Saturday, 2 January 2010
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 :)