Sunday, 31 January 2010

Some days you're the worm

That's despite being the early bird today. I was up at the yard just after 8am to two very keen faces over the gate :) I decided to ride Fin first since riding him second meant he'd already have been in on his own and wouldn't have been able to be still for one second. Quadi's a little better at being in on his own, he knows we always come home to him.

Once Fin was tacked up I opened the barn a horizontal blizzard :o Decided to mount up anyway :D The snow was stinging my face!

We started off so well, he was relaxed and keen, and I could feel him really swinging which meant I could concentrate on my seat. Sadly our ride went vastly downhill when we got into the forest and approached a little mini-burn to cross. Mr Fin decided it was wholly dangerous for me to even ask him to cross it. I knew he had an issue here and hadn't set out with a firm plan to cross no matter what. But he made a very big deal about it before we'd even arrived at the water's edge. I think I'd have gotten him over with consistent ask-and-release, as we were starting to get closer and closer. As it happens a dog walker appeared. Their black lab made a bold leap over, and so did we!

Great thinks me, forgetting there was another of those little rivers just further in. Fin was quite happy to jig and protest to the point where he was losing his legs from under himself. So I got off and led the way. I leapt, and so did he. I'd had my fill by this point, as I was trying to mount up from the ground. In too-tight ski trousers and my rather wieldy Muck Boots! To raise the odds of me ever getting back in the saddle, I tried to stand on a rock to gain a little loft. Worked the second time, since the first attempt saw Fin move, me slipping and then cursing copiously. Ne'er mind, onward and upward. We made it out of the forest onto the loop by the ruin, and had a canter. Fin gave me a couple of bucks, no doubt for being so rude as to make him ford a teeny brook twice, mounting from the ground and swearing like a sailor...

He was a bit jiggy on the way home. I wasn't able to 'unlock' him, I did check myself every so often with a deep breath but can't say I was feeling particularly tense. I must have been. I walked him home on the buckle of the reins but he was short. Not as swinging as when we left the yard.

Although I was feeling my joints somewhat I tacked up Quadi. He stood to mount up, sadly not for girth-tightening but beggars can't be choosers. AND, he marched off the yard and up the track, I think that's our my first solo hack in his saddle! I'm obviously in a bit of a rut right now, I felt the best thing for us both was to ride him on a loose rein and let him stretch out to relax. Which he did beautifully. His walk is huge, and he was making efforts to lift his back even though I wasn't asking. Not all the time, and I always scare him away because as soon as I feel his back lift I tense. It's just marginal excitement on my part because I'm happy he's lifting his back. Must stay calm!

We also rode around the loop, past the scary water container without stopping. In fact, although he had a few moments where he stopped to check the horizon, every time I asked him to walk on he saw this to be a reasonable request and moved off. Seems like he's growing in confidence, I'm happy.

I let him have a cheeky canter despite not being fit or sensible enough. I'm glad I adopted a 2 point seat because he put in a handstand, if my bum had been in the saddle I'd have done my impression of a dart out the front door straight into the snow. I'm wary of the fact that bucking was an indicator of his kissing spine. He doesn't buck in the school so it's just a thought at the dusty aft of my mind.

Likewise he was a little jiggy going home but relaxed once out of the forest. I got off a little way back from the yard and walked him back. I like to loosen his girth and walk the last bit home. Good for us both I think ;)

I have a headache today so I'm guessing I'm carrying tension. I had planned to work at least one of them tomorrow night but I don't suppose that'll happen. Might Equissage them both instead, and my neck if I can bend my arm around that way.

Tomorrow's another day :)

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Home alone...teehee!

Since we've had another lot of snow, we didn't attempt any fencing but we discussed what we have to do and I'll do it over the course of the week. The boys have their water, hay, plenty of sunny spots and now the mud's frozen the small paddock isn't such an issue. I'll have to have to hand around after Quadi's sedation on Tuesday so fencing can wait till then.

