Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hired help

Oh, alright, not *technically* HIRED help! ;)

Annika volunteered to come over and ride with me, while she's horseless (leaase mare Foxy went back to her owners & Mack is away learning a few manners). I trimmed Scarlett's feet in the morning then had a bit of a break before she arrived.

We caught, groomed & tacked up then did a wee bit of groundwork in the paddock. Unfortunately I was totally disorganised & managed to forget where everything was, including Indy's CR rope, so I took Scarlett's one and Annika just worked off the reins.

It was really cool to have someone who knows what they are doing around horses & when riding (I don't have to worry about them), seems to like the horse (she got on and said "gee, this horse has a sense of humour!!" which is very true... I couldn't let anyone who wasn't able to laugh get on Scarlett, it would blow her sheshul wee brain) and also understands the CR stuff (I gave a few pointers or reminders every now and then but basically left them to it).

Bonus! She can see how it feels to ride a horse that's done a fair bit of CR, my horse gets ridden, I can focus on Indy and all is good! :D

We rode around the paddock for a few minutes, testing directions and brakes, etc, then out down the drive and lane. We rode across to the other lane and then turned around for home. Indy did really well, with only a few looky moments. Annika was able to either stop Scarlett and wait for Indy to collect up her brain cells, or keep going to give Indy incentive to un-stick her feet. Awesome! I was very proud of Indy's ability to cope with all the new things (it was only her third time ever down the lane, second time ridden).
It does show me how far she has come & the importance of taking things slowly, so that when the horse is exposed to new and scary things there are ways to help it cope with those things.

I meant to take the camera out but in my forgetfulness, didn't. I really must upload pics one of these days...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Out of the paddock

Heather is back for two weeks from Aussie and asked if she could come for a ride with me! Exciting.

I got both mares ready & she got on Scarlett at the mounting block. I led Indy to the paddock and did a tiny bit of groundwork. Heather rode Scarlett around while I got ready to get on. Then we walked around the paddock a couple of times (for safety's sake!) and walked out the gate into the driveway...

We walked down our lane then crossed the road to the new subdivision lane (name escapes me at the moment). Indy did really well - a few looky moments but considering she's only been walked down the lane once (way back in Sept when she came home), not bad at all!

She got a little overloaded coming back down our lane so I hopped off and led her the rest of the way home, fiddling with a little groundwork as we walked.

I am very pleased with her first outing. It was nice to have Scarlett there as company & a familiar face, plus she can be relied on to keep going most of the time, or circle or stop if Indy needed a moment to gather up all her brain cells ;)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quick update

I've managed to ride Indy AND Scarlett for the past two days - well done me! (*pats self on back*).

Yesterday afternoon I rode Indy while mum was gardening, so she could keep an eye on us. Today I rode after dinner, again mum went to do some gardening but down the drive this time so I'm not really sure how much of us she could see through the trees!

Indy was a little more active today; I put her out on one line to ask for some trot (I thought about doing transitions but got stuck once she was trotting, oops). She had a couple of moments at canter, too (unplanned, though once she was going I asked her to do a couple of circles).

She really resents any nagging with the wand, and sometimes doesn't understand what I am asking her (for example, when I try to stroke down her neck, chest and front leg tp steady her gait and stop her rushing, she will often swing out like I'm going to beat her!).

Today's ride was really nice. I asked for walk then trot in both directions, then some halt transitions, TOF both ways, and finally some walk.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ride out

For the past week or two, I've been groundworking both horses then riding Scarlett. No one has been around for me to ride Indy (I trust and know Scarlett, but Indy is simply too athletic for me to be alone should something go wrong).

Sharon invited me over for a ride last Thursday, so I jumped at the chance to take Indy out. I did a spot of groundwork with Scarlett then with Indy as we walked over to the float. She was looking at dad's tractor (he was filling the sprayer) and an old mouldy bale of hay that had been thrown out into the paddock and split open. Once we worked past those she walked calmly up the drive & loaded straight away.

She spent a little time in the round pen to get used to the surroundings, then I gave her a quick brush and tacked her up. Her mane & forelock don't look all *that* bad... ;)
I did a few minutes of groundwork in the round pen then got on and walked around for a few minutes while Sharon tacked Ozzie up. Then we led them out into the front paddock.

Indy was really good: some circles, trot poles at walk, changes of direction. I even trotted her in both directions before I hopped off. The traffic behind the hedge is a big distraction which she coped with perfectly. Riding in such a large paddock can be quite scary so I was really pleased with our ride.

Mentally, she tires very quickly so I have to be consistent in asking for something of quality before I lose her attention. I was being very concious of owning my elbows, keeping a good contact, wiggling and suction-ing my legs to bring her attention back. I forgot my extreme rotations, save for a few tries.

She then chilled out in the round pen while Ozzie got worked, we had a coffee & then loaded up to go home.

Must be time for me to remember the camera, one of these days........