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!