Mares in Spring

Sassy sassy sassy is what I’m dealing with right now. Yesterday, I felt like I to pony-kick her to get her to walk forward. Today, I could barely put my leg on before she would squirt out from underneath me.

This is how much leg I'm using.  I actually helped shed out her winter hair.  And no, I was not mean.

This is how much leg I’m using. I actually helped shed out her winter hair.


Mares.
Mare takes her human for a walk post-ride.

Mare takes her human for a walk post-ride.


Whichever way I look at it though we got in great workouts, and today had a really great 2nd half of our ride. After she stopped biting at the air and humping her back at me. (more sass) I was actually really proud of her trot to the left and right today, as it was improved and seemed much more balanced. I really focused on leaving my hands alone and pushing her forward correctly with my legs. Good results, but definitely more work in our future.

O has recently dropped some weight and we are working on putting it back on her. She’s been in a lot of work this winter and the temperatures have NOT been helpful. We are working on fattening pony back up.

Anyone good at confirmation stuff? I am not, and realize that she is a little oddly put together. Anyway, have at it!

March 2014

March 2014


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Real Work

Last night was a break thru ride, mentally, for both O and me. We all hate it when our horses are hurt, and pushing them when they are off is hard. I’ve battled with the idea for the past several weeks during her rehab program, and inevitably created a bit of a monster in my horse. She had zero work ethic, and like I’ve talked about before, offered some attitude when we went into tougher workouts.

Not last night though, it wasn’t about just plodding along, over-thinking every step she took, worrying about her snarky attitude at the beginning. About 10 minutes in, I was pissed, and pretty tired of her evasive behavior. So we worked. And worked. And worked some more. It was real work, carrying herself, lengthening, collecting…I was frickin’ thrilled.

Sorry about the blurry pictures, but you can see that she’s obviously feeling better!

1026

1019

1007

After the 40ish minute trot work I had this lovely soft, quiet horse whom I hadn’t seen in forever. I gave lots of pats, and “good girls” and got the heck off. I wanted to end on that great note.

1031

1030

1013

Lessons learned:
She will work out of the attitude, patterns, circles help.
She is definitely fit enough to be working like this, no more excuses.
Don’t be so afraid of my spurs.

Cheers to progress and more rides like this! I think we are both ready mentally, and she’s ready physically!

My cutie!

My cutie!

Take to the hills

New tactics in the battle to fight our lingering hindquarter stiffness and overall “chubby chub horse” syndrome. Bring on the hill work. Most people (including myself) are typically annoyed by the hills covering 90% of the midwest, as it makes for unsteady turnouts for our precious and injury-prone horses. However, I have decided that the pony and I are going to start some hill workouts to increase her strength in the back end and keep those muscles loose while we let her chiropractic adjustments do their thing!

Not great for turnout, but great for hill work!

Not great for turnout, but great for hill work!

She will be getting a few minutes of walk warm up on the flat, then gradually start walking up and down some smaller slopes behind the arena. Focus will be on asking for her to stretch up under herself and really use those big hindquarters of hers. That is where the residual stiffness lies, and we need to work it out. Hopefully as the stiffness works out we can start working into some trot work up and down the hills. Baby steps, in a much larger effort to see how her back and hips do with us focusing on their rehabilitation. Also, in pushing her general fitness I believe these workouts will help to get her “wind back”.

To break up the hills, we will be doing more consistent pole work in the arena (to get those legs lifting).

Get those legs up!

Get those legs up!

Maybe we’ll even break out some cavaletti. Now that we know about her discomfort in her back/hindquarters I’m ready to focus on getting those as strong as possible. So we can get back to doing this…

Happy Pony

Happy Pony

After the First Round

O got her first injection of Legend IV last thursday, and so she got some major TLC over the long holiday weekend, and started being ridden (by yours truely) as of yesterday.

Tuesday: O jogs out like a beast and is totally sound. She even gets a “whoop” out of my trainer. I run around the stable yelling (not really-but I might have well as been) about O being the bestest pony in the world. Things are looking up. However, when I get on O, my secondary trainer who was teaching in the ring keeps having me circle, change directions, leave her face alone, asking how she feels. Message to me says that something still isn’t right. And O, well she feels a bit broken from the saddle. Her head is bobbing-almost weaving, she doesn’t want to canter to the left at all, but her movement is otherwise fine. Boo. We do a very light workout and decide to see what happens tomorrow at my lesson. I leave feeling a bit deflated.

*Note: Had to drop O’s girth a whole hole down-CHUNKY GIRL. A week plus off of work and she’s managed to go from this….

O on Aug. 22nd.

O on Aug. 22nd.


to this…
Someone's been getting her grub on.

Someone’s been getting her grub on.

Wednesday lesson: Well it ended up not being a lesson after all. As soon as we moved up to the trot it was apparent how lame O was. According to the vet and our trainers, O should be sound and functioning now with her meds. So why is she lame? Same question we’ve been asking since the end of March. The vet was so convinced this was going to help her, so the frustration at my house and even amongst my trainers is pretty high. We all want her better, but we just can’t seem to find the right path. Once again the vet will be out tomorrow, and I will be questioning whether or not Legend is really the correct path for her. And if it isn’t, then what are we supposed to do next. Still keeping my hopes high, or trying my best to do so! Hopefully tomorrow will bring better news.

Long Distance Workout Update

Long Distance WorkoutMy friend who was giving O her workout on Monday sent me a picture update mid-ride!  Can’t wait to get home and see the hubs and horse.  The update (after she got done riding) was that O was really good, and was really agreeable about her quick changes, and transitions.  Good pony!!  Check out those big ears.