I tried not to be soft and give Abbey oodles of time to think that she’d come for a holiday. Instead I tried to establish Abbey’s new routine straight away with turn out at 8am, bring in at 5.30-6pm, half hour for the grass to go down, then riding, before wash off and bed.
I’ve been so impressed with how she’s handled all the new sites, sounds and smells. By the end of the week she barely noticed the cows she walks passed to the field, isn’t too bothered by the tractors and telehandler and is starting to get used to all the comings and goings of horses on the other side of the wall.
Even in a week there’s a noticeable difference in her flatwork. She’s falling out through the shoulders, snatching the reins and rushing transitions less and less. I know I can’t expect miracles but she really is quick to pick up lessons and remember them next time round.
Because of work I’ve not much choice but to school in a floodlit arena. Abbey’s getting more and more used to all the shadows. The cattle in the barn behind the hedge and the fillers, poles etc at the bottom end of the school cause her to spook and ‘scoot’ off at the bottom end of the school but she’s stopping sooner and it’s no longer every time we go down that bottom end (just most!).
She seems to love the attention she’s getting and will stand to be groomed for hours. She’s uncomfortable with me brushing her face and under her belly but now I am doing it every day she’s getting better. Occasionally she forgets I’m there and in her rush to see which horse is going out or coming in she walks through me, but with timely reminders (and her relaxing to the new way of life) it’s getting less and less.
I am going to have to clip her soon…I’m being quite careful at the moment and increasing the work load slowly but with a full coat she’s getting a bit sweaty. It’s only going to get worse so at some point I will have to bite the bullet and take off at least some of the fluff!