Monday, August 29, 2011

29th August

Aaarrgggh, yesterday Moo was very tight/sore when I brought him in so we did some moving massage and stretching and a short stretchy lunge session. Today he was slightly easier so more of the same, I'm just hoping it wasn't the canter work that exacerbated it; time will tell.

Chapiro was lunged yesterday and he's getting much fitter, I think he's like Fidge and just retains a certain level of fitness whatever work he's doing/not doing.
Today I rode him and again just concentrated on keeping his neck relaxed so that he stretched out and forwards, I'm really pleased that we've slowed the whole thing down and now he can really balance himself even with me on top. I'm downloading a short clip as I type this and I'm pleased with how his neck looks and his general relaxation (flies aside!!) but I can now see that I can let him use his forwards energy as long as I can direct it to the right place ie more lateral work. I can also see I need to move the strirrups if I'm rising to the trot, on Moo I need them further back but Chaps is more slender and the stability of my lower legs looks pants, makes it look like I had to nag with my legs which I can assure you is a long way from the truth. Lots to work on then but another good day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

bring it on

After the monsoon came sunshine so it's been a great day for riding in the school. Damp sand and a light breeze, ah, if only every day was the same.

Well the canter plan worked and whilst it's still not pretty, understatement, it is en route to something better. Video below shows how little we could manage two days ago and how with a few tweaks we can at least keep the canter for longer, we'll keep working on the stamina for a while and then play with the stepping under issue later. Moo and I finished with a walk up through the village.

Chapiro was a total star. The neck relaxation work first and then a quick lunge before riding. The lunging has come on so well, he is so attentive and listens and acts on all his verbal cues and I'm quite proud of the man. The difference in his ridden work is quite noticeable too, he can bend both ways now with just a feel on the rein to get the soft neck and a long leg to get the bend. The transitions are OK but I will work on the upwards transitions being more energetic in the coming weeks.

Friday, August 26, 2011

never rains but it....

....pours. The thing about weather is that it all happens at once. That perfect climate of sun drenched days and soft gardeners rain through the night just doesn't exist. So from Sahara to monsoon it was!

Luckily I got a session in with both of them yesterday and did lots of canter transitions with Moo, blinkin' awful but it is getting better and I've a plan so if it works I'll let you know.

Chaps is now 'in school' and we're starting with fly spray. Never in my horsey life have I experienced a horse so terrified of flies. In fact he has no regard for his own safety when a bot fly appears and thus no regard for his human's space either. Not only does he freak at flies but he freaks at fly spray *rolls eyes*. So every day we are having a session with the spray bottle and the clicker and one day we will beat it. Any tips or advice on this would be very gratefully received. After the demonic spray he actually worked very well in-hand and then a quick bareback session so that he doesn't forget where we're heading.

Today? Well today was just a monsoon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

two's company

I can hardly believe my luck, it rained overnight and throughout the morning so the school was perfect to trot without causing a sandstorm. Lydia brought Cacahuéte in with Moo and I and we played with a little pas de deux , after first having a super soft and stretchy trot session; love that Moo. We pootled off down the tracks to the bottom field to cool off.

Chapiro did more relaxed stretching in hand following the the sort of routine I've always used with Moo and it's working well for him too. Chaps has this build up of tension (when he finds things hard) and tries to rush off which in turn causes his human to try to slow him with the hand which is obviously a bad move and becomes a spiral of more and more tension. The moving neck massage is perfect to relax him, I start at the base of the neck near to the withers and then move along with the flat of my hand or fingers releasing each area as we go until we get to the poll, it's amazingly effective and has the added bonus of creating good relaxed bend in the neck.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

oh err!!!

Everything's changed! OK so I've been away awhile, heck it's been way too long, but I hardly recognise the place.
We are enjoying a hot spell right now, not so great for the horses but great for lazy days swimming at the lake! It's been a good couple of weeks since I worked the boys and with the school dry as the Sahara (we have a hose ban so can't even water it) today we got back to work in walk!
Moo was a just a star, he has turned into Fidge and just concentrates on the session however long he's been off. We were straight back to relaxing the neck and bending, yielding, rein backing to throughness. My back, which has been a bit dodgy lately, was fine so maybe I just need to ride more, great.
Been thinking lots about Chapiro and I'll try and convey my thoughts tomorrow but he was a good lad too and willing as always.