Sunday, February 27, 2011


Life has been fairly interesting of late.

We spent 8 days down in Christchurch: 3 mentor days with Thorsten then 5 days of Practicum, trimming basiaally the whole time. We were absolutely shattered by the end of the week and very glad to be home... 18 hours later, even more so, when we heard about the second major earthquake in Christchurch within the last 6 months. Scary, scary stuff which definitely makes you appreciate the people and animals you have around you.

The trimming time showed up some errors in my trimming. Though I have made changes since mentor days with Carmen, I am not seeing quite what I need to.
I have to be sure I have trimmed the bars correctly, and, surprise surprise, my scoops are still buggered!!!! Bane of my life, those things... *mutter mutter* I was so enthused when I came home that I've not trimmed my two yet! That is this week's job. Zen is also coming to do another cranio sacral session with both girls on Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday, Saturday, I took Indy for a clinic day at Trisha's. She was really good. A huge lightbulb for me in the morning came when Trisha mentioned 'connecting within myself'... oh. Duh! I've been forgetting ME! What a dummy... Changing that changed the way Indy went quite dramatically (...Oh, really?!).

I need to do some two-people work to get her releasing around her heart-girth; Trisha & I did some work, one person on the line and one person doing heart-girth presses, shoulder delineation, etc, which got her moving outwards on the circle more (rather than collapsing in).
I also need to MAKE her move, rather than let her mooch. She CAN and DOES stride out: I must not accept a shuffle or 'short' stride.

We also found the GO button under saddle :D so did a fair bit of trot work. She had the hugest snooze after that.

Moving on, I will work on simple changes of direction, letting her stride out and move forward actively, being direct and clear in my aids so that she does what I want (but... I also need to decide what I want!). Her odd moments of deciding she's not going the way I think I'm asking for must be due to me not connecting within myself and also forgetting my outside elbow (and outside suction-cup leg). She did it once, before I mentioned it to Trisha, then was great for the rest of the lesson after I started using my brain.

I am enjoying this over-sized pony more and more as time goes on.

Finally, some photos! Sharon took these on her mobile when I realised I'd ridden out with a flat battery in my camera.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I am so stoked!

Today I went to Club and helped out with their working bee. I trimmed the rosemary bushes around the hedge, picking up branches/dead wood around the trees and dragged it all to the fire.

Indy was good tied to the float - even had a bit of a snooze despite all the activity (people all over, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, tractor with trailer, impromptu bonfire, etc).

Quick tack up and very short 5 mins groundwork before I hopped on at the trough, hoping like mad that she wouldn't move and knock me in, haha!

She was SO supple to ride, very keen to go forward, easy to turn.

We mooched around the grounds, checking out the show jumps, the scary grass/dirt patch where barrels had been, and all the jump fillers until other people were doing something & then joined in.

She was good with company. People rode close to (and towards) her at walk and trot, stood next to us, left - she took it all in her stride.
We rode in and out of the jumps over there, knocked one tiny cross bar over when we stepped over it at a near standstill, investigated the bending poles and flags (very scary), attempted to walk the bending course (stopping to investigate every flag, of course, with the odd quick step sideways when one moved)... then people started jumping.
The jumps were the baby course, set up for Sunday's practice SJ, and about as low as they could possibly be.

I walked over a cross rail then gathered up the courage to trot in. She was great! Jumped it quite big and then cantered after... very bouncy... threatened to buck, perhaps in delight. I asked for a better trot at the next attempt so her canter was better, though still very bouncy. The final jump was the nicest. Then they put it up so we stopped for a rest in the middle.

I popped out over a small cross after people went into other paddocks. Shaz was watching & said it was her nicest jump of the night.

Indy got a carrot, we had chips (nom nom), then drove home and gave her some oats for dinner.
She was a star & I am very, very happy with her!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cranio sacral - feedback

Both girls have been chilling out in the paddock since their treatments on Thursday morning.

Scarlett was quite deliberate on Thursday avo when I went out to see them - she didn't rush over to me or crowd my space. Today she was walking very well, not rushy, nice overstep. She is also more respectful of my space (of course she wants treats and cuddles, but hasn't been so in my face about it).
Indy is much happier to come see me and be handled. I haven't taken a halter out with me, yet, which is some type of trigger for her (she tends to decide whatever I'm about to do definitely isn't what she wants to do!).
She appears to be walking a lot free-er and her super-tight hamstrings don't look quite so "over inflated."

I am very happy with what I have noticed so far. When it gets a bit cooler this afternoon/evening, I will do some groundwork with them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cranio sacral

Today both horses got some cranio sacral work. Peggy suggested Indy would benefit way back in December, but this was the earliest I could get Zen to come out.

She was very gentle with the horses & they seemed to like it. A few sticky spots (specifically Scarlett near her poll and Indy in her HQs) but otherwise it was a case of starting the unlocking process off. I will get her out again after I am back from Christchurch, in mid-late Feb.

On Tuesday I took Indy to Club again. She loaded & travelled extremely well, only a tiny bit sweaty when we got there. I was tacked up in time for the pre-ride meeting; I didn't ride in a group (it was an XC training night!) so found someone else with a young horse who wanted to potter around. Indy did SO well - Shaz text me after to say she looked stunning. I could really feel the improvement in her coping ability.
I definitely need to thank Annika for helping me get Indy out and about down the lane :) as that's a huge part of this progress.

Both girls will get the weekend off, if I get a chance I will do a bit of groundwork but Zen said I shouldn't ride for a few days, to allow the CS stuff to settle and process.
I do have to tidy up their feet (I didn't quite finish Indy's on Monday as it started to rain, and Scarlett is due for a touch up as her last trim was 2 weeks ago) and take photos, so will aim to get that done on Sunday.