Monday, 3 March 2014

Rio's week!

My little man is out on his own now. Unfortunately his field buddy has pin worm so is in his own paddock whilst he's having his treatment and getting cleaned up daily. Now that I've had him out solo for a few days I'm considering keeping him on his own. Being able to sit in his field with him with no worry of being trampled by either when they are disagreeing over hay piles or that patch of grass is lovely. 

This weekend was great, I've tried out the flexi stirrups a couple of times, and am starting to feel the benefits. I have also been re-assessing my position with the help of a friend, and with the stirrups, am feeling much better all round. I can feel it in different places in my legs so it's obviously doing something. We had a wonderful weekend of achievements, we rode out on two different hacks with three other ponies. Saturday was lovely, we had a nice ride around the village. We mixed it up on Sunday, and rode out in the wind and took a new hacking route that I'd not done before. It took us over a wooden bridge, the first time Rio had done anything of the sort:

Fear not, we were sensible and went one pony at a time, and Rio didn't bat an eyelid. It was a nice change to go a different way!

I've also started using Endomondo to track my rides so I can keep an eye on what we are achieving and where we've been, it's interesting to see the distances and speeds we go at. Here's my profile if you want to follow our rides. Fingers crossed more equestrians start using it and log more hacking routes.

On to today, we had sunshine and no wind, and it's day one of my WEEK OFF!!!  Absolute result. It was forecasting showers when I was looking over the weekend. Fingers crossed the rest of the week stays nice. We attempted lunging today in the outdoor school, first time outside and we've not lunged on a line for a long time - we usually free lunge in the indoor school. His right rein was highly unsuccessful, every few steps he stopped and turned to look at me like "am I doing this right orr... what on earth are you asking of me?"  Not only that but it was difficult to keep him out on the circle, it was very wiggly, and I foolishly didn't move the pile of tyres and jump poles out of the way. He popped over the pile of tyres and then tried to hop the second bit on the diagonal and landed on the jump poles. Legs to be checked tomorrow? For sure. Here's how he stopped when I asked him to stand on the left rein

SQUARE! He went much better on this rein and was much more responsive, my friend says that lots of horses are "left handed" like humans. I knew that horses have better reins, but never thought of it that way! You can see the poles in the background that he tried to hop from the left hand side of that picture... We did some in hand after this, and went for a walk out around the field and I even ran so he could have a trot; I didn't even get out of breath - such a good feeling. He's getting awesome at stopping when I stop. 

When we finished up, I changed his bridle for his head collar but left him untethered and he stood beautifully. After a few minutes he did have a fidget but still didn't go far. So happy with how he's doing, it's unreal. I still can't believe he's mine. I did measure him the other day though, and though I thought he was 15.1hh to make 15.2hh it turns out that as suspected he is only a wee 15hh. Fingers crossed for a Spring growth spurt but he's big enough if that doesn't happen so we will just have to wait and see. 

I just need to keep an eye on him tomorrow and see how much poo he passes as I poo pick every morning quite early (around 7.30 today), and only got half a barrow this morning. When I took his hay up this evening at 5pm he'd only done two poos, and I don't seem to remember him going whilst we were up top. I'm hoping that he will go plenty tonight... He's been eating as normal and has hay going in over the day so I know he's got plenty going in. He was happy enough today, so just got to hope he's all good when I get there in the morning.

Here are the goats digging into their dinner :)

Ride safe x