Hurrah I’ve now almost beaten this coldbug! I think it’s down to the fresh air and horses myself lol!
The horses have been enjoying a few evenings in due to the cold snap we are currently going through, much to my displeasure at the additional stable duties, as I’m trying to hold out bringing them in until the end of Nov (evil mum) – to try to toughen them up a bit!
They all seemed pleased to be in which did make me happy…until the following mornings when I see the catastrophe that was Bobs stable each morning!! I swear he is part Warthog, I mean why trash your stable to the extent he does? I swear he thinks it’s a game and he has to top the previous evening grrr its going to be an expensive winter! Autumn’s was fairly tidy, but the she devil Aria – well she is a pleasure to muck out only using one area, and her bedding remains beautifully clean. I think she needs to have a chat with her next door neighbour and give him some cleanliness tips!
We have been doing some more schooling at home this week as I’ve wanted to do a bit more flatwork with Autumn to increase her flexibility. She definitely is progressing and it helps with her being a bit fresh after being stabled as she’s quite forward going but very responsive so definitely making progress. Still not much outline though which is frustrating but she is moving correctly which is the main thing. Autumn is out jumping this Saturday at the college – I am hoping we will not part company during any of our rounds as I could really do with a week off injury or illness!
After our amazing win at Moulton, Bob has been on jump duty to try and improve our technique after last weeks speed rounds that he flew through!! We’ve started off with cross poles, progressing to straight bars and this is definitely a technique that helps keep him calm - he seems to like to build up to get confident. We had a bit of rushing from excitement but no crazy flat out gallop to the fences which was a relief! I’m gradually going to increase the number of fences in the arena so he doesn’t panic when there’s more than two! I would love to do grid work too but our arena is quite small so we would struggle with his striding – so keeping my eyes peeled for any clinics coming up.
Bob had his saddle fitting the other day which was very positive, the saddle he currently has is the perfect width and tree for him which is great, the only issue is a bit of muscle wastage at the front due to pinching (before we changed the gullet) and luckily its easily (and cheaply – to the relief of my other half) rectifiable with the addition of a front riser pad for 8 weeks until the muscle and top line is redeveloped! I was a bit disappointed at not needing a new saddle but also relieved as I am used to my existing one and feel confident in it, so at least I don’t have to spend time tweaking stirrups and getting my position stable in a new saddle! Plus we are out to a qualifier on Sunday and I really didn’t fancy jumping in a saddle I had only had for a few days!
We did also discussed Bob’s breastplate, he has only worn one really as the previous people advised he required one. It did help initially with the head tossing and throwing his head up when I first got him, but in the last year to me it’s just been additional tack I’ve not wanted/needed. We adjusted the saddle and didn’t put the breastplate on, and I have to say Bobs never gone so well, we jumped too and even the fitter seen when I asked him by voice only to ‘woah’ on approach to the fence…. He did!! No rein contact needed, and a nice jump completed. It’s such a relief to know he is more comfortable and also to have a professional to talk to and bounce ideas off as to what would be best for the horse as well as suiting the rider, such minimal changes can make such a difference – but we don’t always see it when dealing day to day with our horses! Looks like I will be buying him a couple of new saddle pads at Your Horse Live – will have to have a think on the best colours for the cheeky chap!