Friday, January 8, 2010

...a few days ago with Lil...and yesterday with Nigel

I noticed the other night when I was sitting in Nigel's stall spending undemanding time that my poor horsey Lil was climbing the walls. After we played over the weekend she had been pretty quiet Sunday and was Tuesday night that she started to have trouble again.

So, Wednesday we marched up to the arena to move around. It makes me so happy that now she can partner with me even in self medicating. After a quick roll she almost seemed to say "right, here I go"...she took off at a speedy tail in the air canter to the right. But, she maintained gait and direction and looked where she was going.

The last few times we played she only needed 10 or so laps to really calm down and feel better. Wednesday she got to 20 laps before her tail relaxed and she made a smaller circle to avoid the muddy patch that she had been slipping on for the previous 1/2 a mile.

We played with all our normal stuff...she still is choosing to go sideways and around the barrels at Liberty* instead of hopping halfway over. . Online*, she does it every time. Ah...Liberty is such a good test. I'm pretty sure its a confidence issue that will be fixed with repetition.

Our close circle at Liberty is coming back. yay! And we're getting it at walk now which I feel shows more understanding. We are getting a few halt canters Online although the it ends up being walk to canters every 2nd or 3rd ask. Lead by a tail making turns is better...our close spin left to right is ok (I hate that she moves her HQ though) we need a little polishing right to left... The next time Kip is with me I'll ask if he can see anything different in my body language going that way.

It was one of those days when she doesn't quite feel fully present. Our draw was maybe 60% of what we have on a good day. She still did a lot of licking and chewing..still much improved from what it was even a few months ago...but I couldn't see very much tongue. However, she didn't suck on her tongue so that was good. I felt like I was going maybe one click too fast..

A great sign that Wednesday was ok, was that yesterday when our Farrier did her feet she was in one of those super mentally engaged moods. She was snuggling with him and lifting up her back feet for him and even offering to put her front feet on the jack stand! What a good girl. She had lost both her back shoes and the accompanying shims so both she and I'll be glad to have that fixed.

With Nigel yesterday I'll just say he was amazing as usual. He seemed to realize that I wanted a big rear with more airtime. He put A LOT of effort into staying up there. 5 seconds he gave me! 5 seconds!!!!!!!!! That's the record for sure. I wooped it up for that one. The whole valley probably was wondering what in the heck was going on. LOL

Our ride was good. I have 2 thick shims in the front and it was too much. This next ride I'll switch to a thick and a thin and see if that's just right or if I just need a single thick one. Maybe that means he's traveling more uphill?...

Following the rail even doing a big stretchy trot and cantering is much better. Our weave at trot Level 2 style was almost perfect...Doing the cantering Bow-tie Pattern* was better..ish. Still needs work. His canter depart even from the walk Online is doing great...I can't wait for them to improve undersaddle. I hate that feeling of disharmony when they aren't.

Ok. I have to confess that I had some ruffled hairs on the left hand side just behind the withers. Poo. I think it was some of our canter halts. I was bracing too much in my stirrups.

I quit while he seemed to be eager to do even more things (yay me) and we walked with a swagger down to the barn. I haven't put him in the trailer for a few weeks so I thought we'd better practice. He jumped right in. I shut the door..he was just fine with it. For the whole rest of the day he was tracking me wherever I went with two interested ears forward. Excellent.

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