Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A new blog category 'Back in the Saddle'

Seems appropriate so today we did 15 minutes in the school tacked up in hand lots of school figures.

Chorrie much more relaxed about it all.

So looking forward to another session on board come Monday

Monday, 25 June 2012

So after thirteen months of box rest/small pen turnout I finally rode my pony!

Woke up feeling a bit apprehensive was OK until drove on yard then realised 'this is it' today I get back on board.

Foot soldiers  booked for 12:00 was hoping yard would be quiet but not to be as people still around and noticed the boy was wearing his tack :- 

Had both schools booked as wasn't sure which one I was going to use, decided to use small school as whilst boy finds it spookier than the large school, physio did say it is the best surface to rehab him on.

Go into school and walk boy around in hand very interested but not silly.

Take to mounting block and get on, wait to see if any reaction then sit up, clip lunge line on.

So now we're on the lead rein   Chorrie's back is very up and he is very tense. Oddly enough I'm not, I can feel his back is up and his breathing is shallow but he isn't the bucking type so we just walk around on the lead rein.

Get a few glimpses of relaxation but mostly he is tense. Keep walking and talking stop in a good moment and shower him with Polos.

I am  in shock and denial that I'm finally back on board. He just felt so familiar  did feel a bit disappointed we never made it off lead rein but do appreciate we need to go at his pace.

Will spend next week walking him in hand around school in tack; ideally I'd have done this prep last week but was cognisant of fact if I did so it would have built up today into and even bigger thing with the consequent danger I'd be too nervous to actually get on.

Am pleased I was relaxed, have two more foot soldier sessions booked in for 2nd and 5th July.

Interesting that when I took him back out to field he charged off bucking and wheeling releasing all his pent up tension.

Me I got home and collapsed in a heap with the post adrenalin crash.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Water Puppies

Oliver's first water treadmill session today didn't quite get the idea of walking on the treadmill and not swimming. Charlotte was lovely and he couldn't have been in better hands.

Lily went in the pool not very keen and I had to walk round the outside and Charlotte had to watch her for not trying to climb out, clung to me like a limpet when she came out.

Hopefully she'll settle into it.

Oliver next session Friday

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Lesson one Blackberry

Started off working on weighting left and right seat bones with pom poms and also added turning shoulders.

Then onto position left and right and  lightening left seat bone when in position left and similarly with position right.

SFO showed me how to have long arms but retain an 'elbow' also how shoulders stay deep and elbows and shoulders keep moving.

*THUD* SFO pleased with my improved rein contact, am barely collapsing right, shoulders were down was wondering when I'd wake up and reality (collapsed right and crap contact) would be restored? 

Lesson one Pooh

Work on right hand to Pooh's right bum/left shoulder, swap hands and then repeat on other rein.

Did rising trot and emphasizing left then right side by in sitting phase sitting more left and right; just doing this makes me more symmetrical.

Quasimodo is not the only correction, it is mostly for the left rein, on the right rein need to stretch right pillar, may also need when turning on right rein to have right side 'forward'

If it isn't working don't do more of what isn't working do something different, need to learn to experiment

Horse will follow bulk body weight, so can do leg yield just by use of body weight. Did loops in canter just using weight aids, was actually bloody impressed I could do this and if you think this is easy try it ;~} if you can't do a loop in canter on weight aids alone what does that reveal? Basically that you don't need the reins to stay in counter canter.

SFO did point out that six months ago this would have been beyond me and how I'd progressed and how she liked to keep pushing her pupils. Whilst I do have the odd whinge as it can be frustrating that as soon as you've cracked 'C' SFO is looking to crack 'D'; I wouldn't be driving for just over two hours if SFO wasn't constantly looking to progress me.

Need to stop being afraid of the rein, sometimes you just need to use the rein.

Supper was a hoot, drank a lovely NZ Sauvignon blanc and put the world to rights, haven't drunk wine since my last Arrow weekend due to MFP; ate my body weight in SFO home made chocolate mousse.
Lesson two Blackberry

SFO and I were talking about how it was interesting that I used to be collapsed left (really collapsed left and sat ass off saddle to right)  and now I tend to collapse right but nothing like as bad as my left used to be. Am hoping it is a pendulum and that the arc of swing lessens with each swing and this time next year I'll be basically straight.

