Sunday, February 23, 2014

Out and about - again!

Nice face, Jose Luis...

That's better! 

So for the past two weeks Starbuck's been recovering from a slight lameness she had in one leg - I noticed that she would lie down and roll around in the dirt on one side, but on the other side she didn't want to.  But after a couple of days rest, she started to get better, so I just let her have a week and a half off.  On Friday I rode her and apart from some skittishness and a few characteristic not-looking-where-she's-going stumbles she was absolutely recovered.  Friday and Saturday we had really nice lessons - Friday after she settled down she worked very well and we did a very low jumping laboratory a few times where we were very fluid and forward, which was a nice surprise.  And Saturday we did an exercise cantering in a small circle (around 15 meters) over ground poles using our outside leg instead of the reins to stay on the circle, which also went much better than I expected.  

Also I ended up getting Starbuck a butterfly bit, which is generally used as a driving bit but which my instructor Marina favors over the Pelham since it can be used as a snaffle or with a little more leverage and is a little less severe.  So here she is modelling it - she really is much easier to ride in it.  Maybe in a few weeks I'll try the hackamore again to see if she responds just as well.  I think she looks really pretty here, but that might be just me ;-)

In other news, next Sunday there's what's called a "social" in Mallorcan horsey lingo - an informal show given by a stable which may or may not include people from other stables.  Ours doesn't include outsiders and since there's less pressure I think it's a perfect opportunity for Starbuck and my show debut.  So hopefully this time next week we'll have completed a 60 cm show jumping course in front of an audience without too much incident.

Today we went on a trail ride with Marina and some other folks, it went really well - Starbuck only gave a few spooks in places where it would be unrealistic NOT to expect her to spook like on a 15 foot wide road lined with yards filled with barking dogs on either side and motorcycles and cars passing us, or when another horse spooked and suddenly broke into a full gallop behind us.  She behaved really well when there were only a few isolated cars passing us and when we went by some other stables which have been iffy in the past.  So very very pleased with a fabulous weekend!

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