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

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