The Update ...
9th August 2014:
It has been a long time since my last blog so long I cannot even remember when it was. Well since then a lot has happened. Rosie’s progress was held up when she somehow bruised a tendon. The moment I noticed it I had it scanned just to be on the safe side. It was one of those oh my God moments, fingers and toes crossed! We sat outside the clinic like two worried parents lol! Luckily no damage but to be on the safe side she was box rested, walked in hand and then very gradually brought back into work.
Whether Rosie had been thinking a lot whilst on box rest I will never know but she came back into work with a new set of evasions, but hey that’s horses. I always think they go through various ‘Kevin’ phases and she definitely tried it on. Initially her left rein work was wonderful, so it came as quite a surprise when on the right rein she decided that hollowing and rushing AGAIN would be a good game and she was exceedingly good at this game! Twirling around with me helpless lol! We worked through that, it felt like it took forever but in fairness it was only a few days.
Then we were on the legacy arena and I decided to ask for my first canter, to my surprise she went off instantly with me giving the aid (bet you are thinking about time!) and saying Rosie canter on which she knows from the lunge work. We did this on both reins until she saw one of her field companions in the distance coming back from a hack and decided that it would be better to join her. She took off across the arena over the white kick boards and out of the exit, it was so funny that I wish someone could have filmed it. I was thrilled we were cantering but I did not expect that to happen. I will admit I felt like I had flies stuck to my teeth after that one!
With Rosie her evasions are always more in a schooling sense as opposed to bucking, shying or various other little things she could have done, and oh she can also passage when it is not asked for and feel like she is about to explode lol!
A few days later I took her onto the legacy arena again only to find that she had swopped sides i.e. her better left rein became not so good. She would exit through her outside shoulder hurtling sideways towards the kick boards. I took her onto the other arena and again she exited through her outside shoulder towards the railings. I tried the flexing her to the outside but the moment I got around the corner off she went again. Took her in the indoor school and all was back to normal so I thought it was nappy behaviour. I experimented by leaving the doors of the indoor open but at no point did she attempt to do it. Me being me thought, it must be me what am I doing wrong, where is that Simon when you need him lol!
To top it all the girls could not catch her in the field but I always could until one day I was putting her head collar on when her field buddies approached rather too close so I just put my hand up and with that Rosie took her head out of the head collar and was off like a rocket. Even when all the other horses were brought in she still would not let me catch her. We tried everything, thinking well if the worst comes to the worst she will have to stay out. My friend Ann even offered to turn her young horse who is Rosie’s field buddy back out again for the night, how kind is that!! Of course I would not do that so come what may I had to get her in. Simon had been away that week-end and upon his arrival home after an extremely long drive plus a very swollen ankle (another story) he had me to contend with saying I might be very late as I cannot catch Rosie’. He said ‘I am on my way’. When he got out of the car hobbling I felt terrible but he managed to get to the field with me walking behind him thinking like they do in the only way is Essex ‘nightmare’! He went into the middle of the field smacked the head collar on his thigh and sent Rosie away over and over again, she galloped around tail in the air but then must have thought this is too much like hard work so she stopped at the gate and allowed me to catch her. Made me think of Robert Redford in the Horse Whisperer, the only difference was he never hobbled lol!
Trouble was Rosie being Rosie every day thereafter she would canter a circle which got closer and closer to me and then she would go to the gate and let me catch her. Then the weather got hotter and hotter and with it came the horse flies, like kamikaze pilots in for the kill. Being near water they are always worse, even that did not stop Rosie from doing her little circle before being brought in from the field. Gradually she is getting better and only the other day I managed to walk straight up to her and put the head collar on even with one of her field buddies still with her!
At this point I did not want to hack her around the fields as not only do the horse flies love her but they also love me, I guess I have sweet blood lol! I took to lungeing her, which I enjoy and it gave me a chance to stop sweating like you see in cartoons. God I hate to sweat, you know when it trickles in your eyes and your hair sticks flat to your head especially a fringe. I felt like a lump of lard and good for nothing. On the up side the lungeing gave me a change to try and improve her canter.
It is only recently that the horse flies have abated to a degree, so I began hacking her around the paddocks. She is on her toes but again that is getting better. She does not need other horses around her for comfort and confidence as she is the one that is always striding out in front, they could go in the other direction and it would not bother her at all. It is nice though to go out with friends and chat, which is also good for the nerves lol! Interestingly we always think that horses must hack out as it is enjoyable for them but why is it they seem to give a big sigh of relief the moment they get home. I certainly enjoyed it and it gives Rosie something else to think about. It is not so much about getting her used to things as at Bury Farm they see everything anyway. I also schooled her in the field for a change of scene and she was very good.
Yesterday 2nd August was one of those perfect moments for me, she was fabulous to hack, striding out but less excitable and so I took her in the school for ten mins work and everything seemed back on an even keel, she was relaxed forward without rushing, stretching when I asked, and soft in the bridle and over her back, sheer bliss!! She is a tricky little mare, that whilst the kindest horse I have ever met she is just so dam clever, has an iron will and quite a character but I would not change her for anything. The only regret I have is that I wish I was a better rider but hey ho! I still have a tendency to tip a bit too far forward in the rising trot but it is difficult when the bottom of my spine is riddled with arthritis due to an old injury but excuses don’t get results, I just need to keep working harder. Then again the bond Rosie and I have is one that forgives on both sides or at least I like to think so in my pink world. She literally talks to me all the time; it is so sweet I could forgive her anything. As I have always said the whole point of having her was enjoyment, learning and not competitions or being a super dressage horse. She was my choice back then and no one else’s and I have not regretted it for a second. Having said that she is proving more and more that she is talented but either which way really does not matter at all. The most important thing is fun and the relationship.
I gave her the Monday off and schooled her today. I have never carried a whip as it was not needed plus she is not used to it so I decided today was the day to broach that. I did once try to get on her as most of us do with the whip in our hand. I won’t do that again lol!! My thoughts were ok I will leave it on the side and pick it up when and as I feel I need it. My schooling plan for today was to get her more engaged from behind. It is so important to have a plan, that way I don’t ride around aimlessly. I worked her on a loose rein first and did circles at each of the letters just guiding her with my legs, no rein contact. Once she was relaxed I began to put her together at the walk and work on walk halts, walk halts then when I felt I had a little softness and submission I went into the trot work, it was a good day, she was a super star and the whip did help. Tomorrow I am going to do some canter work but will still have a similar plan as the one I had today. Fingers crossed it all goes according to plan!!
Until next time, Gill and RosieB...