Kika at the same time (see below) so have to admit I wasn't watching Nancy & PL. I took a half day from work today as we were finally back up to full quota after my having covered different roles for the past two weeks I was glad for a breather from the office & to get some daylight poneh-time.
The arena was busier than I had anticipated it would be for a weekday afternoon, but i should have known better as it was around 4pm so schools would've been finished by then. Anyways, N was much sassier & less forthcoming than usual under saddle. This could be down to a combination of things;

1) winter fuzzies = cranky horses
I haven't organised to get either of them clipped yet as we are being spoiled by the weather (in that it isn't raining) so the horses access to 24/7 turnout has been extended until the owners tell us we HAVE to bring them in at night...whether this affects my livery payment is sadly doubtful, but it would be awesome if i could pay 2 weeks at summer rates & two weeks at winter rates ;-)

2) lady troubles
I noticed on Saturday that Nancy was in season. I have never noticed when she is before, so I can't say whether or not this is part of her surliness.  It being female myself I know i can get ratty & cranky and do not blame her one bit if this is contributing to her crankiness.

3) spacial concerns
All recent arena outings with Nancy have been in the largest arena. Sadly this is not where I chose to ride for today as I foolishly bought the smaller one would be quieter. Lol - nope!
There were 5 of us in there at one stage at  arying stages of warming up/cooling down/lessoning-via-headset/saddle testing and general riding attempts. This led to much stop/starting and zigzagging to avoid collisions. Nancy can struggle in the smaller space, especially when lacking fitness (like after our summer of predominantly trail riding) so condensing her awesomeness to manoeuvre around others can be particularly challenging. Add this to her giraffe'ing and general ignorance of my inside leg aids meant we spent a lot of time discussing.

4) saddle fit issues
I know i have been saying for months that I need to get both girls saddles checked. N has started showing some annoyance at saddling time. For such a typically happy-go-lucky girl to to turn to look at me and/or sniff as i tighten the girth - i can understand the signs, or at least recognise when to call in the professionals who can. Just as it so happens (perhaps fate in this case), a friends saddle fitter that she really rates & who i met earlier in the summer was at our yard today. So i high jacked her for a few minutes to have a look at Miss Nancy (Kika was out in the field so she'll have to wait) so that the SF could get an idea as to what kind of saddles to bring to try for Miss Nancy for our appointment on the 11th of Dec.
I guess I am officially adding myself to the ranks of the many bloggers in the saddle-shopping market at the moment.

Eep this has gotten long, eurgh sorry - i suffer word vomit!

I'll try to quickly sum up my Saturday spin on Kika. I rode her while PL rode Nancy. I wasn't sure which K would turn up to play as i hadn't ridden her all week and we hadn't ridden in the largest indoor arena in months! However as she is wont to do when I expect some drama, she gave me one of the best spins I've had on her in months! She didn't squirm, squiggle or look at anything in the arena. Nothing distracted her concentration from me, not even Nancy's presence in the arena with her. Something that rarely happens, as i can't ride both at once. But will prob happen more often now with PL riding N twice a week.

Kika walked, trotted & CANTERED - like we haven't been struggling with canter for the last number of months with her flailing and lead swapping like a nutter. There was not a flail or lead change in sight on Saturday. I admit to the previous weekend attempting to introduce canter work in small bursts. Namely keep going while the going is good but if i felt her tense or think about flailing i asked for a downward transition before she could fully form her idea & put her plan into motion. Perhaps something clicked in that and she remembered how much easier it is to canter without pitching a fit. Perhaps I just caught her on a good day & flailing will resume when I climb back on board this week.

Or at least that is what typically happens in Aoife-Kika'land. When I have low expectations (and presumably no tension) we get on like a house on fire. When I've had a good spin and hope to reproduce it (ergo putting presurising on myself to recreate previous good vibes) we invariable get into some silly tiff about something. So we'll see what happens when I climb aboard K again. Probably Thursday when PL will ride Nancy as i want to have another spin on N myself tomorrow evening in the largest arena to see if i can iron out some of the kinks before PL returns on Thursday.
I feel more comfortable getting after her tomorrow evening if Nancy tries any evasion tactics as the SF said the saddle fit wasn't terrible and that she had seen a lot worse. So that helped raise my spirits and stemmed some of my crappy-owner bashing. (Some nowhere near all)
Now to get to saving so that I can get the best leather goods for my girlies for Christmas.


  1. Hoping that Nancy's crankiness is easy to resolve!

    1. Cranky Nancy is still an absolute pleasure to ride over csntacarous Kika.
      I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of things, she is still a gem to handle and everything. Just required a little more discussion to come around to my way of thinking under saddle is all *whistles*

  2. What cute pooches. I hope everything is easy to solve with N.

    1. They are adorable pooches, make me really want my own *sob*

  3. What cute pups those are! Glad you making progress with your girls, I hope having the half lease is helping to ease your stress:)

    1. Fingers crossed it all works out for the best

  4. silly cranky Nancy! hopefully it's nothing. my mare has her occasional bad days too and they always send me into a tail spin... but then she's right back to normal again. who knows!

  5. Ugh I hate when something isn't quite right, but it's not obvious what it is. I'm glad she said the saddle wasn't too bad. Maybe she can do some reflocking or minor adjustments so you won't have to buy a new one. Fingers crossed anyway. It definitely could have something to do with being in heat... female problem are the worst. I can relate to being cranky! Hopefully she'll be just fine on your next spin and all the worry will be for nothing. :D

    I'm glad the PL is working out well. That definitely helps take some of the pressure off of trying to get both girls exercised.

    P.S. The annoyance during saddling could be her new winter coat getting hung up in the girth. Have you tried stretching her legs forward after tightening it? I had a mare that was really cranky if I didn't stretch her. It's worth a shot!

    1. I had considered winter fuzzies contributing to saddle pinching at girthing time. N isn't nasty just turns to watch as we close the girth whereas before she never cared. She'll hopefully be clipped tonight (maybe tomorrow though depending on how wet she is when she comes in from the field this evening).
      We shall have to wait and see what can be done with the saddle next month, she did say it was a little narrow so there might not be much we can do about that as re-flocking might only make things worse. We shall see, I am deff up for putting off a big purchase if i can wait to get a bit more monies together ☺

  6. Hopefully she was just having a mare day for the most part. Also, none of this crappy owner self talk, you are an excellent owner! :)

    1. I'm a lazy owner but i try not to let them want for anything and to be fair I don't think they really care that I don't ride them every day especially as we aren't working towards competing or anything. And until I can set monies aside for lessons I'm just pootling anyways as i don't wanna risk learnig/teaching things i don't know how to do badly *gulp*


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