Saturday, September 17, 2011

Intact sheet!

I was super happy because not only did Amber keep her sheet in perfect condition, there was not a speck of mud on it. Good girl! Except I think it's a fluke. That sheet will die sometime this winter. Or more likely her blanket, since the sheet is probably only going to be appropriate for early fall, and in double with her blanket on super-duper cold nights. Oh well. But the sheet did keep her warm and dry! I had heard the Tough 1 blankets didn't do much for wet weather, but it rained pretty hard off and on today and if that blanket leaked, she would still be soaked under it.

I rode today, since I missed yesterday. I was riding like CRAP because my muscles are killing me, and she was kind of spacey today. Her trot was CRAP also because she keeps trying to break into canter. Whenever we introduce short canters to her workouts when she's been off, we go through a couple of rides where that's all she wants to do. Then she remembers that she gets to canter sooner and more often when she's giving me quality trot. She was pretty good both ways. Easy to rate. I stole like, 4 strides of gallop just for fun, and she was like ":D WEEEEE!". Transitions still need work. Being out of shape, they're ugly and she runs into them with flat ears and an upside down neck. Flat ears because I won't let her run out through her shoulder and she disagrees.

Not worried about it, because she's doing very well for having been off so long, and still being a little sore. I'm sure HER muscles are also sore from coming back into work. It was also chilly and she wasn't 100% interested in me.

Another thing to work on is her attention to other horses. Having been a trail horse, she tends to think that her job is to do what all the other horses are doing. So I have to be alert when we are the lone salmon swimming upstream, when we are passing a horse moving slower, or being passed by horses moving faster. I make a point to try to do something different than the horses around her. At the same time, I also try to add in work on traveling the same direction and speed as other horses, with her focus still on me and not trying to catch up or pass the horse in front.

She's a lot better than she used to be, for sure. The footing at Goldsboro is very soft, and the only reason I think she's comfortable enough for the mild work she's doing, which is critical right now - being in shape means she will have less aches and pains in the future because she will be able to carry herself correctly with ease. And also it burns off calories, and she needs to do so being on 24/7 turnout.

After the chiropractor makes some adjustments (appointment still pending, Casey is trying to figure out what boarders are going to sign on), I'm sure she will be a little happier about work, and I can increase the intensity of her work. Right now it's just not worrying about perfect form and perfect gaits as much as generally using her topline most of the time, paying attention, making transitions "acceptable", and just getting her doing SOMETHING that will build muscle. Being careful to be light on her back and not do further damage, but build the muscles up to help the soreness. Lack of muscle and uneven muscle on her back is A LOT of the problem here - kind of a catch 22. Don't want to be too hard on her back, but she needs that muscle to help her soreness.

She's got the next 2 days off, but I'm going to go out and take her sheet off in the AM. Already talked to Casey and Lizzy about her blanketing for the winter, and we all agreed it's not fair for Lizzy to have to go try to catch her in that huge pasture to do her blanketing every day. If there's no way I can be there, it's no problem, but I'll be doing it the majority of the time.

I noticed she's a lot quieter for saddling now. I'm starting to think that the Wintec might be the culprit behind the back soreness...

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