Saturday 26 July 2014

Back In the Orchard

So here we are back in an orchard just like we'd never left, still on the plus side lots has changed like Pippin our dear Gypsy Vanner has finally been gelded. It was hard getting his owner to agree and pay to have him gelded but this summer he started to become very aggressive towards the other male equines, so his owner caved in the end, although Pippin is still chasing the other horses he isn't nearly as aggressive and I hope that given time he will calm down.

On another note my riding has been going very nicely this summer and Niko is working beautifully for me, above is a photo of him standing rather well for me in his new padded bridle. We've also found a great place to hack so I can try to keep things more interesting for Niko by going on hacks with him every now and then. He really is in good form this summer, I think it might be time to have a few more lessons, to help us both with some lateral movements that I am sure Niko would benefit greatly from performing.

Although these photos aren't of my most recent ride which was actually today they do let you see how his head carriage is coming along nicely and is becoming more consistent, after just a little bit of warm up he is getting very comfortable and going forward onto the bit for me.

And here is Niko above going forward onto the bit for me, you might just be able to see from the way my hand is actually slightly open on the rein how he is on a very soft contact at this point, normally I like to think I have good hands and it's important to remember to be soft with your hands when he is soft. It's nice to see him salivating a bit to.

Here we are again, I think this shot shows Niko off quite well, he is a little skinnier than I'd like but it seems to be a never ending battle to keep the weight on him, still he is 16 now which I believe makes him a veteran. We've got Tipper and Niko some Dodson & Horrell build up cubes which have been helping with the weight a bit. Just as well they aren't competing isn't it after Dodson & Horrell's muck up that I'm sure most of you horsey folks have heard of.


One last photo of Niko and I, well a bit of me anyway, as you can see reasonably clearly from this shot Niko is a little below/behind the vertical normally a bad thing, but to be honest it shouldn't really be of concern during schooling like this so long as you have sympathetic hands and aren't putting too much pressure on the horse in anyway, remember going below the vertical is still a form of stretch for a horse and although you shouldn't ask your horse to do this sometimes horses prefer to stretch more below the vertical than they do outwards, this said Niko isn't really stretching here he just sometimes slips below the vertical


These next two photos I wasn't sure about posting but in the end decided it would be nice to have a record of this on my blog. So here is Murphy and I, we've just started to do work under saddle and I'm really rather happy with him, he can be very cheeky but overall he is a good lad. Due to Murphy's small size I don't feel that I can ride him for long and of course never at a show, but I am still capable of  beginning his work under saddle and hopefully getting him off to a good start.

You can see here that I'm slightly uneven this is because I'm trying to give Murphy all the aids in as clear a way as I can so I am perhaps over doing it a little with my seat aids here by leaning to one side slightly. Also see how light I'm being with his reins, this is to let him get used to and comfortable with the bit, at this point in his training I won't ask him for a true contact.

And the very last photo of us, I'm riding without stirrups, due to the size of the saddle and length of my legs the stirrup leathers restricted my legs and made it hard to give good clear aids to such a small pony like Murphy, at this point I feel that very few but very precise aids with the legs will help Murphy to understand.

I just have to try and remember it's not about how good I look on him it's just important that he understands. Well that's it from me today, as always I hope your all having a great time with your equines.

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