Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week two at Trisha's

Following a week of very nice weather, I went up to see Indy again this afternoon. The work Trisha has been doing is really showing - we can both see a lot of improvement.
Cruise objected to me seeing, catching, and taking Indy away. He has spent some time apart from Indy as he was being somewhat UNhelpful during the week... As he's The Boss, he reserves the right to decide Who does What, When!!
He likes a good rark up so on the odd occasion when Indy races around, he'll join in then keep her going. He has also been busy keeping Trisha away from Indy when it is time to be caught.

I fended Cruise off then gave Indy a good brush (even brushing out her mane and tail) then watched Mavis bring her cows in for milking while Trisha was on her way outside.

Then Trisha started off with some groundwork.... On went the halter - err, not quite! Indy tossed her head at the wrong moment then realised she was not tied, so wandered back towards the paddock. Always one step ahead of me! Then through the gate into the race.... Paused for me to catch up but not quite get even! Stepped on a rock - a HAH! thought I - nope, off again at a slow meander...
She got nearly all the way to the end of their paddock (about where the two calves are in the pic above) before I managed to *nonchanlantly* walk past her as if I wasn't catching her, then I was in front of her and the game was up.

Finally in the arena, Trisha showed me the things she has been working on. I was quite happy with how she was going.
She is stopping more squarely and standing more evenly.

Heart Girth press
Wither rock
She is also more responsive to the 'walk on' cue - lighter and quicker to shift her weight and move off.
Her bend is improving, as is the length of her stride (she has been quite short and choppy to date). Her inside hind leg is coming underneath her more consistently.

She is also 'coming to work' faster - she needs less time to ease into what we want from her, and then is able to process quicker. Trisha described it as Indy needing small reminders to maintain the movement, rather than instructions Every. Step. Of. The. Way.
Two lines
Work on two lines has improved dramatically. Indy is not 'stalling' the same was she has been, even last week. 
Having a cuddle!
Connecting her to her tail is also very good for her.
Connecting head and tail

More time on two lines

Connecting her tail on the other rein
She got plenty of well-deserved rests.

Then we tacked her up. Trisha took the opportunity of having me there to put me up as Crash Test Dummy (jokes! She'll be riding from tomorrow onwards).
It was really neat for me to feel how Indy has progressed. She is just so much 'more' than when I rode her a couple of weeks ago. She doesn't run out of steam so quickly or abruptly. Her 'buttons' are clearer, easier to activate, and she is also listening to me rather than just doing what she wants (or, all that she can do).

Her balance is really good: after half a circle of walk she decided to trot. It wasn't naughty in the slightest; more of a "ooh, I can do this, let's go!"
I asked for a couple of circles and a few changes of direction; asked her *not* to halt a few times (she listened really well and kept going until it was my decision to stop).

Probably only 15 mins riding in total, but she was really good so it was time to get out of the bitter wind.

I've booked the dentist to come and see her tomorrow. It seems she has lost the two caps which were still there last week all by herself, however it's always good to know she is feeling OK about her mouth, especially with lots of riding in the next few weeks.
I will join the Cambridge Riding Club for something to motivate me to get both mares out and about more often.  They hold rallies most Tuesdays and often hack out on Sundays. When Indy is home, she can start experiencing the Big Wide World - until then I will take Scarlett.

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