Thursday, 9 July 2015

Day 187 - 190: One year on, Oscar connects and Shabby actually show-jumps, lovely meals out and breakfast in the sun :)

187: Monday

Filming lessons for training feedback is useful for sure but there is also a fun factor to all the footage when you put some clips together and look back at the journey you have undertaken.

Today, I run an anniversary lesson for one of the riders and it is so rewarding to look back over all the little steps that has taken us to this day.

The full story is on Aspire blog here (ONE YEAR ON: From a very nervous beginner rider to 12 months later…) but here is a video itself:





188: Tuesday

Busy day today but fairly easy on commute front as I am being picked up and dropped off by my fab clients.
Oscar works the best he has ever done. He and his owner, Paige, did a Cancer Research UK sponsored ride on Sunday raising almost £1k with a few friends so I pop his pink bandages on to keep up with the theme and add some of my weekly schooling fee to the charity pot.
He is a little tense and distracted to start with so I do an extended in-hand session with him (normally do about 10 minutes but end up on about 25 today). Finally he stops watching the Horse & Country TV (as I call his observations of all the fields surrounding the arena) and I know I have his attention 100%. He is so relaxed he starts to snort and breather out pretty much from the moment I get on board, have a very nice first trot and feels more in control of his body. He definitely loves his outings!

The most exciting moment is when he finally trusts me with the bit and lets himself relax into it. He gives me the feeling of connection for the first time and we spend a few minutes in the connected bubble.


He still takes a moment to truly believe he can relax into a better posture and stay in balance but it is always such a pleasure to feel that all the patience was worth it and the horse comes to the contact and lets you ride him as a whole.

My today's riders do equally great work, I challenge them and we have a good day.





I hurry back home, have a quick shower, change into a dress and pop out for a lovely meal with Rick and his mum. I am so hungry by the time we sit to the table that the food tastes divine ;)

I go for Gnochi and pesto, ricotta cheese and some veggies etc which all together are just wonderful.



189: Wednesday

Today is my usual day at Brackenhill Stud and again one of my lovely riders picks me up and I start my first lesson at 9.30ish am and then carry on until 8pm ;)

The jockey and the ex-racehorse has made some great progress grin emoticon Some superb work today, great to see how a little patience can go a long way...Fig is a very distracted type of horse but when he enjoys his work he visibly changes, relaxes and his concentration is all of a sudden not so much of an issue. Never a saying that "good, patient training can solve most of the problems" been truer than when working with horses like him... 

finishing touches on Andrew's Start Programme - he was having to space out some of his 12 Start sessions so a few more to go before we move up to Foundation Programme smile emoticon


For Shabby we do the warm up that gets best results so far - move him sideways until he discovers his body is indeed connected ;) We do leg yield to shoulder-in to "half-pass" (which I call Sha-pass in my mind because it's not quite what would pass in dressage as a true half-pass). Even though highly imperfect, the action of "having a go" at it alone makes Emma more in charge of each part of Shabby's body (as well as her own) and he somewhat seems to enjoy trying to organise his little legs and his brain. 

We do all this in walk only for about 20-25 minutes.

The effect: even in both reins and happy to stretch through the top line like after no other work. We follow this with forward, stretchy trot on circles and serpentines, get his pelvis to rock a little and all the muscles to stretch gently and become more mobile. 

Once he looks cat-like in his movement rather than wooden like he can sometimes, we proceed with canter work and jumping. 

Today, I can safely say he is spectacular. He answers every question I ask him and Emma through simple but demanding jumping exercise and we get to the point when Emma can soften her hands, stop holding him back and take off without undue stress. 

He rewards us by showing us that his forearms can indeed bend and his cannons can indeed tuck under. Even though I know this exercise should work in theory and have seen it work with many jumpers before, I am still in awe at how much a horse with dangling front legs can alter his technique if rider's way of riding and quality of canter is tweaked....


You can never tell a chestnut mare!! wink emoticon Loving working with this pair, few months on and this young rider is making some great changes to her seat and handling of her sensitive mare.

A delightful, late evening session with dancing Freddie and Lou grin emoticon
A couple of other horses in between and I am again having a lift back home, just in time for an express change into non-horsey life and another lovely meal with Rick and his Mum.
We have a glass of wine afterwards and as I barely drink nowadays I am semi-comatose by the time I hit the pillow and I sleep like a baby until the morning ;)

Day 190: Thursday

A much needed rest day today with yummy breakfast in the sun at 10am after a nice little lie in.


We may have indulged a little when it comes to sweet stuff!

Resting, dog sitting, catching up with emails etc :)

Wx


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