Poor ponies, they had balls of snow attached to their fetlocks when they came in. This caused a problem when we set off for our hack. Mr Fin was a little jittery (I can imagine how annoying dangly balls of snow round the hair on one's ankles would be!) and Quadi was also in an odd mood. The forest, whilst it was covered in snow, was boggy so we cut our hack short. Quadi wanted to be in front but kept stopping, and he felt like he needed a long hack. So I will hack each one in turn tomorrow.

I'm also dog-sitting for Kate this week so Meg, her dog, and I might have one or two adventures ;)

We were going to have a lesson with Kate's trainer Donald but he's cancelled this month due to the weather, so are arranging some elsewhere. I would dearly love a lesson soon, and hope to enlist a friendly soul who will video or at least take some snaps.

We're due more snow overnight. But no ice please!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Snow, Oh!

This is the second time that I've scheduled this appointment and the second time it's been cancelled because of snow. So all the white stuff is my fault, again *lol*

As it happens, the vet surgery called me up (after I called first-thing to cancel!) to say that the vet was running super-late and couldn't make it. I had told them that because our appointment was not urgent I didn't mind if it was bumped. Which we were. Some days just work out like that. We're rebooked for Tuesday morning :)

Am hoping the snow is either so sparse on the ground I don't have to worry about it, or deep enough not to be slippy. In the city it's a bit of a 'mare because it's forming as ice. Boo! I'm already a little rotted that I won't be getting a whole week off next week to play ponies every day and walk the dog...

One of my little hopes was to give both boys a good blast. If they're in a suitable humour for it of course! I'm sure I need it as much as they do! This week has dragged and I am looking forward to my weekend :D

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Very quickly

Because I'm shattered!

Kate rode Quadi on Wednesday night. I wanted to lunge him tonight but rain, then sleet, then snow soon put paid to that idea. The big thing is that we have the vet coming tomorrow afternoon to do a lameness assessment, 5 weeks late. Luckily he's even bringing the ultrasound machine so we can double-check everything. Sadly because of the wet weather Quadi's hinds were a little stinky tonight. I am disinfecting them as much as I can but we really need to get them into the whole field this weekend to give the mini-paddock a good rest.

Fingers are crossed for tomorrow. I'm also having x-rays of his hinds taken since they were where we started treatment with corrective shoeing. That was in March of last year :o

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A step (backwards) in the right direction

Wanting to capitalise on Sunday's great session in the school (camelid impressions aside!), I rode in the school again last night.

First, though, we had to get to the school. Quadi remains convinved that the road is still impassible due to ice. Most of it has melted, only a little bit remains. Sadly the little bit remaining was exactly where he wanted to walk, which cemented his thinking that there was obviously ice everywhere and I was wholly unreasonable to ask him to leave the warm, velvety safety of the yard!

We ended up going backwards to the gate (the school is in a little paddock) and then catleaping the threshhold (the ground immediately after the gate was darker and trampled, I can only assume he thought it was ice or a black hole...

I'm pleased we got there, every little victory for me will swell his confidence that I can be the Decision-Maker. All of this was in the dark so I can put this down to his self-preservation. I let him do his favourite school move...flinging the gate open with his nose to let us in ;)

I can't things felt as good as they did on Sunday, but then we had no fireworks so that's probably more progress again. Left rein is my bogey rein and right is his. It means things always look a little squiggly on the left because I can't keep still, and on the right we can maintain bend but it's a little trickier for him.

I maintained his head carriage more consistently than the previous session, and he moved off both my legs really freely. I can't keep him in a straight line (I think this is down to anomilies in my position) so we stuck to always changing the bend. More little pieces are clicking into place. I can isolate my inside seatbone for bend, turns and circles, I'm finding it easier to ask for bend by opening my hand and trying to maintain that contact, I can use my legs whilst still having an allowing seat, and in general being more co-ordinated and thinking ahead.

