One Stride At A Time
Hey guys. Sorry it’s been a while. Life is super busy as usual. It’s funny because I don’t actually enjoy being busy. I always feel rushed because there isn’t much margin for error. For instance if I can’t do something today, I can’t just do it tomorrow because there is something else I have to do. Although I have waaaay more than one thing a day to accomplish. I’m sure a lot of you understand the struggle.
So the first week of October I didn’t get to ride at all because we had family come in to visit. Matt’s brother and his fiancé came down to spend some time with us. It was great. We love her! And him too of course. They are both baseball fanatics/diahard Redsox fans just like Matthew so We surprised them with playoff tickets. It was great since none of us had ever been to a playoff game and it was Redsox vs Astros.
Once they left to go back home I finally had time to ride again. The first ride was not so great. She seemed pretty chill in the barn so I tacked up and got on. Wrong! She was a mess.. Didn’t wanna slow or stop or anything for that matter. So after trying to be patient for half an hour I got off and lunged her to let her get it all out.
She seemed to appreciate being able to run. I think the thoroughbred in her is really coming out. But when I brought her back to the barn and sprayed her down I noticed she had a pretty decent nic on the backside of her coronary band on a front leg. I cleaned it up Good and put some wound ointment on it. Personally I’m a fan of letting wounds air out as long as you keep them clean. It seems they heal better and faster that way in my experience with both human and animals. Keep in mind it wasn’t gushing blood or anything. Just a sliver of her coronary band was hanging off and left a raw area open. When I came back the next day it looked much better! It was no longer raw/sticky. This time I lightly lunged her first. She had no signs of discomfort so I tacked up and rode.
We tried one of the barn owners dressage saddle which seemed to fit until I took it off after the ride and saw that there were two roughed up dry spots... The ride however was better. Thank goodness! She was still a bit forward and not wanting to back up. And still a bit distracted but it was better and I’ll take that.
Because of the her mishap with her coronary band I decided to buy her some bell boots because I really don’t want to take any chances. I ordered her some white fleece lined ones I think will look cute. And some hooflex since she has some cracks and feet are a bit dry. I love how Stateline Tack always has some kind of sale. This time it was 25% off my entire order :)
Hot Mess Fance
Yesterday I arrived at the barn to find her a hot sweaty mess. None of the other horses looked this way so I automatically thought she must be sick or something! This is the condition I found Twist in when she colicked and died. I rushed to bring her in from the pasture and asked if she had been that way for long. They told me she was probably just hot from the sudden rise in temperature. For two days it was 60-70 degrees and now it’s back to 90. It made sense but still.. Nothing else seemed wrong with her though so I gave her a bath and she seemed 100% herself again. Since she was refreshed and in a good mood again I tacked her up and rode.
She was so good! She was much more focused, steady, and happy.
..... A week or so later....
I was having trouble again. Fancy wanted to be a giraffe. A quick trip to the equestrian forums of google did not help. Dear god! People are so judgy! One girl with a similar problem was practically harassed and humiliated for not being able to immediately gain control of a horse. But then I found an article on chronicle of the horse (I think) that Laura Graves has written and she had mentioned the accordion exercise. She stressed Being picky about every step in a horse that won’t listen. And to really hone it in at the walk before moving up to trot and so on.
This helped me get back my one step at a time attitude and when I went to the barn the next day. IT. WORKED.
Normally I’m pretty easy going/do what you please in warm ups. But not this time. From the moment I got in the saddle I was very precise about what was going to happen. I stayed relaxed and neutral but focused. I did not let her escalate simply stretching into a giraffe pose. She could stretch but as soon as I felt a shift I gathered her up and sent her marching again.
I continued playing with her strides, asking for shorter and longer ones at walk and trot without letting her take off or giraffe things up for the next few rides and it worked beautifully.
But this past weekend was “eventful” to say the least and I haven’t been back to the barn yet. I will be writing a separate post about this past weekend next.