Shortly after my last post, I ended up taking Indy out twice in one weekend. She has come such a long way, which just goes to show time off can do them good.
Annika came out to ride Scarlett so I quickly re-fitted Indy's saddle, we scrubbed about ten kilos of mud off each pony and went out to investigate the new walkway. It connects Birchwood Lane to Camdon Place, which comes off Koppens Lane. We can easily get all the way through to the school without having to deal with very much traffic at all. We could also do a loop, starting or ending with the walkway, right around Newell Road, but I am not brave enough to take Indy on the road under saddle quite yet.
Indy got to see scary things like the fencing around the old coolstore site, kids playing soccer kicking balls around, cars parked on both sides of the road, scary white road markings, and even some strange equines in other peoples' paddocks.
On Sunday I took Indy out to Sharon's. We spent an hour taking photos of Ozzie, then went out for a gentle hack down Bellevue, with Sharon on Ace. Indy was great about meeting the donkeys (which, probably thankfully, didn't bray) and very brave to go around several roadworks signs. A shame that when she reached out to touch one, it "bit" her back!
She is coping with a lot more, doesn't get brain-tired so quickly, and is less "looky" about new or scary things. It is easier to get and keep her going, or change things up and add a circle, stop, or turn. She will spend time leading and following (though this tends to be at her request rather than mine...).
When she runs out of steam, it is VERY obvious! She starts to need more frequent rests... it's like she is a train who has left its caboose behind, so she has to stop to let it catch up again ;) I ended up getting off and walking the last 500m home.
It is also really cool to see how well Scarlett copes with another rider. I used to throw anyone and everyone on her, when I still had Cas, because I couldn't ride Scarlett as well or easily as I could ride Cas. For several years, I was very protective of Scarlett ("no one can ride her because she's too spazzy" or "no one can ride her like I do.") It is fabulous to have a friend like Annika who LIKES MY PONY! and wants to ride with me. Scarlett is also far enough through her CR journey that she has a few things to show Annika, too :)
It is also very cool taking a horse like Indy, who has had nearly 3 months off (with the bare minimum of handling), starting with 5 minutes of groundwork before a ride and seeing her change from spaced-out to a calm, collected horse who is happy and capable to do what I ask her.
I'm on the countdown to Finals now: only ten days until we head south. I squeezed in my final mentor day with Carmen at the end of May and got the opportunity to watch her trim Annika's young gelding Mack yesterday. It is not often that we see trimmers dealing with brand new clients (usually any new horses are with existing clients), so it was very valuable learning experience.
I'm fighting off some stomach-y kind of bug, so haven't stayed on track with my revision for the past two days. I think I will be OK as I should have time to catch up over this weekend while I am housesitting for Jude & Ted. The weather is atrocious so I don't feel like being outside anyway.
Speaking of which... I need to go check on the two ponies at home, sort out what I'm eating for dinner, feed my animals (mum and dad are away, too) and come back to DO SOME REVISION!