Teachings of the Horse. It made me think about how I approach Dee. Because of her history as a 'difficult' or 'challenging' horse, I think I can tend to approach her with this in mind. Having given myself permission not to ride for a while, I feel I have time to just enjoy being with her. If she decides she doesn't want to come in, does it actually matter? Well I guess it does from the perspective of having asked, one should follow through. But does there need to be a time element? Do I need to feel rushed?
With this in mind I asked Dee to accept her headcollar by holding it open and did not make any attempt to put it round her neck. At first she turned away a little, but she wanted to stay with me. After only a few minutes she gave me her head, placing her nose in the headcollar. We then had a pleasant stroll up the field on a looped leadrope that was practically companion walking.
I was keen to get her rug off and see how she looked. At around this same time two winters ago, after I had been away for a week and left her in the care of the livery owner, she was looking thin and scrawny. I knew she would be fine – the care at Briwnant is first class, and I was correct. She is a good weight and her coat has a lovely shine. She has a slight sore spot on her chest where her under-rug has rubbed, but her proper winter turnout rug has been repaired now so I shall be able to put that back on her tomorrow.
Another blog I follow is the Carolyn Resnick blog. Currently she is teaching her Uberstreichen exercises and I have been looking forward to trying them with Dee. We tried the first one yesterday, and considering it was so busy at Briwnant with a lot of distractions, we made a good start. I also hope to find time to work with Red with these exercises as well.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I am going to buy Dee a new saddle. There are several reasons for this:
- I feel I want a saddle with a little more substance under me
- I worry that the treeless saddle does not give Dee sufficient clearance at the wither. She has never become sore, but it is a concern.
- The padded numnah necessary under a treeless saddle is quite inconvenient for washing. They take a long time to dry and only just fit in my washing machine. It would be nice to go back to a simple numnah that it is easy to change regularly.
- The padded numnah must be accurately placed over the spine so that the padding is each side of the spine. As I am not very tall I cannot see how well it is placed until I mount, and then if it is wrong and not central so that the padding is over the spine on one side, I have to get off and re saddle her. This is a real nuisance.
- The Torsion saddle I have uses a dressage girth, and I have never succeeded in learning how to tighten it when mounted. It is just too far down for me and too awkward.