We were going along quite well so I decided to attempt trot. My ploy is a little boring for schooling, using a 20m circle to the right until we were settled and light, and then asked him up to trot. Which is like sitting on a power boat, his front end comes right up and he really drops his quarters! I didn't maintain softness into the transition but quickly regained it, and off we went down the long side. For a little 15.2 he has a huge trot and it felt like I had more gears at my disposal. The school seemed a lot smaller in trot! Bringing him to walk also probably wasn't too pretty as but he was a little fizzy, but he came back to my aids and we did the same on the left rein. Because he knew we were going to trot it took a bit longer just to relax but he got it. It was trickier on the left and he broke into canter, but I let him continue and we also had a cheeky canter on the right. Again, not too pretty into and out of the pace, but it was really nice to have a semblance of control and for him to steady himself and not to panic.

After that we cooled off. Quadi looked most pleased with himself as I dismounted and gave him his after-work sweetie (if it's good enough for the Lippis of the SRS it's good enough to reward my horse in the same way!).

Sunday, 24 January 2010

What a difference...

... a week makes.

I really was ready to give up. I hadn't blogged because I wasn't even sure where to start.

I had come to the conclusion the best thing all round might be if I had Quadi put to sleep. Not because I was fed up of him or didn't want to try. More that I've given everything I can and I just couldn't dig any deeper, that nothing I did seemed to help him and that I wasn't sure the end justified the means. I would rather do that than risk making him lame or having him any more resentful.

He requires a lot more physical riding than I've ever had to use, than I've ever been comfortable using. I know that he can't go around with his head in the air or he'll further harm his back, but I didn't want to force his head down. And I couldn't find a way of encouraging proper head carriage. He gets angry when I take charge and tell him to do what I want when asking doesn't work. Last weekend he'd spent a lot of time on two legs and then none trying to labour his point!

As a for-instance, yesterday we headed out for a hack. There's still ice along our dirt road but not in the middle so as long as you stay there it's passable. Kate and Fin were a little ahead, Quadi rooted himself to the spot not long after we left the yard. He was convinced it wasn't safe to pass and it was terribly unreasonable of me to ask him to take even one more step. When I asked, he went backwards, when I asked him to walk backwards, he decided to back ONTO the ice and rear. Despite this being the basis for his entire protest only ten seconds previously. We did a series of bunny hops up the drive, and as I was wondering about getting off to lead, Kate brought Fin back and he was happy to follow his chum as long as he could shove his nose up his bum.

I've spent the week just me and he, trying to figure a few things out in the school. My mindset has shifted. Little bits and pieces are starting to click into place. Today was tricky to start as he was looking for a reason to have a tantrum (Fin was jumping in the school whilst we did some pole work). I trotted him on the right rein and that was nice and controlled, so I tried the left rein and he tried to rear and buck which set my tummy in a knot. The knotted tummy meant we had a couple more false starts but I gave myself a real kick up the backside and went for it, and we got it! He snorted at me a lot but he gave me a fabbie trot on both reins and he was light in my hands :D Sufficient to say that's where we stopped!

He's a lot lighter off my leg and a lot more forward going than he ever used to be. Dare I say hotter too? I guess he's feeling better now that he's not lame and sore. It's just taken me a while to figure out my co-ordination but I actually can't wait to school him again to recreate what we had today.

He wasn't totally compliant mind you. About ten minutes into our session he slowed down and lifted his back. I thought he was stopping to poo, so I asked him to walk forwards...and then I felt his legs buckling. I squealed for help as he lay down!!! I was frozen, I couldn't move. Kate ran over but he started to try and roll. Luckily my brain engaged in time and I made a flying leap to the right. I scrabbled to my feet and chased him up. He's absolutely fine, not colicky, just disrespectful of that fact that we were working and I was telling him what to do. This got my back up today and I was determined to have him paying attention by the end of our session. Rolling when he's supposed to be working is an absolute no-no, but exactly what I'd expect from him!

I really ought to take some video, as I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm over-riding him or being harsh. Feel and contact are two of the pieces of the puzzle which are only just starting to fall into place for me.

