It’s been a busy day for Ab fab who had her 6 monthly check up with Shane Kitching and her first ride since going hunting on Sunday.

I’ve never been able to make it to one of Abbey’s dental appointments before (damn work!). I wish I had, it’s fascinating to watch and our dentist is a fountain of knowledge.

I asked him about my bit (a Neue Schule tranz-angled lozenge) and whether it suited her mouth shape – it does – and mentioned that occasionally she gets a little sore at the corners of her mouth.

Shane recommended using a sweet iron bit (previously soaked in salt water) once or twice a week to encourage the skin to toughen up a little.  He also explained that Vaseline and other common creams soften the skin and make it more vulnerable to splitting than less.

Overall Abbey’s teeth were fine, a little rough in places so he filed the edge off and maintained the ‘bit seats‘. Considering she’d been out on hound exercise for the first time, there was little evidence that I’d had to enforce braking.

After we went for a trot and canter around the around with a friend.  This is the first time she’s been ridden since Sunday and I was fully expecting (and prepared with a plan) for her to get a little carried away. I rode on the inside track and was ready to circle if she decided a ‘hunting’ canter was required but I needn’t have bothered a couple of half halts and sharp ‘AH NOOO!’ was enough to contain her when she asked the question.

We kept the canters short; 2 strides to start with (then back to trot), then 4 strides, then 6, finally we some lengths of the field side by side and to end on a really good note, behind – with my friends horse taking the lead.  After the first 4 canters, Abbey stopped asking ‘you want me to fast, don’t you?!’

Needless to say I was really pleased.  She could have got it in her head and canter mean ‘go’ but she’d remembered all her manners.

Yesterday I tried long-lining her (it was something different that required more brain than muscle).  I reckon she’s done it before. Surely it’s not normal to be able to changes of rein, transitions and serpentines in the first session without incident or confusion?! #Proud horse-mummymoment