Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tidy up

Indy had a haircut while standing in the hoof bath tonight.

I am not sure if she should go out in public for a while.

'Nuf said.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Big adventures

Where are we at? I have lost all track of days - worked 4 days, travelled Scarlett to Trisha's for the first clinic, clinic-ed 4 days, worked 2 days, travelled Indy to Auckland, clinic-ed 4 days, travelled home, worked today... I think tomorrow is Friday and then I finally get a weekend??

All went well for Indy's microchip. Except the day before, I got a message to come at 7.30 instead of 8am.... Got there at 7.20 and had to wait until - yes, you guessed it - 8.10 for the vet to show up. Sigh! The vet was good and quick. She hardly noticed the chip going in (big fat needle, ewww) and then we were back on our way to Auckland.

At Bobbie's place, we got to meet Lucy, the new foal, and have a squizz around her place before setting off for Karaka. Bobbie and I took the scenic, then VERY scenic routes. But that meant that by the time we got there and did a lightning-fast exchange of bridle and cash with a boardie just outside the entrance gate, Jen, Jude & Jane had set up the picnic blanket and got out all the supplies: perfect timing, if you ask me ;) ;)

We left Puhinui around 4pm so I had a quick toastie at Bobbie's before loading Indy around 6pm. I missed most of the traffic & had a fairly smooth trip up to Waimarie.

Clinic, day 1

Lots of people stuff in the morning. After lunch we got the horses out in a pair then group of 3, for groundwork then a short ride. Groundwork included out-in-forward as well as some basic independent-legs work over poles.
The climate at Waimarie is interesting. It is in a valley & has its own microclimate so can be very hot, very cold, very wet. It was VERY WINDY today. Poor Indy had a bit of a meltdown: she was very good for groundwork but when I hopped on it was all just a bit much so we had a few moments with legs off the ground. Trisha led us around until Indy settled. When she was quiet and soft, I got off.

Clinic, day 2

I've forgotten what we did on day two... more people stuff for sure... Definitely more groundwork.
Peggy introduced some variations on the out-in-forward exercise and a second pole to walk over with independent legs.
A new-ish exercise, that Peggy had shown me with Scarlett, of standing with hand softly on the halter and asking the horse to move one foot at a time in a small S.
Indy really checked out after those exercises and had to have a HUGE nap in the arena.
Oh! I sat on her for a grand total of 30 seconds as she had a moment with the mounting block and me getting on - we went back to some groundwork to get her releasing her head and neck completely.

Clinic, day 3

Today Peggy had us come out individually. It was DREADFULLY hot so we all cooked. Lots of sunblock and a few umbrellas for any tidbits of shade we could find.
Indy was first up after lunch. We concentrated on releasing head, neck, etc.
A new exercise of standing at her head, hand snug on the rope at the halter, asking the horse to move "around" (helps to get them crossing their back legs) with independent footfalls.
Some good stretching & heart girth to try and get her bending more through her ribcage. She settled well so I rode, with more emphasis on preparing her for mounting: Peggy had said we would do a mounting session if that's what Indy needed. I did get on and off twice, but she was really good so we rode.
I really need to remember to own my elbows and slow them down. It helps her hugely. I must also exaggerate my rotation to make it really clear to her, remember my wiggle to keep me "still" and her going, and engage the hind legs by suction-ing my legs.

Clinic, day 4

Today, it rained. And rained. And rained! Torrential - lovely! Instead of the original plan of one-by-one in the morning, we checked out photos from the first three days. At the first fine break, we scuttled out to the arena.
We'd put the horses in the covered yards to get them dry. Indy came out full of beans (which reminded me why yarding them is not good, even for a short time!). She settled quickly and did some nice groundwork. I got on & really played with remembering all the things *I* need to do to keep her moving nicely. She moves well when I remember everything.

I do need to fiddle with her new saddle to bring the front up a bit: it is pushing me into a chair seat. I must remember to keep my heels at the back of my boots. Indy also needs more bodywork to release over-tight muscles in her shoulders & her hamstrings.

Peggy said she'd happily take Indy home - pretty good for an "unsound broodmare," huh! :D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Off to Auckland

Tomorrow morning I will get up at the crack of dawn to load Indy & get on the road.

We have an 8am appointment with Te Rapa vets to microchip & ID her (fiiiiiiinally!) for her NZWBA registration.
Then onto Karaka where she'll spend the day at Bobbie's place while we (Jude, Jenny, Bobbie, Jane & any other hangers-on-ers) head to Puhinui.

