This week is going to be busy so I am making a plan for each day today. I know I probably won't have the time to blog daily and publish straight away as I have some serious amount of brain storming to do in the evenings for a new project. Mostly rest day for me today.
It's 21C and it's misting today. I am not sure if anyone who has not lived in the UK can appreciate how unusual of a weather condition this is but for someone like me, who grew up knowing rain as a generally wet, soggy condition (with a drizzle being the gentlest option), I just can't get enough of this misting thing! I love the damn thing!
It reminds me of a very fine plant sprinkler my Grandfather used to use on his tomatoes that he grew in a greenhouse (I don't actually know if you are supposed to sprinkle tomatoes as they grow but I am still alive after eating the sprinkled ones so it definitely doesn't cause them to become poisonous ;) )
Anyway. It's misting and the morning training goes fabulous. I am introducing trot poles to Nigel and he rides very well today with more canter work than we have done so far. We have the use of the large arena which lets the rider cover decent amount of ground before having to turn (the arena takes in some three times 20 x 40 dressage arena easily) so it's much easier for Nigel to maintain the canter. Percy the horse is a gem too.
Back home, I have a few things to write, one of them being a review of a fantastic book I have just finished reading. The publisher and the author sent me a copy of the book for review and to offer as a give-away if I wished so that's what I decided to do.
You can read the review here (but it's too late to enter the Give-Away, sorry!): https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/book-review-and-give-away-wordlwide-perfect-mind-perfect-ride-sport-psychology-for-successful-riding-by-inga-wolframm/
Today is an important day for Jasper who gets his feet assessed and his diet evaluated and tweaked by Kate from Stormybracken Hoofcare (if you follow my blog for a while you will have known Kate from my posts from a few years ago when she did the hooves of Kingsley and Pocholo; don't search for those now - I reverted most of them to drafts as converting all into a a little book).
Here are some snippets from Jasper's appointment:
Since I had a few riders having lessons before Kate was due to arrive, I suggested they stayed and learnt a little more about barefoot performance care (hence so many people surrounding Kate ;) ). There are so many horses out there that really don't need to be shod that the more people become educated about diet, exercise and management and their relationship with healthy hooves/healthy horse, the better.
The real life learning is always so much more educational and fascinating than studying books (although the latter is a good addition of course!).
Sad accent to the day - one of my riders is changing jobs and can no longer continue on the programme. I really hope she sorts her schedule out in near future with less traveling and comes back, I will miss her jolly presence dearly!
Very varied day today with some exciting developments in the pipeline of which I will no doubt write about on here.
Transition work trot-canter-trot for Shabby, which is his weakest link. He really tries his best as always. We are experimenting with various relaxation techniques with some marked results. One thing he does is dropping into trot rather than collect when Emma tries one of the release techniques we are testing. At first, I tell her to ask him to canter immediately after but the more I watch him the more I can see he is really trying to figure this thing out.
The less we chase after him if he drops into trot, the more he calms down in canter itself. I decide to give him a benefit of a doubt here, He is changing something, he is not ignoring the signals Emma is giving him, he just has not found the best answer yet. He is close though so we will continue with this work until he is calm enough that return to canter is less of a drama.
He is still too forward and too anxious in his canter work but although subtle, the changes are there and I adore him for trying. Emma does a great job staying calm and as emotionally neutral as she manages when difficult moments happen. Physical issues are one thing but mental power will eventually bring the best results.
Aimee The Jockey rides a lesson of her life I think and Fig goes the best he has yet. We work on bend and flexion which has a very good effect on both of them.
Fig starts to move in a much more natural, athletic posture rather than his usual "round neck and the rest of the body in the hammock" posture which I am loving to observe.
The next event for both horses is on Wednesday 22nd and I am looking forward to seeing the boys and girls in action!
Once I am done with all the lessons it's time for a little informal meeting to talk through a project we've been discussing for the last several weeks. We agree on a plan of action for the first phase of the project and I go home to work on it.
Admin day, nothing bloggable happens and I can't yet tell you about the project on which I focus today. Patience needs to be employed ;)
I can tell you that part of the project demands a video script so I am browsing various videos and making notes for our own.
I start the day with two adorable little girls who are now positively pony mad! The morning comes and goes, I then teach Mairi, Eve and Moira. Eve starts her equine course in college in September so I am upping the intensity of her training so she gathers as much as possible of the feel and skills before she moves away to Norfolk. With Mairi the challenge is also up as I want to move her up a level in a few months and onto a share of Oscar whom I have been schooling this year. They both should be ready for each other around October time.
Moira gets a pole work challenge to continue improving and developing her balance and confidence in her seat. She does a great job, pole work is perfect for focus and accuracy.
As a side note, if you own a helmet by brand called KEP Italia, please do have read here: https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/kep-italia-buyer-beware/ One of my clients drew my attention to this incident and I was truly shocked reading it.
In pictures :)
|Relax. Oxford :)|