Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sarcastic Small Fierce One

Blackberry started off looking at crookedness I thought I looked quite straight SFO thought otherwise *tsk* had discussion on how crookedness is your normal view in the mirror it therefore becomes hard to see that what is normal in your world view is actually crooked.

Then did legs over front and take one down taking right leg down I pitch left, taking left leg down I stay straight. So SFO suggested try leaning right as take leg down (non habitual movement I assume) that improved things also looked at can I make correction whilst not looking at TV screen? I can but have to feel head is very tilted left for it to be straight.


My plan had been for this lesson to be one where I 'own' stretch right side and do not look down, following on from Tyranny of the Trainer :-

5/ Own your faults. My two biggest (not sole!) faults are collapsed right side and looking down. It is *not* up to SFO to keep telling me this. I know this, I need to do something about it.

SFO asked me if the diamanté was falling off my gloves, I looked down and replied 'no I don't think so' to which SFO told me to stop looking down :-D have renamed her SSFO Sarcastic Small Fierce One

Told SSFO about what my intention had been and her view is 'it depends' I wasn't aware I was looking down so until I do get some awareness it is her job to remind me.

Got asked why I chose to move the hind quarters over and not the shoulders as both would achieve the same, explained he had bought his quarters in thus to get him back on my imaginary line I had to move his 1/4s back moving his shoulders would have taken us off our line. Got a gold star for that :@)

Did some walk -> trot transitions paying attention to getting what I intend. Certainly improved our transitions.

Elbows were missing in action today :-(

Got a lovely trot after a canter and spent too long thinking ooh this is nice and didn't think enough about maintaining trot/rein length so reins too long so rather than try and recover asked for walk and gave the rein. My intent was good which was to be clear but could have tried to get reins back and enjoy the trot.

Next transition he went from canter -> trot -> walk of his own accord. Pooh is a quick learner :-) So knew the next transition I had to insist on trot regardless or I'd lose my gold star. So insisted we maintain trot.

I need to have a better balance between the technical stuff and intent. I am so busy running my corrections check list I forget the horse. Luckily with Pooh if you become absent he just slows down.

Last canter I paid more attention to intent and got a better result.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Joyeux Noël 2011

Am having a lovely day, probably one of the best ever.

Got up went to the yard everyone suitably happy walked C for his five minutes. Did a double take at his legs when I went to ice them they seem to have tightened visibly not sure that is possible but that is how it looks.

Back home for brunch at 11:00 with Champagne (good times) watched some of the Rotal Ballet's Alice in Wonderland, had a little snooze (good times) then morsel of *homemade* (Domestic Goddess) Christmas cake then back to yard listening to Queen's Speech (yes even a Republican can listen to the 15:00 broadcast)

Second five minute walk (so fourth walk in total) and the legs do definitely look tighter.

Back home more Champagne get changed start doing the veggie

1/ Thyme roast carrots and onions
2/ Purée of parsnips with nutmeg
3/ Goose fat roast potatoes
4/ Sautéed Brussels sprouts with chestnuts


A/ Bread sauce with thyme to link to 1/above
B/ 'Red stuff'
c/ Poultry gravy

nom nom nom

'Red stuff' was planned to be cranberry and Port relish but no cranberries sent in on-line shop so experimented with the mixed berries that were sent. So mixed berries cinnamon stick port and orange juice simmer until sticky and thick. Was really nice.

Downton and Christmas pud later

nom nom nom

Saturday, 24 December 2011

It isn't about the trifle

Being super organised did my shop on line to be delivered 23rd between 20:00 and 22:00. The IT gremlins had other ideas and downed the IT system, cannot imagine the stress and unpleasantness the staff on the helpline must have suffered.

So shop now to be delivered by 11:00 today, 11:00 passes now will be delivered by 13:00 am assured everything ordered has been picked bar a few canapes.

13:00 arrives and still no shop finally arrives at 15:00 with some weird substitutions!

So don't have what I need for my raspberry and limoncello trifle or cranberry sauce :-( all small beer in the grand scheme of things it is *only* trifle at end of day.

Started Chorrie's in hand walking regime today 5 minutes as timed by iPhone *I heart my iPhone* did the first walk this morning and burst into tears!

Christmas isn't about trifle it is about the handwalking!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Scan 9 - A new hope dawns


So today was scan number 9 and both legs are looking good and the left leg has really turned a corner since the last scan on 17th November.

So is the left leg good healing due to the pulsed mag or just how it heals? Liz's recall is that the right leg suddenly did this too.

Can now start hand walking on the hard for five minutes twice daily, if ligaments do not react after one week increase to ten minutes twice daily.