After we leave Puhinui I'll continue on to Waimarie, drop her & the float off and then to Albany to stay with Adrienne overnight... the next Peggy clinic starts on Saturday and I. Can't. Wait. !!!! I had a great time at the last clinic with Scarlett (it did her the world of good, too) so I am really looking forward to making some decent progress with Indy.

Another high point from today is... new tack! A box from Sparrow just arrived at work. How exciting. There is a lovely shaped, elasticated, jumping girth, a set of stirrup leathers with extra holes for my short-ass legs (LOL!) and a bridle for the madam pony. The colour, old brown, will match her RP saddle very well (it's really quite delicious; nom nom nom!).

PS... The Sales list is dwindling, sort of! I am taking the 2 Albions & the Kieffer to Saddle4You to sell on behalf. The RP has sold to Sparky's person Steph. The only saddle I'll have left is the little Bates GP.
One addition is the bridle I have been using on Indy, seeing the new one has arrived: it is a black, hack-size Sparrow bridle. This style suited Indy so well I bought the same one, just in brown and with a cavesson nose rather than the flash nose this one has (I don't use the flash strap anyway).
It is in "basically" new condition (really only been broken in to be honest).
Brass fittings. 13mm strapping, 16mm brow, 19mm nose.
Padded but not raised nose & brow. No reins or bit (though I could find a plain snaffle to go with it if desired). 
$195 + post (replacement cost is $395 incl reins... eek...).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A wee update

I've been neglecting the blog lately!

I'm doing my best to get  both girls in the soaking baths as frequently as possible - so far that's not EVERY day, but 5+ times per week. Indy is very cheeky: she tries to sneak over to Scarlett's bath, or get out of her own, or steal Scarlett's dinner/hay... anything to avoid standing still for longer than she has to!! Feeding them in the bath is a little problematic as they lose focus as soon as dinner is finished; hay takes longer to eat and I can top it up.

Indy went to Club again on Tuesday. Arrived sweaty as always but settled straight away. We did a little groundwork then helped a friend with her youngster, who didn't know what to do or look at or think first, there was a LOT going on! Indy was very happy to stand around & eat while I was busy. It was a good outing for her, about 10 mins of brainpower before an hour of chilling out.
I loaded up at 7 to be home in time for an online study session at 8pm.

Indy's new RP saddle arrived on Tuesday. I haven't had a chance to fit it yet (I thought I might do it at club but ran out of time... and will power to fiddle with aviation-strength velcro).

I've sold a few things off the mega list and made some final decisions about others. But there is still a heck of a lot here!!
Someone off the board bought the Sparrow bridle. Today, Sparky's person Steph bought the RP dressage saddle.
The 2 Albions & Catherine's Kieffer will go to Saddle4You when I'm up in Albany/Waimarie next week (though one person from Waitoki wants to try the Albion Style dressage), to be sold on behalf. Susan took the Kieffer again to try it but wasn't really sure as the horse she was buying for may go back to his owner after all.
That will leave me with only the Bates GP and the various other tack, boots, & miscellaneous items.

The saddles have the most money tied up in them so I will be happy to see them go... I will be able to buy new mounts & a bridle for Indy's saddle, then fund the permit application & building of my shed (which is STILL sitting on the front lawn, 8 months after it was delivered... oops). I would also like to look at changing my float to a staight load; if Scarlett truly isn't happy in the angle then maybe going back to a straight load, with one extra wide space for her and a normal space for Indy, might be OK.
I will need to talk to Bob Birkett (truck builders) about what is possible. Freeway are both too far away and too set in their ways (I have already enquired about changing the back doors).

Time for bed...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New saddle! (so everything else is for sale)

I have just purchased Indy a new-to-me saddle: it is a ReactorPanel GP saddle.

So, everything that isn't actually nailed down is now for sale!