Anyway, a garbled post but I'm feeling better. Thanks for the collective kick up the bahookie ;)

Monday, 18 January 2010

I give up

I really do. I think I've had enough now. Tonight's session in the school was just the cherry on the turd. My riding has reached a plateau, it's never really gotten beyond the very basics I started with, and it's not good enough for this horse. I'm sick of his temper tantrums and I'm sick of my crying.

This is me throwing in the towel :(

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Sense of humour FAIL

It happened as I was battling up to the yard. I've been donning various boots for the past month, owing to the snowy weather, and just really, really wanted to wear comfy trainers. Sadly the only trousers I had were denim flares so I figured I'd get wet ankles. I didn't mind that, I'm just happy to have feeling in my toes again!

The track up to the yard is knobbled ice with a torrent of water running down it. I had the choice of walking on that (impossible) or in ankle-deep puddles (impassible) or along a super narrow grass slope which ran down to giant puddles of stagnant water. Each route being littered with dog crap in various stages of decomposition. My hood kept blowing down, my hair was across my face, my umbrella had folded several times to resemble a dead seabird and the wind was not aiding me in maintaining balance over the icy path I'd chosen to walk in trousers wet up to my knees and soaking feet :( I cracked, I ended up in furious, sobbing tears. They didn't stop when I saw that there was a river running along the wrong side of our fenceline and said fencing was down in several places, containing only one horse. As usual, it wasn't my horse!

I eventually calmed down, but not before I had to change into dry socks and my jods (I am so happy I had the foresight to leave a change of clothes at the yard!). Not easy when you are cold and wet-legged and hopping in your knickers on a sloped cobbled floor.

I may also have had a little Basil Fawlty moment with the brolly which made me feel a lot better, it's now in the bin!

Fin was an utter fairy to bring in, couldn't possibly face into the wind and rain to come in. He was stood in a corner sheltering, Quadi had stepped over the fence and was grazing in the middle of the field, braced against the elements.

Both boys caught, I left them to drip off in their rugs and eat some hay in their stable, whilst I went to the field armed with a barrow and spade. Now that the snow's almost gone we can't really slide the gate open and closed for all the sodden poop on the hardstanding. I scraped two barrows-worth up, it's the best I could do. It's really bugging me how much poop is lying around, I'm hoping I can start to pick it out once the weather dries up. Wishful thinking I think...

Now that I was calm, having partaken in a little manual labour, I fed two very keen ponies and fussed over Quadi. I disinfected all his feet, put conditioner in his mane (it's really growing!) and gave him a rub over with a massage brush. And finished off with some stretches, which he was pleased about as some of them involved sweeties. He's looking good, I was admiring his neck today. Not too bad for a horse barely working! And I got some cuddles from him, all is well with the world :)

I'm weighing myself tomorrow *sigh* I bought clothes today and only one item fits, so lots of returning to do tomorrow. It's a question of proportions, I'm a really odd shape and therefore must look odd in ill-fitting clothing. Never mind, with the money I've not spent on clothing, I bought 40 tall electric fenceposts tonight. Partly so that we can finally make the fencelines safe to give the boys the entire field, and partly for introductions when Espresivo joins the herd from St Piran's in March :D

There, I vented, I feel better, they were hardly big problems anyway! Hoping for better weather tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Life gets in the way

Only a little bit of course, nothing major, but it other factors have prevented me from seeing Quadi this week. We can't get them out of the field or along the track until the ice thaws a little more, so there's only really feeding and checks to do, which Kate's been doing. But I could use a smooch or two from a fuzzy muzzle. I'd even settle for a sugarbeety snuffle through my hair!

We're buying a second-hand Equissage(sp?), I think it's the hand-held version. Kate's friend is bringing it over this weekend to demostrate it, I think Quadi might be borrowed for a hack in exchange for the free massage *lol* Our physio has one and said they're great to have, so she can demo it to us too.

I am looking into indoor climbing. Not because I want to or because I'll especially enjoy it, but it'll improve my core and upper body and it's indoors so I don't have to worry about catching pneumonia in the wet and wind for a change! Apparently to go bouldering I only need a pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag. Plus it's cheaper than the proper climbing wall. The centre is only a little while away from work, a ten minute walk at most, so I can go at lunchtimes when I'm there.

