Friday, 1 May 2009

Dani's PMG fix!

Well the day didn't start too well with the key to Lizzie and April's field magically misplaced - we hunted high and lo as they solemnly looked on and it eventually turned up in my jodhpurs pocket - so we were late already but Charles refrained from mentioning the obvious cause!

Danni's session was at 4.0 pm today so we brought the TB mares, Dolly, Diva and Belle, in early from the weather, that had changed from early sunshine; to slight drizzle; to heavy rain; to an absolute torrent. Lizzie and April make use of their field shelter when the have had enough, so we knew they would be OK in our absence and Sooty had been out for a ride with Charles earlier in the day. Danni made use of our absence and the silence in the yard to settle down to sleep in a patch of poo, snoring exstacticaly, obviously deciding it must be a day off. No, No No chap get up!

So with Danni extricated from his nest of shavings wearing a natty pattern of stable stains it "only" needed a quick bath and mane plait to make him presentable for Peter. It was then that I noticed his brushing boots still floating around in a bucket of water and I had forgotten to transfer them to the washing machine let alone dry them, so he had to wear a very dirty daily set............and i went into the house to change....except i couldn't find my "best course" jodhpurs either so settle for a clean but faded pair with only a small hole which would be fine provided I didn't fall off. So we matched rather but Charles had applied a layer of hoof oil which did brighten things up a bit so we set up in the gathering rain or should I say wall of water for St Piran's.

A mare had just foaled there, so we would have to work outside but we were greeted by a happy, upbeat Peter and Danni did his best to strut his stuff for him despite the weather. i quickly showed walk trot and canter ( I definitely favour canter in bad weather to keep warm) and then Peter set us to work on the twenty metre circle. Peter was pleased with Dani's relaxation but still wanted more engagement and jump in the canter - moving Danni more into the hand with the leg in rhythm with each stride and I was scolded for failing to let Danni sit in my hand. Peter then asked for us to use canter shoulder in to emphasize "inside leg to outside hand" turning my shoulders and bringing my outside hand slightly across the neck just in front of the withers.........and to the left it was SO hard, my left knee magically slid up the saddle and my leg felt totally ineffective. To the right phew much nicer. Rachel appeared to rescue us from the now horizontal rain as they had settled their new mum down to allow us to use the indoor school.

So a lesson in two parts, one common theme, in two environments. The work in the indoor school was more about emphasising the use of the outside rein to move the shoulders across on twenty and then ten metre circles and achieving a greater flexion to the inside in traver. Peter said it was important that the horse should be round and working well between hand and leg before the lateral work should be attempted.

For today's traver he asked me to think of drawing the horses body in with the leg and body weight as apposed to pushing him in with the outside leg. Naturally I firstly lent to the outside and then totally flattened my inside wrist as i moved my hand across - i must have some sort of invisible barrier I mentally can't cross but eventually with perseverance my hand came to the correct position and my elbow stayed in and dear Danni turned out a very nice traver for me. As a correction to me on this occasion he asked me to bend Danni to inside by sliding my elbow back past my ribs on a small preparatory circle and then present the traver form this increased flexion.

And now the sun has come out and Lizzie is still not thinking about foaling as all the horses settle for the night contentedly munching. Tomorrow we work just after lunch so wish me luck!