* Anti-gall girth, black, 70 cm, no elastic $25
* Mattes GP shaped girth, 110cm, cream fleece with sable (brown-y-beige) quilt, used only a handful of times so in "as new" condition $175
* Mattes shaped GP girth, 110cm, black/black, never taken out of packet. $185
* Mattes straight dressage girth, 70cm, black/black. 'Narrow' version (8cm wide rather than 10cm), used once but wrong size. $155


* Bates Caprilli GP 16.5" $650 neg, comes with irons.
* Albion Style (SL) dressage, 17", M $2500 firm, unmounted, excellent condition
* Kieffer Wien DL Professional dressage, 18", size 2 (187 inch seat, M gullet) $2000 neg, comes with irons & padded leather girth.
* Albion Legend jump saddle, MW, 17.5" seat. Black, suede knee rolls, moveable (velcro) knee blocks. Some minor scuffs and fading of colour. $3k neg, comes with Sparrow stirrup leathers.
* ReactorPanel dressage saddle. 17.5" seat, 12.5" tree. Black (faded). Fabulous saddle, had a lot of use but well cared for. I am getting a wider tree-d GP saddle from the same company. $1200 ono, unmounted; comes with 3 sets of discs, 2 pairs of saddle blankets, one pair of rear shims.

both are black.
* Full size Sparrow bridle, good condition. $100 ono, has non-Sparrow flash strap & reins.
* Cob Barnsby bridle with rubber grip reins. Cracking on padding on nose & brow, only cosmetic though, bridle is in otherwise perfect condition. $100
Various bits
@ assorted prices. Incl Sprenger & brand new Sprenger weymouth.
Most bits are 5 inch, some 5.5.
plain s/s loose ring and eggbutt snaffles, sweet-iron & German silver loose rings, brass dutch gag, Korsteel curved bit, think there's an apple-mouth eggbutt, brass anti-rearing bit with leather head strap, several Sprenger bits incl 5" Weymouth and 4 3/4" WH Ultra Soft.
Hoof boots

* Easyboots size 1 (older style without gaiters) $50
* Easyboot Bares, size 2 $250 for 4 boots (2 new and 2 used, used pair needs some spare parts).
* Davis hoof boot, black, size 3, $20 (one only).
* 5 ft Ranfurly 4Seasons cover. Set is: 1 x cover "shell" + 1 x unlined neck rug + 2 liners. $300 for the set.
* Lunge roller, with leather side reins. Leather. Good quality. On behalf, hack size. $90 ono.
* Lunge roller, fabric, approx cob to hack size (only marginally smaller than the leather one). $40.
* Chevalier (?) black jacket, older and well used. Comes with one of those bib/stock shirt thingees (white) and a plain black tie. Approx size 8-10. $30 ono.
* Couple-Mate trailer reversing guide to help hitch up trailers. Heavy but not bulky item so shouldn't be much to post. $100 ono.
* A pair of N.E.W. bell boots, brand new. Small, $30
* Two stencils (for making shapes on their bums) $5
* A pair of large stencils (Alphabet A-Z plus the "&" sign) for painting names onto covers etc, $10
* Large tack trunk. Painted black. Approx 1m long, and 60? cm high and wide. Hinged lid. Very heavy, needs two people to lift. It fit in the boot of my Surf (SUV) when I bought it, just!
I am sure there will be more lurking in the car, float, tack shed or my room...
I'm not looking, YET, as want to match to the saddle when it arrives, but will need a bridle, stirrup leathers and a long girth, in brown.  I am a Sparrow freak, so would really love to find Sparrow tack.
The saddle colour is called "Roeberry" which is a dark milk chocolate brown. Lighter than 'dark havana,' perhaps most similar to 'old brown.' I won't know until it arrives!
I would be happy to swap things I have for sale for the items I want.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Everyone is injured at the moment!

Scarlett still has a fat hind leg from "that" floating trip. I really don't know what is wrong or if it will go down any further. It is like banging my head against a very large, very solid brick wall and some days I just don't know if we will ever get anything "more" from her...

Both girls enjoyed their visit from Quinn, Friday a week ago. He spent a lot of time on Indy's shoulders/neck, and then a little bit at the end on her near hindquarter.

He spent just about the whole time on Scarlett's hindquarters & sacro area. She was moving a lot more freely the following day (not so uneven) and Indy is obviously feeling HEAPS better as she has started to track up in the paddock, with a more consistent tracking up or even overtracking when I'm groundworking her.

I'm also injured... Last Tuesday I tweaked my lower back when hitching up the float for club. However, with physio and a few dips in Sharon's spa, I am moving around a lot easier now. Anna (physio) has also given me a very small acupuncture needle in my ear which has completely relieved my hayfever and sneezing (brilliant!)

