After the beach and all the travelling I gave Abbey a couple of days off.

On Thursday we took it easy went to a short ride around the fields. I was keen to find out whether I’d made a mistake at the beach and inadvertently taught Abbey to assume ‘canter’ meant ‘flat out gallop’ in all open spaces. I’m please to report I hadn’t – Abbey was polite and popped into a lovely rhythm and, most importantly, stayed there!

Friday she had off and on Saturday morning had a short lesson where we focused on xc cantering, pushing her on and bringing her back using only my seat and body position.  She really ‘got it’ so after 30mins we called it a day.

Went for a brief hack on Sunday and was quite cross with her by the end.  She’s started napping at the gate – nothing serious just ignoring my leg when I asked her to move over to do the hook and ignoring me when I asked her stop alongside the gate plus a bit of tail swishing/champing at the bit.  She was tense all the round  the block even though her friend was totally chilled. It’s frustrating because it’s not like her.

Again, she totally relaxed when given the rein but tense whenever I pick them up.  In the school/field she’ll happily work in an outline so I don’t think it’s saddle/teeth etc.  Think she’s being a teenager and having a strop when I won’t let her do what she wants.

On Sunday she got a smack for ignoring the leg.  The frustration on both parts didn’t set us up for a good hack and when we met the tractor & cultivator she had a right hissy. It felt like she did on the xc course.

This ‘edginess’ started a month ago when she spooked and swung her hind quarters into the road.  A car was coming and had to come to an abrupt stop – nothing happen, thankfully the driver had given us plenty of space and was moving slowly – but it was a too close for comfort and I think it spooked Abbey.

I’m not sure what I can do – it could be me, but I was totally relaxed chatting to my friend.  Just seems that we’re getting into lots of arguments at the moment. Perhaps I need to ‘ask’ more than ‘tell’ in unfamiliar situations?

I’m going to have the perfect opportunity tomorrow…going to take her to a small clear round.  My van’s in the garage so my I’ve persuaded a friend to give us a lift.  Tonight I thought we better practice, especially after the xc last weekend.

I set up as scary a course as I could – not in height – but with ‘fillers’.  She was a little spooky at first but as we warmed up, she settled. I rode confidently from the start and she popped them all like a pro (even under floodlights and in the rain). Especially pleased with the flying change at 29secs – I haven’t even taught her those yet!