I must be mad, my muscles will ache!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Working off the Christmas excess

Tonight was my first poledance class since before Christmas. The last set I only got to do one class before being sent offshore. This time I hope I'll be here for most of the block of six. I'm in the most experienced group, we are split off into groups of similar abilities, but I'm definitely the worst amongst us! I'm tall and heavy, and the others are small and petite. Even my friend, who isn't that much shorter than me, is much, much better because she's super-fit. I feel like Megatron next to them all. A very ungainly Megatron! I don't normally stick at things I'm not good at, save horses, so I did a little pouting tonight at my lack of prowess!

I need to work on my fitness and upper body strength, so am thinking about going climbing...!

I didn't ride on Sunday, got rather too engrossed in a visit to a friend's horse and then ran out of time. Sadly now that it's raining the snow is turning to a slick of wet ice so the boys might be field-bound for a few days until it clears. Then we'll have mud! I've been doing some preemptive hoof spraying as I know Quadi will be up to his knees in a bog before long and then we'll have the horsey equivalent of trenchfoot on our hands.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A long week!

I didn't really feel like blogging this week, lots to do and not enough time. The temperatures have been dipping down to as low as minus 20C overnight where we keep the boys. Sometimes we find them with icicles in their ears, frozen whiskers and stiff rugs, but they seem happy to be out as long as they have hay and water :)

I got a call from Kate on Tuesday to say that Quadi came in on three legs, but she didn't want to call until she'd had a look at him. No heat in his leg, no swelling, but a really stinky foot! Seems underneath his frog had gotten infected. The frogs on his hinds have looked 'turgid', for want of a better description, for a while. He's usually more stoic with abscesses and the like, but infections in his feet are, according to Quadi, crippling. Kate soaked his foot and removed the icky frog and he walked out to the field feeling better already. I'm just grateful it wasn't a busted tendon or ligament, by comparison abscesses and infections get two thumbs up!

I stuck to physio stretches in the stable for the next couple of days, he's tight around the shoulder in his off-fore. Our equine bodyworker, Liz Briscoe, is coming to see the boys between 16th and 20th. Both boys are overdue a visit from Liz and Quadi now finds the whole process very relaxing.

We went up a few night later to find Quadi resting the OTHER hind! Same thing as the other foot only not nearly as bad. All taken care of now and am back to disinfecting his feet with a spray of iodine and hydrogen peroxide until further notice.

Since he's returned to soundess we went for a hack this afternoon as the sun was setting. Quadi seemed happy to lead apart from when people appeared on the horizon, but he's improved greatly in his confidence. We had a couple of cheeky canters, and apart from my not having too much in the way of brakes he was fantastic. There were a few fallen branches and trees which Fin didn't want to go over or through, whereas Quadi set his ears back, stuck out his chest and cleared a path. Of course we both got covered in snow in the process, I took several tree branches to the face and we got a little lost in the dark with only headtorches and the snow for guidance. A great hack, I laughed so much I was in tears :D Hopefully more of the same tomorrow, and I'll be better about keeping my blog up-to-date.

Monday, 4 January 2010

I'll huff and I'll puff

I was fortunate enough to get a lift from my Dad (aren't parents fab?!) today. He and Mum were most cheered when they dropped me off, to see Quadi having a good old roll in the field. Mum knew he had a brand new rug and thought it typical he was trying to get it dirty *lol*

The boys were funny about being caught, because I checked their water before putting on headcollars they were most put out and wandered off. I'm not too offended ;) I think their little herbivore brains were confused...

Quadi was weight-bearing on his hind so I decided to do some physio stretches with him, to decide whether he'd be ok for a mooch in the forest. He was a very good boy, and seemed evenly supple in all stretches for his hinds. I also massaged his backside, all seemed loose and couldn't find any knots. Kate said when she prodded the inside of his right thigh yesterday he winced, but not for the left side. He didn't react at all today. I also did some foreleg stretches, and he was tight in his right shoulder. Need to email his sports massage therapist, I think both boys are overdue an appointment. Not that Fin is showing signs of tightness, but it's always good to check your pony is unknotted.