On Thursday evening I tried to take Scarlett out of th epaddock to do some groundwork. Indy ran up and down the fenceline until... going THROUGH the woodpile seemed like a better idea. *roll eyes* She skinned a small patch of hair off a hind leg and some off a front fetlock. Apart from a few sore steps, she has not been lame or needed extra attention.

I am simply trying to get as much groundwork into both mares as I possibly can, with only 2 weeks before the first Peggy clinic. Scary!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope to be able to take Scarlett to Cambridge, so today put her back into the float and asked her to pick up her feet. I just don't know if I will be able to safely get her there - if so, Indy will do both clinics, which will be a BIG ask for the baby pony. We will see...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First outing

Tonight I rushed home from work, grabbed a slice of leftover chocolate cake and went out to hitch up the float.

Indy waslked away from me in the paddock (stopping once she realised I had oats and Scarlett was scoffing them!), loaded first time despite Scarlett carrying on in the background and travelled quite well, arriving a tad hot and sweaty on her neck and stomach.

I took her for a bit of a wander around the club grounds. We nearly got eaten - twice! - by a Very Scary Cross Country Jump, and there was a very suspect patch of grass (she ate it before it could get her). After she'd settled, I took her back to the float and tacked her up, then proceeded to do little bits of groundwork around the four open paddocks. She was not keen to stand still for long but settled nicely. We checked out lots of scary things: show jumps, poles on the ground, jump stands, the picnic table outside the club rooms, and much more.

We did that for about 30-45 mins (I have no idea how long, really!) then I took her to the emptiest paddock and put her out on one line. There was a pair of jump poles on the ground together so our circles involved walking over that a few times. I also asked her to trot over it but she found it easier to jump ;)
The short burst of trot work yeilded a pony with a definite overstep in the walk. We chilled out for a bit as she was happy to just stand around and take the world in.

I thought she was doing really well so put on her bridle and got on. A few slightly hairy moments (she's never been in such a busy place before) but basically all good: for the most part, we had stop, go, left and right on command. She was very responsive, again offering some trot but we didn't do more than a few strides.
I did a couple of "half steps" of TOF in each direction then got off. She exceeded my expectations and coped very well: I am very pleased with her.

I noticed that with everything else going on, I really had to remember to know what I was asking for and how I was asking for it. I had to pay extra attention to simple things like lowering her head: with so many distractions, it was very easy for her attention to wander! She will only get better as she gets out more.

On the homewards trip she loaded first go and travelled quietly except down the driveway when Scarlett started calling out. Trotted off the second I let her go and was not interested in any more oats!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

More photos and hoofbath adventures

Some photos from Trisha's yesterday (sadly, not many good ones due to the Cybershot being a LOT slower than my Nikon DSLR).
And Indy at home again, with Scarlett following closely as she inspected the paddock.
Finally, tonight's proof of two ponies in the (albeit empty) soaking baths). Scarlett really doesn't like getting in and can't back out, but Indy needed about 10 seconds to get in and two tries to start backing out. She is a very clever pony!
If I have time tomorrow, I will put a little water in and repeat tonight's work. I may not as I want to take Indy out to Adult ride.
Quinn is booked to see both girls on Thursday afternoon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Home sweet home

I drove up to Trisha's this afternoon with the float in tow. She had just put Indy in the yard as I pulled up so tack went on as we chatted about the past week.

Indy is still turning away in the paddock, but is beginning to lower her head and keep. it. down. with far less prompting from the handler. She is offering to put her head down on occasion, too. I will be armed with carrots or other treats to make being caught a Good Thing.

Over the past few days she's been a bit funny about being girthed up - I suspect her saddle is not fitting as well as it could be, seeing she's changed shape so dramatically. Other than that, everything has been going well. Her fine summer coat is stunning, with lovely dapples... Still has a bit of a beard though, LOL!

Cruise was separated from Indy a week ago as he kept hurting himself when racing around the paddock, calling out to her. She has been fine on her own, except for yesterday when Trisha had some clients up for an Intro Intensive: one of the horses was put in the paddock across the race from Indy, who then proceeded to race around when the horse was taken away to the arena. Oops!

She was great in the arena doing groundwork. Trisha put her out on one line and showed off the trot-over-poles trot - mmmmmm! She really has to think about her feet and stride. Her walk improves ten fold after some trot and that trot is NOM NOM! She tracks up better and has started to offer a stretch.
I took the wrong camera today (didn't think about taking the DSLR until I was on the road) so don't know if I managed to capture any photograpic proof of the pole work.

