In the last couple of weeks I’ve felt Abbey and I are getting closer.

It started at the last dressage and we were waiting for the scores to come out. I left her on the van to go to the office and when I returned she murmured to me. She did the same thing when I went to get another horse in about a week ago.

Abbey’s started molting and she’s so itchy that she’s decided she quite likes a scratch. It sounds like nothing but for the first time in 14 months I can get her muzzle twitching!  It’s so lovely, I feel like I have well and truly earnt affection from her!

Since our last dressage test I haven’t ridden – it’s been about 10 days.  We focused on relaxing in the van, groundwork and I had a cheeky weekend away with uni friends.  I came back from that one with a hangover, that’s taken more than 3 days to get over! It was a good weekend.

I did ride tonight and it was rather mixed with some big frustrations and some big wins!

On and off I’ve been trying to teach her rein back and tonight she got it! Abbey’s gone from offering turns on the forehand, circles and stomping to going backwards with a slight change in my weight, legs back and closing of the hand. Apparently, she just needed time to think.

She’s also getting the hang off moving her bum over when I reach over and tap her hip with a stick (from the ground).  Of all the things that I’ve tried to teach her, this has definitely been one of the hardest.

I’d been discussing with another livery how to break it down into steps. Abbey seemed to be struggling with the concept of moving into me (but away from the pressure).  She also seemed confused because I normally point/tap nearer stifle to move her back end round, so I thought that it was partly to do with the command being higher up. I needn’t have worried or given it so much thought, she just needed time!

On the downside, our canter transitions have gone backwards and with the addition of the Le Trec stuff in the bottom of the school, every lap had a 6-10 stride argument in it. It took over 50 minutes to to persuade her that a fake bridge, the road fences and the ‘washing line’ weren’t going to eat her and didn’t require her full and undivided attention.