Need to have open armpits think of being able to have space for an orange - preferably a chocolate orange! Also body moves through arms.

Did bicycling with legs which helped leg muscles 'let go'

Also did transitions looking back I think if I could nail 3 -> 2 it would help a lot with having Pooh on the aids.

Lesson two Pooh

Started off on long rein with no stirrups, six months ago that wouldn't have happened, and bicycling with legs as had been doing on Blackberry.

More work on right hand to Pooh's right bum/left shoulder, swap hands and then repeat on other rein.

Lots of serpentines/loops in trot need to remember, when turning left Quasimodo; when turning right then stretch right side.

SFO did say about how she  now has to think which side is my collapsed side as I have straightened up a lot :-)

Was then another *THUD* moment when SFO asked how would I put a horse on the aids,  I could  tell her, show her or ask her. So explained how I do it with Chorrie which I suspected had holes in it. 

So basically I determine rein length and then ask C to work within that rein length with an active leg and it happens well that is all I do at a conscious level.

So basically on Pooh in halt determine rein length and keep hand passive, active leg you should feel him step under as he goes to move off soft allowing hand can hold/resist if needed with shoulders/upper arm.

Fail on having soft allowing hand rather than throwing contact at him,  too conscious of not pulling to be effective. :-( but with perseverance and lots and lots of SFO encouragement to the point of being on the floor and walking alongside us, I got it and then wow.

Just wow

Victor Meldrew

I really cannot believe it, bought Claire Lilley's Scales of training book and took to Arrow to read, photo captioned as showing a 'good outline' so why then wasn't the poll the highest point?

I know getting a good photo is hard but why caption it as a good outline if the poll isn't the highest point?

Bangs head a lot really disappointed

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Claire Lilley

So off to a 'Position, aids and confidence' workshop with Claire Lilley, a very thoughtful Christmas present from the lovely Marianne.

Claire is lovely, playing at horse and rider was useful especially seeing how the 'horse' was confused when the outside rein was dropped.

Very glad have been to SFO as none of it was new but was excellent revision.

Think will think of pedal down for inside leg when wanting bend when SFO wants me 'down' my inside leg.

Excellent excellent afternoon thinking of going to her lunging workshop and might get her scales of training book,

Chuffed I am :-)

Friday, 8 June 2012

A new hope dawns and Fred worry

Two more weeks and I'll be back on board :-) am a little disappointed as was expecting it to be Monday and had foot soldier booked but vet thinks yes I could get on as originally agreed but two more weeks would be better, given how long it has been another two weeks isn't that long really.

Fred is a worry :-( his heels have collapsed since being in on box rest for the check ligament injury, got vet to examine him.

His feet are hot at the heels which isn't that much of a surprise as he is putting a fair bit of weight down through them, which of course compounds the issue. I couldn't feel a pulse (well I could but it was normal) but got vet to check.

So upshot is vet and farrier going to speak, vet thinks he is doing a good job but that Fred may need some ££££ pads that help with this plus half shoes have also tested ACTH . Farrier has used the pads before but without success in fact made that pony worse which is why Fred not in them but he is hoping vet can tell him about success stories.

To be honest I'm scared this could be the issue that loses me Fred.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Miss you

Miss you everyday, whoever said times heals was wrong it doesn't you just learn to live with the pain, and it buries itself a little deeper within you; so it doesn't take your breath away every day/minute/hour. I'll take the pain because it is worth it to have shared my life with you and to have known you and loved you.


I envy not in any moods The captive void of noble rage, 
The linnet born within the cage, That never knew the summer woods: 
I envy not the beast that takes His license in the field of time, 
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime, To whom a conscience never wakes; 
Nor, what may count itself as blest, The heart that never plighted troth But stagnates in the weeds of sloth; 
Nor any want-begotten rest. I hold it true, whate'er befall; 
I feel it, when I sorrow most; 
'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.

In Memoriam A. H. H. by Alfred Tennyson