Wednesday 24 February 2016

Tag Teamed

I took a half day on Monday and spent the afternoon playing ponies. Perk of having funds tied up in home-ownership & horseflesh is having 40+ days holidays to use this year! Eeep, sadly won't be adding any new pins to my world map this year either :-(

Hanging in my office, a reward I allowed myself for becoming permanent at my job,
"defacing" the property #noshame

I hadn't ridden Kika since the end of January due to putting my back out a second time and requiring more physio! Seriously body, turning 30 is not an excuse to wimp out on me! Grrr - so after throwing more money at the physio I have more exercises to do morning and evening to help hold my ailing aged self together *tongue-in-cheek*

I had kept K tipping along with pessoa lunging at the weekends and Nancy has been kept out of mischief by PL who is having a blast playing with all Nancy's buttons that I never dare to play with; namely lateral work and has taught her how to back up under tack. They are having such fun ☺

K was very good on Monday afternoon so despite initially not being in the mood Tuesday after playing catch up in work (how can one afternoon off leave me so busy the next day?! Cray I tell you!)
I changed my mind while bringing her in as I wanted to play with my neglected poneh! Inspired by Emma's recent post and taking heart from PL's success playing with Nancy's lateral work I decided to dust off Kika's shoulder in work. As ever Miss K has to be caught in the right mood and asked nicely or she gives you the finger and gets way too light in the front end if you know what i mean *sigh*
Thankfully yesterday we managed to keep a lid on the crazy and got some nice steps going both directions if a little over bent at times. However her willingness to try is a win for me & my limited abilities. We'll get there with more riding and practice!
Our first canter was colourful where she pulled out some hopping dolphin-esque moves and an impressive Lipizzaner style leap, which was a first (ahem) but then we put the brain back between her ears and had plenty quality canters on each rein.

Nancy has been giving me a bit of cause for concern this week. She has started pawing while tied in the grooming/tacking area which is very unlike her. It's not Kika's drawn out look at me-type pawing its short burst of pawing - very unlike N who is usually super zen and stands for ages unperturbed by anything. When i rode her on Monday she was her usual slightly awkward self at times for the first 20-30minutes and then the toys seemed to get thrown out of the pram when i asked her for a halt at A and she fussed at the bit then refused point blank to move forward preferring to back up 10 paces. My pathetic pony-club kickking the reversing tank were to no avail. So we stopped, i gave her a pat to destress the situation and we walked forward on a circle stopping and walking off without issue in other areas until we came back around to the corner before A and she stopped again without a request from me however and she stood there head curled into her chest worrying at the bit.
Thinking this might be her newborn evasion technique after a demanding lesson with PL on Saturday when they played with all sort of fancy lateral movements, i waited her out and when she stopped worrying at the bit we walked on again. However as this pattern repeated itself numerous times - all on the same rein the warning sign started flashing amber in my mind. So long reins, i tried removing any pressure I just wanted her to walk a circle without stopping, real basic baby steps. When i got one circle, i cued for a canter, got a nice transition and circle then came back to walk -> long reins and we walked around the whole arena.

PL came back on Tuesday evening, i mentioned to her the perplexing behaviour from the day before and suggested she go right back to basics and max 20-30 minutes work to try to end on a good note. Simple, walk, trot, canter, changes of rein no lateral work, no backing up and no halting at A (but other parts of the arena were fair game).
I also suggested we go for a pressure free hack in the woods at the weekend to change the scenery for us all and get out of the sandbox for a change.
I rode Kika in the same arena so i could see what might be going on from another vantage point than that which i had in the tack on Monday. 10-15 minutes in Nancy had checked out, she started randomly stopping and worrying at the bit in more places than she had with me the day before, there did not seem to be a pattern to it beyond stopping chewing at the bit and then she'd walk a few strides without issue and rinse and repeat. PL & had mused while tacking up that it might be hormonal with spring awakening and that she may be feeling rather uncomfortable - which being female i wholly understand! PL also mentioned that she felt like she wanted to stop and poop the whole time, so she was carrying herself "higher" behind. She will have today off, and I'll loose lunge her tomorrow evening to see if she has similar issues without a rider and tack - hopefully not as she is happy to walk alongside her rider without issue. Which brings me back to thinking it might be an ovary/lady-discomfort with where the saddle sits - i should probably also mention this is only happening on one rein, when she is tracking right.
I hope to hop up on Friday evening if the loose school goes well and seems better in herself and then we'll go for a stroll in the woods Saturday, all going well. Obviously if things do not improve I will be calling the vet and/or acupuncturist/masseuse/herbal lady to help ease any discomfort in my big puppy dog.
I hope she is not in major pain and that this discomfort passes soon so that my sweet girl is back to her jovial self in no time.

PS: Apologies for lack of media accompanying this word vomit, I have been really bad at remembering to take pictures/video!