Sunday, 26 September 2010

Back To School

Man, I'm beat. I had to partake in a Sunday Sofa Siesta this afternoon.

I have a few horsey chores outstanding but i guess my travels are catching up with me. in fact, I know this is the case, because i'm grumpy and sore and tired! My first day mucking out took a toll on my unexercised muscles, having been sedentary for the best part of two months.

I did ride both boys tonight. Fin and I went along the road in the bright dusk light, fully geared in high-viz of course. He was lovely and relaxed on the way out, checking out his new surroundings. On the way back he was a little more curled, the cows were looking at him funny, or something *lol*

Fin was duly turned out after his leg stretch and I collected Quadi. The other two helpfully bounced and bucked and bronced as Quadi stood transfixed in the yard. They'd been quiet all day of course, sometimes I'm sure the Spanishees conspire against me! Quadi didn't seem keen on work but it's hard to read with him if he's just being pissy.

Either way, we set about the field. I've checked it over for rabbit holes, I know there are rabbits but don't want any broken fetlocks.

He was really very good indeed. As soon as my bum touched the saddle i had a huge grin on my face, it was great to be back on board. For the first few strides it was apparent he was more interested in his field-mates So i asked for his attention and some relaxation. This meant some vert big and open rein gestures. I did feel i was being rather 'handsy' with him, not strong or abrupt but I was aware i was overdoing the asks on the rein. None of this was in the vein of what i have been taught, nor what has been right for Quadi. But in the circumstances of a brand new yard, next to his fieldmates, in an open field, and my not having ridden for two months, I felt this kept us safe.

The open reins were great to establish bend and to stop giraffing and snooping around. I have to say, his attitude impressed me. He cracked on with our work without quibble or tantrum. I did feel him leaden in my right hand and fragile in my left, but he responded to my every aid.

I didn't want to ride for a long time. This is his new home and him being settled here is of prime importance, so I wasn't to be greedy and push for too much from Quadi, he is a delicate chap. I got about 20 minutes in but every one of those minutes was good :) Would i have been saying that a few months ago?! in any case, he's not fit so we're back to muscle-building basics.

i started out just asking for a slight flexion either left or right with the correspondingly correct carriage (ie. not star-gazing!), moving out in an active rhythm. Then we moved onto circling and shoulder-in, all the while i tried to give him room to lift his back. I didn't have it the whole time but a good proportion of our session, i'm pretty pleased! We also played a little with leg-yielding in and out on a circle, i switched between the two every few strides to keep Quadi from starting to lean on the hand. Weight in the right-rein aside, he was wonderfully responsive. i also schooled him a bit through the jumps set up in the field, and up and down the slope of the paddock.

He had a little moment when Fin and Coffee tried to rile him from the fenceline with their antics. He slowed, threw his head up and took a couple of steps sideways. I halted him and stroked his neck until the naughty PREs settled. Have to say how pleased i am at how he responded to me, I told him how good he was for standing still for me. Happy days with my handsome horse :)

I teased him into his stable, unheadcollared, with a small handful of The Baby's balancer. He came right in, so it can't be too scary. It's the biggest stable and just the same as the others. I wonder if perhaps he wind blows in differently or the view from the door casts a blind spot which makes him nervous? I hope in the next couple of weeks I can teach him it's a fine stable for him and a positive place to be.

Today we had sun and no wind, i don't think we'll be quite so lucky for the next few days!


  1. That sounds really good,your more dedicated than me riding two,I can barely manage one at the minute!:)))
    Polo certainly wouldnt be so good in an open field,on a new yard with his friends egging him on!

    Love the pics!

  2. Busy day. I'm impressed. I've been doing far too many sofa siestas myself, for no reason but that the sofa's there.

    Wishing you more good days in the saddle and the energy to do the work as well.

  3. Nicola, Quadi used to be terrible in open fields, still is given an inch of leeway ;)

    Jean, there's something so inviting about an empty and comfy sofa, in the post-lunch warmth of the afternoon, which is just irresistible *lol*