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.