Since he was weight-bearing and striding evenly I thought it would be ok for a controlled wander in the forest, taking care over the terrain. My feeling is that getting the muscle warm and stretched would be beneficial.

Kate and I thought it would be good to swap mounts :D I rode Fidget-Bum Fin (who finds standing for girth and stirrup adjustments most bothersome!) and Kate rode Fatso Forgotso Quadi. And set him in the lead early on. He was much better with her on board, he takes a lot of confidence on her. She asked for his attention and a soft jaw. Whilst most people fixate too much on head position, for Quadi it's crucial that he is not going along upside down and asking him to soften brings his back up and lowers his haunches, all good work for him. Fin had been worked for two days in a row so we had minimal jigging except in places he thought would be really good for a canter.

Quadi did throw a strop down one of the tracks. Kate could feel him tense up, as if he were getting ready to stop. She pushed him on but he slammed on the anchors. Couldn't possibly take a step further and she was being most unreasonable to even ask, such an imposition on a little horse. It's like he wants to take charge but loses his bottle. And he likes to have an tussle, we figure it's worked for him so many times he'll probably never get out of the habit. I know he'll grow to be an old rogue from the middle-ages rogue he is at the moment.

He decided that he could only go backwards and I employed our previous tact of walking Fin away, which inspired forwards momentum from Quadi. When he wouldn't walk past Fin he tried to go back again, so Kate walked him backwards in the direction we wanted him to go in. Everyone else was calm except Quadi, he got so cross about being out-foxed, then he went in the lead and was totally relaxed. Funny horse. He planted a couple more times but was easy to ask forwards. I think some solo hacks are in order to build his confidence in both me and himself.

I am a little creaky after today. My right knee and hip are sore. I need to get in the school and work on my position. It's hard to tell because when I'm cold it's tricky to relax (excuses excuses) so I think it's hard to just let go and let the horse move me. I am in need of some thermals!

All in all a great day with the boys, I probably won't get back in the saddle till next weekend as I'm back in the office. Boo!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Today...Naughty Ponies!

Last night I had to call my Dad to come and collect me as the bus drove right past me(!), so I was left stood next to a dual carriageway in the dark as the temperatures reached minus six! I will be calling them on Tuesday morning to voice my concerns against the driver!

Because of that, and the fact that it snowed again overnight, I elected to stay home and search for cars for sale online, in the hope that I could find some cars locally to go and look at. Nothing fancy, just something which costs less than four figures with an MOT. Sadly there is nothing to be found up here but there are some cars further south which will warrant further queries. If there are enough cars still for sale as next weekend approaches I'll be going on a road trip!

I don't need a car, but I'm heartily sick of being cold and paying a fortune to catch buses that are never on time.

Onto the naughty ponies! Yesterday I had to follow our electric fenceline to remove snow and frost from the tape as it was sagging. In some places, it was sagging to the floor! With their hay and water within the confines of their mini-paddock, the boys have no need to test the fence or to try and leap it!

Kate called me today to say that she arrived at the yard this morning to find only one horse in the field. The fence was down, the metal stake of one fencepost seemed to have snapped under the weight of snow. Quadi was up at the far fence line, where two of the mares are. Two real sweet girlies with eyes for our boys but Quadi has a habit of striking out with his front legs and the fence between them is barbed. We weren't quite at the point of hot-taping all the no-go areas as Quadi is still on restricted paddock rest. I guess he didn't listen to the vet! Anyway, no harm done but I'll have to get some more tall posts bought PDQ. Our intention was to tape off the the fencelines we didn't want them chatting over, but Quadi was obviously feeling impatient ;)

Fin was the horse remaining in the field. What is very funny is that Kate discovered two sets of hoofprints leaving the field, and one set returning. Fin was stood as if butter wouldn't melt, looking horrified at how naughty Quadi had been to leave the field, and wasn't he a good boy for staying put *lol*

