Friday, 7 May 2010

Sharp Days

Pic. Kingsley having a thorough groom by Pauline

Yesterday I had an unexpected day off, I could have probably arranged for some last minute work but decided to give my body a bit of a rest. It was good to settle all the aches and pains that creep up when you go on for several months without a recovery time.
I spent most of my day putting together all the notes for the Academy. What's left of it was designated for sleeping and catching up with some reading. Oh, and Badminton watching!
Thanks to variety of free media I had a look at some of the xc rounds and I was impressed with how quick off the floor Spring Along was. I re-watched it a few times, he made it look so easy.

Back to work today and it was fairly hard day as the horses are in love with new grass. The latter is on the mission to grow in the farthest ends of the paddocks and as a result my knee wasn't impressed with couple of hours of walking behind 30 horses.

Kingsley is lame again. He trotted on the lunge so unlevel I had to stop him. Vet saw him today and he has a splint bone forming on inside of the right fore cannon - the leg he is lame on. He can be ridden in walk and lunged in walk but as he is feeling rather well and bolshy I very much doubt much walk will happen...Either way, we have to wait until it stops bothering him....which can be anything from a month to a year. Loving this little horse, really do, might be able to do a Vet Degree on him alone if he keeps going on.

Pic. Kingsley (left) and Frank (right) waiting for the work time.

Frankie was very good today. I have changed what I do with him slightly and we are now focusing on him staying in walk most of the time. When he has a fright I bring him back to walk as soon as I can. It worked really well today, we had a 20 minutes walk with maybe 3-4 panikcy gallops (as oppose to 30 odd before) which lasted 3 laps the most so a massive improvement. His entire outline relaxed too and his tail finally went up to a normal position instead of staying in between his legs most of the time.

Pic. : Tired Venus back in her stable after antics on the lunge.

I also worked Venus, the mare, for the first time today. She's a 6 year old by The Star Of Orion (funnily enough a Trakehner stallion bred in Poland in famous Liski Stud). On paper she is bred really well but the stallion has apparently a bit of a reputation of breeding opinionated, sharp offspring...
Well, Venus is certainly making sure this reputation carries on.
Considering it was her first go on the lunge and she is sharp and cocky, I was pleased with her. She properly tested me though and if I didn't have gloves my hands would be in shreds. After 10 minutes of quite impressive stand ups and fly bucks (she can also buck while pushing herself backwards which looks like a rein back with a buck thrown in for a good measure) she settled and lunged reasonably well.
I know her a little from handling her so decided not to put a bridle on and lunged off a cavesson only to make sure I didn't hurt her mouth. Freshly raked arena looked like someone had used as a gallop track.
From what I could see, Madam has a very well balanced, correct canter and a good walk. Trot is avarage but nice and correct. I will video her next time as today she didn't leave me much free time ;)
Life as a riding horse is pretty scary for Venus so I took her to a wash down area (very scary), told her to stand in there (mega scary). Boots on all fours (dreadful, tantrum). It's like dealing with a 3 year old.

In many ways working with these horses is good because it sharpens my own reactions and thinking. Most of my teenage riding/handling experiences were with stallions and fit, competition horses which teaches you to be vigilant and keep your wits about you. However, recent 7 years around horses that you can sit on the ground with while putting bandages on has made me very, very complacent!

I'm pretty sure Frank and Venus will see to my horse behaviour education ;)
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