Then Trisha got on to show me what they had been working on for the past week. Really breaking down the instructions to get just what she's asking (one step, rather than awholebunch-isthatwhatyouwant?). TOF is coming along well. Backing is getting there, but was nicer today than it has been all week. She was using her rotation for the circles, backed up with a little outside leg wiggle when Indy needed more help.

She said Indy is so reactive, so responsive, I need to KNOW what I am asking for and ask very, very softly; as softly and quietly as I possibly can, and then softer and quieter still. She is quite anticipatory (not a bad thing): just oh-so-sensitive and in-tune to what you're about to ask. The last thing we want to do is dull that reaction down. It's lovely to have and will teach me a LOT. I will need to remember to break everything down and ask for just one bit at a time, and sharpen up my reactions so I can stop asking as soon as she tries.

I got on and got to have a play. We discussed the trot - Trisha felt that the moment her weight went forward, Indy tensed up (again, pointing to saddle issues) - but wanted me to go ahead and see what it felt like. Indy threw me forward then stopped dead the two times I asked for trot. I resorted to holding the pommel with one hand to keep my balance a little better and giver her better input than me going all over the place, then we called it a day.

She loaded well (surprised she can still fit in the float to be honest!) and travelled fairly quietly. She was a little sweaty when we got home, but much better than the last float trip. More miles will help her settle. She and Scarlett squealed over the fence then Indy got right onto catching up with all the grass ;) with barely a trot across the paddock when I let her go.

I need to get Quinn out for Scarlett as she's just not "right" so will get him to see Indy as well. Trisha has done some more ET and said she's keen as to do more, but realistically the next time I see her will be Peggy's clinics (ahhh!) so a visit from Quinn won't hurt. I also need to make sure her back is OK; she hasn't had that much done since her saddle probably stopped fitting well, but I don't want to risk her being sore. And I'll have to pull the ReactorPanel out of the shed! (boo hoo, I love her Albion, sooooo comfy).

Tomorrow's job is introducing Indy to (and reminding Scarlett of) their hoof baths! Then both girls need their feet done. On Tuesday I will take Indy to Cambridge Adult ride for an outing and a looksee (perhaps some groundwork, MAYBE a short ride if Shaz is around, but more for mileage).

Going forward, lots of pole work, including cavaletti, to keep her thinking up and forward, reaching with her stride and telescoping that neck. Lots of work out on one line. Connecting to her tail. Once the saddle is right, ridden trot including trot poles.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Learning by osmosis

Pics from Sunday with Jude, and some proof of the learning by osmosis ;)

Out of the yard
When did she get so big? Removing boogers from her forelock.
Chatting to Sam and Hunter
Asking Indy to soften
Shoulder delineation
Walking over the labyrinth
Having a cuddle - she's a real smooch at times
Out on one line
More on one line
Nice square halt to end groundwork with
Rooooooootate! There's that inside hind again ;)
Coming down!
Where's my carrot?
Look at her dapples - nom!
And we're all done :)


Here are the first lot of photos, from last weekend's lesson, in the order they were taken.

All wrapped up: TTEAM-Connect
Square halt
Walking caterpillar
Starting to find that hind leg!
After all that hard work, it's nap time... ZZzzzz
Trisha connecting Indy to her tail
Marching along
I had just got on and realised how soft she was... Mmmm.
That horse makes the rider look good
Isn't she lovely?
Half a step of TOF
Not sure what I am doing, but at least the pony looks good
What a purdy pony
Nearly finished. I need to remember my elbows.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday morning

Jude had time to come out and see Indy so I picked her up about 8.15 this morning - it looked like the day was going to be spectacular and I didn't really want to be out in the heat of midday & the afternoon.

Indy was pretty good to catch and only needed to be asked a couple of times to lower her head. She was pretty good to brush, despite Sam having taken Hunter out to groundwork/ride (Indy was busy trying to listen to whatever it was that Hunter was doing!).

