Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Could do better

Today was rather muggy but there was a har so it wasn't at all sunny! I really didn't relish the thought of cycling, and since I had the day to myself I decided to get the two buses out to where the yard is, to see how that would be. I also woke to a Killer Cramp in my right calf. I thought walking might be better than cycling for it...

The distance from the bus stop to the yard is about 3 miles I think, maybe a little less. So I walked 6 miles just getting there and back. It cost me £6.40 in bus fare, so not something I'm about to attempt very regularly. Besides, it seemed a false economy to walk in terms of saving energy. I'm absolutely shattered! Halfway to the bus stop, homeward bound, my legs ached and my back went from yawing pain to numbness, not good really.

Back on the bike tomorrow :) I might have to get ibuprofened up to do it thought.

There were two farriers working on horses by the time I brought Quadi in. Chaos reigns! Quadi was temporarily displaced into Fin's stable whilst I set about the field with my barrow and fork/scoop. Nice and quiet again when I returned. I stood about chatting too much though, with all the walking I did I hadn't as much time as I usually would have. It took just under two hours each way, door to door, which is a big chunk of the day!

Once I'd stopped nattering and started paying my poor boy some attention, I noticed he had some unusual patches on his neck. On his offside. It looked like blood, or mollasses, or droppings. Naturally both myself and YM rubbed the area to find out which it was. None the wiser, and unable to find a wound, we assumed he'd rolled in a poo pile (three ex-entires in a group of four makes poo picking easy!) or someone's wiped their mouth on him.

He was anxious to get out and get going today. More keen than I was, I had half my mind on the clock ticking away. Even though I had nowhere else to be, I was distracted. Warm up was fine, but he is insisting on bending to the outside. If I take a firm (but fair) contact on the lunge line he spirals in on it. If I give him more slack the circle ends up very wobbly.

If you can picture in your mind's eye the standard BHS image of the handler in the centre, the lunge line and the lune whip forming a triangle to the horse...

I end up nearer his hind end, driving forwards, using the whip parallel along his body to keep him straight, when we go straight, or pointing at his middle to give me a blessed bit of bend! And the lunge line becomes a sort of permanent open inside rein, like you would with a green horse when riding. He gets it, of course, and tries to hold it, but it's hard work. And he'd rather not work too hard of course, that's an unscheduled waste of energy!

Once warmed up I hooked him in. Starting as ever on his good rein, his left. He was grand, a couple of transitions were slow and drawn out, but overall he was very attentive and when the transitions were good they were great! I am finding that with the warmer weather I am tired and therefore quiet. I'm not giving him the verbal praise he needs when he 'gets' something. A lot more passive. I'm sure this isn't helping. It's silly, I need to look and sound as though I'm having a great old time in there with him, I even canter with him to get him 'up' in front instead of drilling circle after circle. I'm sure I look like a total loon, but the past few days haven't been so great in terms of progress, which ties in with the heat and my tiredness.

The right rein was tricky to keep him out and away from me, he's starting to try and turn in early. Really not like him, he is an old professor on the lunge, he knows better than this. I guess my body and handling is signaling to him.

I am wondering if I will have a play with working him on his bad rein first, see how he looks. Just this once, I think it'd be a good barometer of whether this work is helping. Of course it's necessary to work him on his good rein first, let him feel what's right when it's easier and then ask for more in the other direction.

Didn't do poles today, bit of a lazy Tuesday all round. But I did ask for a couple of revolutions of canter on the Pessoa.

I got his muzzle and the D&H Right Weight pack today. I think I'll assume he should be the weight of a Connemara, since the don't give an option for Iberians! Reading the condition score sheet, he really isn't as fat as I thought. It's lack of tone. Will try and take a full body shot tomorrow :)

I also lunged Fin today. He's 100 times more sensitive/switched on to posture and voice and handler control. I'm not sure if I've desensitised/switched-off my horse or whether Fin was really on his toes. He was much more the hotblood today :D

I went back to groom Quadi post-work and found that he hwas more wierd patches on the other side of his neck. They looked like sweat. He wasn't hot and he wasn't wearing tack where these patches were. I rubbed them with baby wipes to make sure there was nothing there, and cold-hosed his neck and shoulders. He was then turned out in the school to have a roll. By the time I'd come back from fetching his boots, he was tearing up and down the school. So unlike him! He was in a real pickle. Absolutely intent on cantering out of the school back to the fields.

I managed to bring him down to earth, when I turned him out he went haring along the field. Stopped. Neighed. And stuck his head down to eat. Most bizarre. The YM checked him for me a couple of times this afternoon and this evening and he's just fine.

There was something genuinely bothering him but I'm stumped as to what it was. Fingers crossed for a more chilled day tomorrow :)

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