Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Talkative baby!

Well, Echo has been at the new yard for two days now, and things are starting to get settled. She is very relaxed and happy in her stable. She walks in happily and looks very comfortable in there. She is lying down a lot, which she always does after she has had a traumatic move, but at least she feels happy enough to do so.

When I arrived at the yard yesterday afternoon she had already been brought in by the girl who I'm going to pay to help me out a little bit. As I was walking over to her stable, she put her head over the door and wickered to me - I was really touched! She doesn't normally do this, so she is obviously depending on me a bit while she is feeling unsettled. I grabbed my lunging stuff and set to it, as I didn't have a lot of light left. She was very spooky when I led her into the school and was snorting and taking little baby steps. I led her round the outside a few times to get her to settle, but she was still like a coiled spring.

I put her on the circle at one end of the school and she shot off in trot, head up like a giraffe. Nothing I could say or do would make her slow down, so I just let her run for a bit. She started to lower her head after a few minutes, so I brought her to a halt and put the side reins on. This made her angry! She was not at all in the mood to work. The left rein was tense and hurried, but the right rein was considerably better. She cantered for a while, but it was balanced and calm. When she was listening properly to my voice aids and seemed to have chilled a little, I called it a day. Added to this, I could by this point only see her white patches trotting round - the lights weren't working!

I got her in from the field today and she was very fired up on the way down to the yard. She pranced sideways all the way. I've got no idea what the problem was - she seemed really worried about something. She visibly relaxed when she got into her stable, which I think is really good at this stage. I lunged her again this afternoon and she was much better. Someone was muck-picking on the other side of the trees, which she could hear but not see. This made her a little tense at first, and when I put her onto the circle she thundered round in canter for several circles. She did, however, settle much quicker tonight, so I put the side-reins on and then she was immediately prepared to work. The left rein was still more tense, but canter transitions were good on both reins and she was obedient to my voice aids at all times.

It's a real shame that I have a staff meeting tomorrow and will not be at the yard until late. I would have liked to ride her tomorrow; she was just starting to look relaxed enough at the end of today's session. However, on Thursday I will lunge her in her tack and see what she looks like. There is no point getting on her while she is tense and worried, as this will just add to her problems! Hopefully, she will be more settled in herself by then and will realise that the same things still happen each day, just in a different place!

She is being very loving to handle at the moment. Every time I go into her stable she wickers softly at me - admittedly, she probably realises that I am the one doing all the feeding now, but even after she has eaten she does it, so I don't think it's all due to food. I suppose it could also be that she is missing proper company - although she can talk to another horse over the fence, she is in a field on her own. I don't really like this set-up for a youngster, but there is nothing I can do about it. I'm making sure that I take proper time to groom her and give her scratches. She really enjoys this, and I suppose she doesn't get it from the others now.

It is really nice being able to care for her properly. I mucked out mostly with her in her stable this morning, as she was eating her breakfast. I'm finding the rubber mats and shavings combination really good, although I am fully aware that she isn't being her usual dirty self yet. She is a little dehydrated (always happens when she moves) and so is not peeing as much as usual. I am trying to get around the problem by making her feed as wet as I can, and actually the exercise really helps, as both days she has come in and straightaway had a drink. These things will all settle down in time I'm sure. As for me, I am having to go to bed super early to cope with the 5.45am starts. What we do for our horses!

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Daily adventures while training my young horse.