Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I rode on Wednesday morning 9th before leaving for conference. I was in a bit of a hurry and it had been crappy and raining. Luckily, I had put a sheet on Drifter earlier in the week. It was cold and damp, so I planned on riding her with a quarter sheet on for the first time. Since it was cold and damp there were also several other people in the indoor ring. This would be the first time riding with four other people and her wearing a quarter sheet.

All started well, she was quiet and happy to walk around- but a little slow. We did some nice trotting, but she really wasn't putting much energy into work. I gave her a quick kick a few times when she stopped suddenly and she hopped back into the trot, but she was clearly not thrilled. We worked for a while longer trying to work around the same issue- going forward. She was really shutting down- perhaps the number of horses in the ring or the sheet or the time we spent working. It wasn't a high note to leave for conference on.

Yesterday, after returning from the conference I went out to ride again. I was hoping to take a step back and re-establish forward. I didn't want her to learn to suck back and slow down or stop. I just started at the walk and tried to stay quiet with my body and legs. I used a bumping leg aid when she stopped. Sometimes, it's hard to tell if she needs to "use the bathroom" or is just stopping to stop. Her work at the walk and trot was much nicer and more forward. We even got to squeeze a canter in when the other horses left the ring. Her canter remains a work in progress. I am happy that she showed improvement and maintained her skills while I was gone. She is doing well with her blanket wearing and she looked like polished milk when I took the sheet off this week. She is still getting a bigger belly and I hope to be able to see some movement soon. Her belly felt more like jelly under my legs this week then last week. Hopefully, I can help her maintain this level of fitness under saddle for another few months.

I am also coming up with a list of things to do when she is too big and unhappy to ride. So far, I have clicker training, learning to paint, in hand work, more long lining and adding lateral work, TTEAM obstacle courses and of course massage and feldenkrais work. I would love other ideas for non-mounted work.

No comments:

Post a Comment