Best Christmas present ever :-D

Shoes can go back on with some sort of support (heart bars / pads) to get weight off walls

Had eyes and heart checked all OK, other than gut so loud Liz had to wait to hear heart :-)


Fred is 24 and old enough to know better and behave :-) but no he has to prat and spin and generally be a PITA. So good to see him feeling so jolly. Liz did say clearly he is happy and enjoying life.

Heart ok, cataract left eye almost certainly due to his age but is translucent so isn't a concern at this stage. Liz did say he wasn't a candidate for surgery I think she was making fun of me :-) as she knows and I am sure loves my tendency to over think.

Ligament History

5th May 2011 - Stretched right check ligament, box rest but allowed out for pick of grass

1st July - Can go out in pen twice stable size for 30 minutes

1st August - Can start five minutes walking

4th August - Escapes from pen; reinjures right check ligament, injures left suspensory. Walking cancelled.

14th September - Does left check ligament in stable.

5th October - Supportive limb laminitis pick of grass cancelled.

18th October can go back out for pick of grass

23rd December can start walking out in hand twice daily

Monday, 19 December 2011

Tyranny of the trainer

Firstly this is not about me or anyone in particular that I know it is a work of fiction with some snippets of reality.

So how did we get to this position where we pay someone to *help* us yet when they are less than helpful we

1/ Don't give them any feedback to this effect

2/ Stay quiet for fear of upsetting them and ignore the fact we're also upset and paying handsomely for the privilege

3/ Keep paying them and yet not try a different trainer so we don't hurt their feelings? What about *our* feelings.

It is too much to ask for a trainer who

1/ Actually leaves you feeling better about your riding post lesson than pre lesson, clearly a trainer is not a miracle worker but you shouldn't be leaving 19 out of 20 lessons feeling bummed.

2/ Doesn’t diss their other students. Seriously you're being paid to teach no you don't have to like the person paying you but if you accept their money then be professional enough to follow 'if you can't say anything nice say nothing'

3/ Don't diss other trainers. It sounds like sour grapes especially if their students are doing better than yours. If your students are doing better then let that speak for itself.

4/ Doesn't try to sell you a wonderful uber horse. The horse I own is wonderful to me and is not going anywhere so you can either train me on my donkey or not train me at all.

5/ Doesn't sell you wonderful uber horse that turns out to be too hot for you to ride; so trainer ends up with the ride and you become an owner.

6/ Who doesn't tell you in your first (and last lesson) with them (yes this one is true) that riding is like a book going from A - Z and that you aren't even at the letter A.

In what other aspect of our lives would we let this go unchallenged yet somehow the heady smell of horse pooh turns confident capable women into women who 'keep the peace by saying nothing'. Would your colleagues at work recognise the person you become as soon as you smell horse pooh?

OK so that's the rant about trainers as students we also have responsibilities.

1/ Give feedback your trainer is not a mind reader.

2/ Do your homework

3/ If you don't understand ask, if they can't explain it to you simply enough for you to understand then they don't understand it thoroughly enough.

4/ Don't say things to your friends about your trainer you wouldn't say to their face. Respect is a two way street.

5/ Own your faults. My two biggest (not sole!) faults are collapsed right side and looking down. It is *not* up to SFO to keep telling me this. I know this, I need to do something about it.

This rant may get continued ...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A day of ups and downs

Arrived at yard late :-( my bad and Lorna was there not seen her for literally months was so nice to catch up and chat, was very sad to hear about her father so hard to lose a beloved parent.

Anyways lovely to catch up then Steph came into barn with Janice's Charlee is it wrong to feel so maternal towards a puppy? Human babies don't float my boat but give me a puppy :@)

Took C out for pick of grass mucked out then off to yard coffee, Gill had made Rocky Road and Louise chocolate brownies was nice to sit down and have a natter.

Then mucked out Fred then off home for quick lunch then back to yard with Tony in tow to put boys to bed then off to RDA for Tony to play Santa.

I had visions of Tony walking in and several smalls running over to 'Santa' and Santa making a quick exit pursued by small children :-D

Went off well have a hard act to follow when I play Peppa Pig in March (!) home in pouring rain to make another 1.5l sloe gin

Must learn to keep mouth shut !

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Perfect pooh

So as always started on Blackberry, legs over front then Connie cushions under thighs whilst SFO waggled my legs around to try and improve

1/ the weight going down them
2/ separate moving my legs from my body. So move legs and body stays same.

Tried moving shoulders whilst not moving head still find that bloody hard plus coupled with staying on right seat bone.

Then tried rising to the canter brain exploded at this point. SFO not happy with my rising too much movement in lower back and shoulders doing too much so spent what seemed like forever going over and over it. With me having to sit on SFO's hand talk about feeling the pressure (both of us!)

