Monday, June 16, 2008

Manu & the Inter II

This last weekend I once again hosted Manuela McLean from Melbourne. She arrived with some more tools up her sleeve and gave us plenty to work on – she needed to as she is not back for 3 months as she has a trip scheduled to the Equitation Symposium in Dublin and then a stop off at the Olympics on the way home – all right for some! Des got better and better as we worked on sharpening his responses to the aids and Gosh had his best lesson yet, helped in no small part by a tweak in my position that I will be working on studiously to programme into my muscle memory – both on the horses and off it with my Pilates instructor.
Yesterday Gosh had his first ever Inter II start, just at a local Training day. It was purely a ‘hack through’ on our part – just to find out how he coped with the additional pressure at this level and whether he would perform the movements one after the other and in the ring when it matters. Despite it being a low level show I still plaited and turned out to the best of my ability (even put the flash new saddle blanket on complete with sponsors logos!) although I did leave the top hat and tails at home… Gosh came through with flying colours – his piaffe and passage, extensions and half passes being the highlights. Plenty to go on with and I’m looking forward to riding the test again in a months time at a similar day.

The boys have today off, the weather is grey, I’ve got a million inside things to do and the fencers have been here all morning putting in the poles for a new arena mirror – can’t wait!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's all good!

Yesterday I had the team from Vet Equine come out and check Gosh over. The swelling had almost completely gone but I just wanted to check that everything was OK. Can't be too careful I say! Pete Gillespie was extremely thorough and scanned both front legs and found no tendon damage at all. Great news; the best guess is that he simply knocked it and being so full of feed the leg just filled. No need to stay off him, in fact the movement would be good for it so back to work it is. In saying that I have decided just one lesson with Bill this weekend... I had hoped to ride him quietly at home this afternoon but a southerly downpour has put paid to that idea - I melt in the rain!
I took Des (Da Vinci) along for a lesson with Bill today and he was completely awesome. Bill is fantastic with getting me to push the envelope that bit more. Today we really had Des up and humming and there was one medium trot where his back came up and he just flew. This horse has incredible movement and the most relentless rhythm. It is so very exciting to ride. Bill was laughing at me - he said 'just think, one day you're going to have to sit to that!' My pilates instructor is certainly going to have her work cut out for her achieving that much spinal mobility. A great day out, even if it did start out with him on tippy toes and snorting - he thought the rugby being played in the main oval a ridiculous thing to do!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Good news and...

Des (Da Vinci) had his first public outing at the weekend and behaved impeccably for the whole day. A big day out for him – first day out on his own, the local German Shepard club was there with multitudes of barking dogs and loud speakers, he tied to the truck, was ridden with others… Despite all the distractions and the fact I rode very quietly, just there for the experience, he was easily the nicest there and scored 75%. Can’t wait to take him out properly now! Will still do things very quietly – he’ll have another couple of these schooling shows and won’t do anything official until at least October.
On the other news front Gosh is having a couple of days off with a filling in his leg - not sure why as there is not a mark on him and he is completely sound but will stay off his back until it clears completely. Have been using the 'Back on Track' wraps on him with remarkable results - first time I've tried them and have to say I'm wholeheartedly impressed. He is a horse that benefits from a few days off here and there so no drama there, just hope he is right for lessons with Bill this weekend, lessons with Manu next week and possibly our first Inter II start next weekend... there is always another show but the trainers are never here as often as I'd like!