Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rinse and repeat

I've been lucky enough to get to ride in a local arena while it's owner is away, and my friends are 'horse sitting,' so we have been down Friday and today, with plans to go again tomorrow morning, too.

It is easiest to float Indy down, and we decided it would work to collect Pav, Teri and Liz on the way. I think it is a great training exercise to travel with another horse, not Scarlett all the time. Scarlett's floating idiosyncrasies mean she is always the second loaded, so Indy always goes in first (I need to find a way to work on that).
This trip, I switched Indy to the left side of the float, as it was such a short journey with no bad or twisting roads; I believe my horses should cope travelling on both sides of the float, but don't get many opportunities to put Indy on the left, mainly due to her size. One never knows when one might need to float another larger horse or one who needs the right side (I've had a right-side-only pony so know how frustrating that can be! never mind trying to travel two right-handers!); or if I ever travel in someone else's float and my horse has to go in the available space. In any case, I take any opportunity to mix it up to vary and solidify their travelling experiences.

Once there, we tied the horses up and ferried our gear over to the tie-ups. Teri usually takes Pav out for some groundwork to begin, while I groom and tack up; Indy does her groundwork fully kitted out.
Pav got to play over some of the smaller jumps and through the huge water puddle in one corner. He was very funny watching the crispy crackly leaves being collected by the long line on the ground - who could resist a pale palomino with flaxen mane and tail, making faces at leaves on the ground. Too cute!

Indy also got to walk through the big puddle, on the ground and under saddle. She didn't play as much as Pav, but we definitely need to make some time to head down to play with the facilities at LVF in the near future to get them doing more in the water.

After pre-flight checks were complete, we got on. I didn't do much with Indy; just walk, trot, halt; rinse and repeat. Changes of direction, walking around the various jumps and other obstacles, around the scary corner, through the water, back to the scary corner - all without issues.  Pav and Teri were doing their thing, we did our thing... everyone was brilliant! It's like I have a new horse, and I love it. She feels green, which is to be expected, but she feels safe. The limited work she has had, seems to have held her in good stead: she is soft and responsive. She listens to my aids for speed and direction. We can have a conversation about "yes, we will keep going" or "no we are stopping now" which used to be completely out of the question - Indy did what Indy did, for reasons unbeknownst to both of us I think, and I was but a passenger. She thinks, rather than just reacting, or just moving her feet.

Yesterday I thought if someone wanted to buy her, they'd need to come up with a large sum of money, because she's turning into an amazing horse.

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