Saturday, 6 August 2016

Building Blocks

The girls gave me such good spins yesterday evening, neither was foot perfect but both had wonderfully floaty moments that reminded me why I need to ride more...although maybe by riding less I find my motivation/drive to ride better when I do climb back on board. Pfft psychological self-analysis who has time for that!

I'm going to have to teach Nancy how to
pose...but the lure of grass is too strong for this one 

I put Nancy on the walker and started working with Kika first. The main arena had been recently watered, which meant that one of the long sides was a little sloppy. This is unusual in itself and now that I think about it when I rode Kika last week (at least I think it was last week - gargh memory why do you fail me more often than brain this is why you should actually update your blog! #memotoself) the arena we were in had also been watered and the upper 1/8th of it was a slop. I think the watering system was prob left on too long 😔 I'm deff not complaining though, heck, I'm super lucky there is a watering system in place and that the arena sand gets turned over daily to keep the ground in good nick.

Oops gone way off topic!

Kika was very good about downsizing the amount of the arena we were using, unsurprisingly lol - covering less ground means less work right?! 😅
She did get squirelly when we ventured in to the slop, that is one thing I've noticed with both girls is harder for them to get traction in goo.
We went through our paces with some nice walk/trot transitions. We even managed some lovely swinging walk through her back - something I have been working on with her in the pessoa. Love when things slot together like puzzle pieces & good pessoa work has a positive knock on effect to under saddle work. Now to build on that and try to get it more often, then more consistently and then from the beginning #goals.
Rather than ask for the canter like I usually do on a circle which leaves me with an inverted banana kangaroo hopping when we hit our first corner. First canter, then we *ahem* I usually manage to iron out the kinks. 😁 Last night however, with the sloppy long side adding to our potential canter woes,  I opted to ask for the canter down the other long side and then circle smaller when we had a modicum of control & no flailing. She was amazing! Not one flail or inversion from Miss Kika....perhaps straightening us both out for the canter rather than circling first has its merits #noshitsherlock I'm obvs all kinds of crooked/leaning when I ask for canter on a circle #needtobesomuchbetter
We finished with some lovely floaty trot work where she was really working over her back. This is probably where I should ask for more and/or really get into better work with her, but neither one of us is realistically fit enough at the moment. Let's not forget she can still be a tricky customer when she wants to be and/or I'm not on my A-game (lolz most riders M- or S-game), so I take those lovely floaty supple moments and rest on them. I can feel the positive knock - on effect on our earlier work and the nice floaty trot at the end now goes on for longer than when I used to first get it. We can now sustain it through circles and changes of rein. 😊 Building blocks and with more consistent work on my part (aka not only riding her every other week *sigh*) I'm sure that lovely floaty trot will be the start of better work for us in no time. #moargoals

#awkwardhorseselfie fail from last week
to break up word vomit a little
Nancy was super awkward when I hopped up despite being "warmed up" from her time on the walker. She was being so squiggly, (we hadn't even reached the sloppy bit of the arena yet & she hates squidgy footing more than Kika) that I picked up a dressage stick! Something I rarely ride with when on Nancy, but she was blatantly ignoring my leg aids so the extra incentive was welcome.
Walk/trot/canter transitions with some really rather nice serpentines thrown in for good measure (in trot we're deff nowhere near canter serpentines work yet), even if I do say so myself. We had one moment after a rein change on to admittedly my bad side, where the toys were being threatened to be tossed out of the pram. For Nancy this means retraction of the neck, ears up my nostrils, arse swinging and generally being wiggly while refusing to go forward...I'm not sure what it looks like from the ground but it sure is frustrating to ride & straighten back out. On very bad days it results in pony club kicks from me just to get a step forward and then I give and praise with lots of wither scritches and she releases the tension immediately. I'll give her that, she doesn't hold a grudge like Kika but she does slam on the stubborn faster. 😇
I realised that I was probably all kinds of crooked on her back, so took my time on a long rein walk to slowly straighten myself out and gently pick back up the reins. If her head came up and/or she got tight/tense in herself, she got wither scritches to relax her and we baby stepped our way back to shorter reins and a more working frame. The transition back to trot took a couple attempts with more hand-holding wither scritches to smoothen it out but we got there.
The slightly frustrating thing about that breakdown in communication was that just before it we had such a gorgeous powerful trot with her really carrying herself, light in front and pushing through from behind. It felt amazeballs, I'm sure my face looked like 😍 & our canter work had been lovely and adjustable. So i then got to work to try to replicate the sensation on the other rein - admittedly both our bad sides, so while she was a little heavier in front we did manage some rather nice work in that direction too. I'm going to try to remember start with that side next time so that I can reward with the easier side.

Great to have felt that sensation though - now to try and replicate it on both girls...oh yes Kika, I'm coming for you too! If Nancy can do it you can do it 😈


  1. I love those moment of clarity while riding, sometimes especially in not so great moments that can lead to frustration, because it gives a lovely glimmer to whats in there and what you can unlock as a rider

    1. Much frustration but always at myself for not being more consistent #selfmumblegrumble

  2. Aw I love that double selfie with the mares!!

  3. Replies
    1. They are very good to put up with my shenanigans


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