Finally got a chink into what I need by thinking about rising into my heels.


Had a letch with SFO over Ash from Masterchef ;~} SFO not keen on his accent, me I don't care as don't want him for his conversation! So agreed he'd be ok for cooking and shagging :@)

SFO asked what I wanted to do should have said repeat the canter exercise from last week but instead asked what SFO thought I needed to do knowing she'd say rising trot so rising trot it was.

Started off no stirrups loose rein in walk and felt totally spaced out and not really with it, balance felt shot away and didn't feel terribly present, felt better once stirrups back.

So loose rein work and turning then onto lunge and look at rising trot think rise into heels then onto turn on forehand which became turn around a cone which sounds pi$$ easy but shows up holes in basics for both horse and rider.

So imagine cone in school you want horse's nose over cone and you move horse around the cone pivoting on the nose over the cone. So nose stays over cone and legs describe two concentric circles around cone.

Thought left rein was hard enough until I tried right rein!

Had some good walk -> canter trans and felt this week I was actually committed to forwards in the canter. Got my first ever snort in canter so something is improving! Need to keep my right side stretched and left side softened and keep looking up.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Beaglie - Cruciate Ligament

Clearly as Janice put it so well I have displeased the 'God of beloved pets' on Tuesday morning I booked Oliver Beagle in with Ginny for a check up Thursday PM as he'd been a bit stiff over a week ago and whilst it had resolved I wasn't happy and just wanted him checked to make sure his spondylosis hadn't worsened.

So Tuesday night he gets off the sofa and walks off 6/10 lame down to 2/10 lame in about six strides. Wednesday morning he is fine but do paw position proprioceptive test 'just in case' and he's fine. Thursday am he isn't placing paw 'correctly' so short walk and off to vets.

Ginny diagnoses cruciate ligament damage, I was a bit stunned and didn't ask if posterior or anterior or both, but NSAIDs for two weeks and lead walks only on good going.

He is a candidate for surgery should we need to and Ginny's colleague Tim does them as routine having done three this week already.

Just need to convince the Beaglie that being quiet and sensible is the way forwards!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Blown away


So started off legs over front whilst putting world to rights.

Worked on left and right pillars, stretch right soften left. Too easily pulled off right seat bone need to stuff pillar more.

Did left / right position is clear from back view and plumb line that position right my spine moves to side of plumb line and I remain 'stacked up' / straight. Not so much left spine barely moves so worked on that.

Then onto contact jeez how difficult was it to follow SFO :-(

Finally leg and rein sensors on and up to gallop 3 then down to canter 2, sounds easy but as my following is not that good too easy to go from 3 to 0. Managed it a couple of times.

Needs more work

Pooh glorious Pooh Bear

Decided to do a lesson off the lunge said I wanted to work more on steering and lateral movement in trot.

So started off with on the buckle gaah clearly I cannot bear not to hold reins with both hands.

I will need to sit on bloody free hand to stop it trying to join in, on the upside am happy enough at buckle end just not with having a hand wafting around.

So could then pick up reins and not told to change anything.

Need to watch I do not get sucked into joining Pooh's lateral wobble in walk stay on my seat no sideways for seat bones, streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch right pillar. Found resisting the wobble bloody hard.

The bugger of it is Pooh and I have the same 'issue' strong left side weaker collapsed right side so I have to 'be' to enable him to follow. Which translates to on left rein, need slight travers with slight left bend whilst I stay down my right leg and stretch my right side. On right rein need to keep the right hind stepping and not allow hindquarters to swing in, oh and have a right bend.

Onto trot with SFO muttering at regular intervals more activity whilst I am thinking trot is active. Clearly it isn't else SFO would be quiet but did think what more does she want ;@}

20m circle to 10m circle and LY out, all easy enough when not under the gimlet eye, got some goods :@)

Canter exercise, actually easy enough but blew my brain, too much left/right too fast.

Walk to true canter at 1/4 marker along short side to next 1/4 marker then walk then counter canter long side between 1/4 marker walk and to true canter for short side.

SFO did say I could do a flying change I think she was pulling my leg :@)

Gawd put me under pressure and I forget which is left and which is right *doh*

Got some good transitions and all were on intended leg so clear and measurable progress but Pooh is a super star staying so calm whilst I faffed about on top.

Actually I feel he trusts me more didn't get that worried feeling from him on right rein when he overswings 1/4s in and you need to stop and move them over, he just did it without worry. Very chuffed with that.

After the canter exercise back to trot and wow just wow can now see why SFO wanted more activity, he was aligned and it was just so easy and whilst he was more forward than I've ever felt it was just lovely. :@)