Quadi's still resting the hind leg but only when Kate is looking at him, and he will weight-bear onto it. Hopefully tomorrow he'll be feeling better still :)

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Gimpy Ponies

Fin on the left, Quadi's on the right. The latter's grumpy face greeted us at the gate this morning. Don't think he was too thrilled about being made to wait! He had snow on his back and snow in his tail but was toasty warm under his rug, so I didn't feel sorry for him :p

There had been a fair bit of snow overnight, perfect footing for a hack :) So off we set! Both felt like they had the wind up their kilts, they were generally good but spooking at silly things. Fin was jigging which was flinging snow from his feet up to his belly, causing him to jig more, and so on, and so on! Quadi started out well, leading when needed but when both boys started getting a little fruity he had his stubborn head on. Trying to canter and buck behind Fin, and then refusing to lead. Because I'd asked him to go in front and he'd refused I had to see it through. I hadn't set out to have a battle with him but it's not a good idea to give in to him because asking a 12 year old horse who CAN lead isn't traumatic like he makes it out to be!

I asked him to pay attention to me with a soft mouth, not to gaze around us and not to stick his ears up my nose. I managed to get him to move a step sideways into my open hand, and then step sideways in the other direction, under Kate's instruction. As she said, and I agree, sometimes it's just a case of unlocking the feet and obtaining motion. He reverted to his favourite response of backwards backwards backwards, but every time he did that Kate took Fin forwards, which mean the friend he was trying to hard to stick to was getting further away. Hoomins 1 - Quadi - 0!

Eventually Fin ended up round the corner out of sight and suddenly Quadi wanted very much to walk forwards, imagine that! I wouldn't say I was truly successful in educating my horse but I did manage to obtain a soft contact with forward motion, his attention on me and no teddies being thrown anywhere! I did have to nag for it. We're pretty much back at square one with him and I wasn't physically or mentally prepared, as such, for this little 'session' with him but I didn't give in and the only person not being calm was Quadi!

When we went up one track towards home, I got Quadi in front. Fin was cantering at our walking pace behind (they were taking turn about to be loonies!) and Quadi felt very 'up'. He was in my hand and his back was right up, but I thought he was just preparing for a buck...which turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Locking my seat + defensive riding = a stroppy buck but it wasn't malicious, I don't blame him really. I should have accepted his mouth and his back more graciously, and I guess when your buddy is behind you doing his best airs a little buck isn't terrible...

Because of one spook whilst we were out, Quadi skidded out his off-hind and I thought he felt funny after it but he wasn't lame and was striding evenly, tracking up, etc. When rasping his feet after our ride he wasn't putting weight on that leg. He's not lame on it and our horse physio happened to visit and she said to see how he looks tomorrow. Fingers crossed it's just a silly sprain, I imagine it's like when we jerk our backs on ice when we slip. Even if you don't fall you can tweak muscles.

So no riding for me tomorrow, but a chance to do some physio stretches whilst Fin goes out to play :)

Friday, 1 January 2010

Fuzzy around the edges

Me and Quadi both!

Me because I was up till 4am drinking lethal cocktails and jumping around like a loon playing Singstar. This despite numerous repeated protests that I hate karaoke, so I must have been very drunk indeed! Well, I know I was, since I had to have a little disco nap after midnight, thus giving me a second wind for more drinking. Very Bad Idea.

And Quadi because he's just a woolly little bean! I bought him a new rug today and I'm very pleased with it, he looks cute as a button in his new jacket :) I didn't take a photo of him in it today because I still wasn't firing on all cylinders when I went up to feed the pair of them. I just couldn't cope with doing more than I absolutely had to! If the weather stays agreeable I'll hopefully get a hack in tomorrow.

Thanks to Kate making me a fried egg sammich this afternoon when we all got up, and my Mum's beautiful roast dinner this aft, I'm feeling human. Such a waste of a day though, I hate feeling too rotten to do anything. Glad it's only once a year *lol*