Not a great day mostly spent on crunching numbers. I sometimes laugh that I take the serious parts of life like a dog - one day at a time and enjoy the hell out of it. My more life-planning side has to be brought up artificially. I literally have to make an appointment with myself the dog-personality and myself the responsible-adult-that-will-not-be-able-to-work-forever.
We meet and we chat.
- What's the problem? - the dog says - aren't you enjoying your days?
- Yes very much so - the adult says - but what contingency plan do you have?
- Uhm, well...might get run over tomorrow or killed by a horse, who needs that plan!
- No. You do need it. You will enjoy building everything further knowing it has a future ahead.
- Yes. You are right of course.
- Ok, so let's look at the numbers.
So we look and we analyse and we reflect. I don't mind changes, they are part of my life all the time. I end up with a massive headache but I know it's necessary. Standing still is not an option.
My mind is still in yesterday's mode but thankfully the option of a hack out presents itself and we go out instead of doing a training session in the arena. The weather is delightful, everything in abundance, including flies that make lives of the horses a little twitchy! It's good to hit the fields and I feel the stress evaporating slowly, mixing with a little breeze, a creative chat with my rider and warm sun rays on my back.
I have an interesting ride on Oscar. He seems to misinterpret my questions which baffles me a great deal. It's hot and I am not in the greatest form but his answers are so random I walk for a minute and have a think.
He doesn't do anything bad, but it feels like when you write on a computer you don't know and someone swapped all the keys around ;)
I decide to push on anyway and even though we continue chatting different languages I praise him a lot when we meet half way and work him quite hard. He steps up to the challenge and settles a little.
Most horses ask for a stretch when worked harder but Oscar always hesitates. I go until he really wants to release and when he does, make much of him and call it a day. There is always another day.
I start the day with my Start Programme rider and we focus the session on simple transitions. How to do them via passive resistance from seat and for the reins to be a finishing touch. He does very well.
Then I teach a young girl on an ex racehorse who travelled around the world to places I only read on Google ;) I've been teaching this pair for several weeks now and the girl has built a really wonderful partnership with this horse. We are working on her Pony Club horse trials test in preparation for the event she is doing at the weekend.
I particularly like how calm she is with all the corrections, I know many adult riders who don't have half of her patience! Really great to see such maturity in a teenage rider.
Then it's Merehead. He is working very well despite having a bit on/off training due to his exploits in the field. He is now sound and back in full work. His attitude is superb today.
Onto my jockey-to-event-rider aka JTE and Emma with her secret weapon - Nordic Run :) His canter transitions are becoming more and more civilised and he has some real moments of brilliance in his trot work. He loves licking his lips and I wonder what judges will make of that. I have never seen another horse doing that ever, he literally licks his lips like a dog and carries on ;)
I put JTE on the lunge and do various funny coordination exercises. She is a perfectionist. I like that but I know it can be a burden too so we keep things light, educational and purposeful.
We then go through her BE100 dressage test in preparation for her event on Sunday. The horse is very talented OTTB but is most settled when he can lean on the bit a little so I let her ride him slightly on the forehand which keeps him more relaxed and confident. Once JTE builds confidence in her ability we will get him out of this habit.
Next is Shabby and we focus on his confidence and Emma's eye for a stride with him.
I set a simple grid in a way that I can take the placing poles away until there is only one at 3 or 4 strides away from the jump.
Shabby's erratic canter makes striding difficult but overall he jumps well and Emma have some half halts there.
We experiment and decide to ride all canter in light seat pretty much up to the take off. We find that he quite likes it.
She makes me laugh when Shabby gets excited on the right rein and they miss the stride to the first placing pole.
- The pole was not on my stride - she says. We joke about it since it's a opposite way of seeing it. You would always say, I/horse was not on the right stride.
I tell her to put those poles and jumps on her stride. She does very well. I wish I could watch them competing this Saturday but have lessons commitments so I will just keep everything crossed for them at a distance.
He stretches well in trot afterwards and I feel like it was a good session for him. He is tired but content.
I arrive back home just after 7pm and enjoy the new fast internet connection in a semi comatose state.
Day off running about ;) I sleep/snooze until 9am and then some more snoozing/reading on the sofa. I think my fringe is growing wild, I feel like a sheepdog. Thankfully, I am having it cut back next week ;)
It's a hot day today so I have an iced green tea with mint and yes it is as deliciously refreshing as it sounds.
Until next time!