It has been a very long time since I've updated the blog - apologies!
Jacqui has been riding Scarlett once a week for the past 4 or so months which has helped me ride Indy more often and to get her out and about rather than staying in the paddock to potter around. It also means we do CR groundwork before/during tacking up, and I have a lot to remember to help Jacqui ride Scarlett effectively, which helps me remember what I should be doing with Indy.
In November & December I did a LOT of CR: there was the 5-day CRT 101 course to start; a few days later, the first four-day clinic (I took Indy) and the second four-day clinic (Scarlett).
Peggy comes up with new stuff for us every year, and this time was no different. There was a lot of focus on a very quick (one step each way) 'zig zag' in and out, counter caterpillar ('sending' their head away) and lots of head/neck/poll work, specifically the tiny little stuff that helps mobilise the atlas. It was fabulous to spend so much time with Peggy and Susan, who came to NZ for the first time this year, as she's a big part of the CRT courses.
I have discussed the possibility of going over to spend some time as a working student with Peggy. I hope to do that in the (NZ) winter. I would like to spend a month or two with Peggy; I'd love to tie in CRT 102, or some of the external courses required to move past the 103 level. I may also spend a little time with mum's relatives in Seattle. Of course, I'll make time to visit my friends.
With groundwork, I am really concentrating on head down, neck released. I have been doing plenty of shoulder delineations, heart girth presses (right along the rib cage), counter caterpillar. I need to do a bit one one-foot/one-step work: Peggy showed us how to first cross the front legs, then the hind, to really start engaging the HQs properly and get the horse telescoping. Indy is ready for a lot more in/out/FORWARDS work to encourage her "push" from behind.
The groundwork focus has changed her head and neck already. She is a lot softer through transitions. We lost the "out" for a while (during the clinic - eeek!) but it's coming back. This tells me that as I work through stuck-ness, I need to keep re-visiting all the previous steps to ensure they are established and correct.
Both horses need a lot more one- and two-line work. I need to canter them more, too... Sometimes, I wish I didn't have to work, or there were twice as many hours in the day!
Indy has outgrown her RP saddle - bummer. I didn't realise that some of her lack-of-forwards issues were coming from the saddle being too tight on her shoulders (I completely dismissed it, to be honest - bad me!). So, it's for sale, as is a lot of other stuff (I've been doing well with selling, lately, and the Legend GP has finally found a new home, though the Style is still here).
I'm looking for an Albion or Balance saddle to replace the RP. Trisha's Balance seemed to fit Indy fairly well, but Balance were away over the New Year break and their email inbox is full so I haven't been able to make contact. I've also emailed the Auckland tack shop who import Albions to see if they can get me something to trial, and Sue at Saddle4You is going to see what she can find for me second hand ... If I can get a new Albion for 3k, or a second hand one for less than 2.5k, I will be happy. Importing a Balance saddle will be over 3k, but if they can do a distance consult it might work out (their saddles are wider than Albions).
Another option is looking at saddleries while we're in Australia (12-21 Jan). Either way, I need something that is wider than Wide, so second hand options are few and far between.
That's it for now... Photos from clinics will be up soon (but I really must sort out the thousands I got from Peggy, in order to copy them off for the people who wanted them...).