Ian wasn't around so we headed for the arena to start some groundwork. Indy was a little unsettled and kept trying to watch and go over to see Hunter, so I put her out on one line. She has improved amazingly! I asked for some trot which, as Trisha emailed the other day, REALLY helps her stretch out in the walk afterwards. I was quite careful that her trot wasn't too short and choppy. On her right, the 'stiffer' rein, I had to stay a lot closer to her and work a little harder to keep the contact consistent. Her trot is also a little more "airy-fairy" in the sense that she doesn't have as much impulsion or direction. Still, big changes, so I was very happy. After trotting to the right her walk was incredible; so long as I focussed on staying centred, changing my rotation and keeping the connection on the line, she would track up with her hind feet and for a few steps she even overtracked.

I swapped from right to left again, then a tiny bit more on the right. Then I heard Ian out on the quad so asked him to unlock the tack room and got her ready to ride. She was a lot better with bringing her head down on command for the various ropes/reins/bridle straps to be put over her head, and even looked to open her mouth for the bit (huuuge difference from us almost having to feed her to get her to "unlock" her closed jaw).
I did a little with two reins (holding both the CR rope and the reins) and some little turn on the forehand stuff before mounting. The TOF is coming along nicely, too: last week all I was looking for was an inclination, now she offers a step or sometimes two, though all I want is one step before I let her walk.
She stood very nicely for me to mount from the arena fence - well, the 2nd time! The first time I had her lined up and my foot in the stirrup, she decided Mavis & the cows just had to be in front of her, but once she was looking their direction she was happy for me to mount from the right.

I asked for a few nice circles and changes of rein. Her stopping is much softer. She doesn't need quite as much help from my rotation to bend. Her bend is smoother, and she can maintain the direction we're going even when she wants to look somewhere else. She gets less stuck through the changes of rein.
She offered trot a couple of times so I asked her to walk again, as her trot is just too short for her to think that's what we want. She managed the downwards transitions nicely.
To finish, I asked for some TOF (half a step) in both directions.

Untacking, she even offered to lower her head for me to take off the bridle, which is FABULOUS progress! It seems that she is starting to understand every. single. time. we ask, she needs to put her head down, or we will just keep asking until she does. So the cheeky pony got a carrot for her effort.
Letting her go in the paddock was almost as good - she put her head straight down and left it down for me to take off the halter, then stood to eat two half carrots, rather than charging off after the first mouthful had been snatched. She only took a couple of steps when she did leave before looking back for more ;)

Maybe my musings the other night that she would not be staying if I had to put up with this "nah, I can't be bothered being caught today" rubbish for too long made a difference... ;)

Photos from last Sunday are awesome but yet to be loaded. I will also flick through the ones that Jude took today.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another update from Trisha

Trisha sent me this email before she left for her weekend teaching in the Manawatu. Awesome progress: anything that helps her lengthen her walk has got to be a good thing!

I will pop up during the weekend for groundworkand perhaps a short ride. If I can coerce someone into coming with me, I will be able to get them to take pics.

Indy has done great this week ;-)

I've 1-lined her in trot twice; at first I wondered if it was fair, because she was quite choppy and toe first.  But I trotted her over the labyrinth poles, and she did well, stretching and lifting much better.  Yesterday when I rode her afterwards she seemed to have a longer walk, yay, so I think that helps.  She is haltering and bridling really well.  No problems girthing at all.  Ridden, she now has a soft backup, and a nice turn on the forehand each way.  She feels soft and balanced when walking and turning, and is nice and soft with the bit now.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An update from Trisha

We're into week 4 ;-)

Indy has been great the last 2 days, haltering really nicely.  I think it's helped that we are putting halter and bridle on, and having to switch the reins back and forward!

[On Sunday we realised that working in the halter first and then adding bridle later meant a lot more repetition with Indy needing to lower her head for things to get over her ears: halter, CR rope to start; CR rope back, reins over, then bridle, then CR rope again to bridle; and finally CR rope, reins, bridle and halter off when done.]

We've been doing a little backing up, and it's getting much softer in front - still a tiny bit stuck behind, but good enough for everything that's going on with her.  The turn on the forehand is good now, too, and she's nice and soft in the bridle when walking and turning.

She still walked away from me the last 2 days when I went to catch her, and yesterday, because he couldn't see her, Cruise hooned around the whole time I was on her.  She's very good, doesn't seem to be at all bothered about that.  I was fed up with Cruise tho and that's not good for him, so I went ahead and put him in with my lot.  This morning Hunter is still keeping him away from his girls!  Indy has called for Cruise but that's all, she's quite settled.  So we'll see how she catches today!

[I found Indy was quite OK with Scarlett going away, but did call out as if to say "get back here!" and always watched until Scarlett was back. Indy was fine leaving Scarlett, too. I have just gone about what I need to do with them both as if the other wasn't there, as I will NOT have two horses who are completely dependant on each other.]

Trisha is away this weekend in the Manawatu but I will aim to go up for at least some groundwork with Indy. If I can find Ian, I might hop on and have a ride in the round pen. I'll see how the groundwork goes first though!

Now I just have to sort through and load up Sunday's photos......

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week three: done

Trisha was on track to finish the third week by today. Indy had a few days off last week, between Wednesday and Sunday.

Due to a few floating issues with Scarlett, I decided to head up without her and lesson with Indy instead on Sunday.

We even had a photographer, thanks to Trisha's Scottish friend Sally, so there are a HEAP of awesome shots.

Sam & Cruise were the only others there... a real surprise seeing we're only a month away from Peggy's clinics! Trisha is holding a final pre-Peggy Intensive on the 15th, which clashes with Clevedon A&P show so I won't have any more lessons before December.

We started off with some people stuff... lots to remember to remember! For me, mostly softening the muscles in my upper chest, not holding my back, remembering to breathe, floating forward, and expanding between sacrum and sternum.
Then onto groundwork. Some baby turn-on-the-forehand: looking for just one step in the direction we're asking for. More with two lines and/or two reins. More meeting and melting on the reins, which was TOTALLY easy today. The three days off really helped her to process those things from earlier in the week.

Towards the end of the morning, Trisha took Indy on one line so I could see progress there. Indy is a lot softer, even in the contact, and better at maintaining her own speed and direction. She is still very one-sided. On her good side, Trisha can ask for a 'fair whack' more bend for a few strides, but on the other she can only ask for about one step before Indy loses her engine.

Indy was WELL done by the time we stopped for lunch. She and Cruise chilled in the yards, then Trisha helped Sam with some saddle fitting. Funnily enough, the saddle I *still* have to sell for Catherine fitted Cruise the best, but he was being very grumpy so Sam is going to give him a few weeks off before committing to a saddle purchase.

Them fiddling with saddles and chalk tracings meant Indy could chill beside the arena, ahem, helping Ian with grass control ;) She needed the break and it was good for me to watch Cruise. He was totally done after some groundwork with Trisha, so I became the main focus and hopped on Indy.

She was a star. She hasn't been this "ready" to go before: it was VERY cool to ride. She lined up nicely at the mounting block then stood quietly for me to mount.
We kept riding to a minimum but were able to ramp up our expectations. I started introducing rotation in both directions rather than just the direction of travel. She did a few nice circles and changes of bend and rein. When I remember my elbows and rotation, she is heaps better (I hear Peggy's voice, said with a glint in her eye: "oh, really?!").
We had a short trot (her offering) and a few really soft halts: not nearly so abrupt as they have been. She walked over the short side of the TTEAM labryinth calmly.
Trisha also got me working on some mounted turn-on-the-forehand, to continue the stuff she's started on the ground. Soon I'll be able to ask for that into a walk to encourage her to stretch out and telescope her neck.

A few other musings... Indy is holding her head in a much nicer place.
She is free-er in her walk and much more eager.
She doesn't run out of energy so quickly.
She accepts the contact on rein AND CR rope, as opposed to needing me to go back to just the rope on Wednesday.
Her head is steadier.
She is less on her forehand.

We untacked and Trisha loaded up the photos on her computer for us to look at - some really interesting moments captured. I haven't looked at them on this computer yet.
Before I left, I gave Indy's feet a quick tidy up. She was still VERY sore on the medial bar on her right fore, and had a HUGE old abscess hole on the lateral heel of her left hind, so no wonder she's been a bit short on the arena and over the sharp gravel.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday photos

Oops, I have not loaded up Wednesday's photos yet!!
Technical issues with photobucket (which tends to pick random photos to NOT upload...) and then my internet windows crashing (thanks also to photobucket) mean a few pics are missing... They might make it to the blog one day.

Or not.



In sync

Connecting tail


Starting to come through

More through

Release that neck...
Meeting and melting
Lovely halt

I also forgot to mention I did a quick trim after the lesson, and uncovered an abscess + blank gunk under the lateral bar on her left fore - no doubt the reason she was a bit ouchy. Looked like it was a reasonably big one, though I wasn't expecting gunk. I need to trim all feet properly but tidying up her fronts should have helped.