Finally back in the saddle

I don’t normally get sick but I got knocked on my butt by a nasty cold which has kept me from riding for the past few days. Normally I just tough it out but this one was a real doozy.

I was so excited to finally feel good enough to ride last night. I wanted to get on Letterman first as I was eager to see the difference after his schooling session with Mogie. When I went for a lesson on Saturday with a few horses I was already feeling pretty bad. She did the ride on Letterman for me and it was very educational. I had been having some issues with him being extremely spooky and lacking focus. Typically, when horses are spooky you can really use your lateral work to get them supple and zone in their focus but during these episodes he would completely ignore the leg and just lay on my leg so it was tough to get him into the outside rein. I had been telling her that he was probably one of my toughest rides because he is difficult to get soft in the body.

She immediately triggered his anger buttons and he gave her a show on just how resistant he can really be. This was actually super for me because I watched her work him through this by using the dressage whip to tap his inside hind over so that he didn’t lay on the leg. In the canter she even reached across to hold the inside rein with her outside hand because he was being that resistant! Normally horses pick on direction but he can lay on both legs equally. Aren’t I lucky 🙂 He is a very physical ride and she got off and said that she was going to be sore tomorrow. Promised me that I was on the right track and it will come together. I was bummed I couldn’t ride for a few days but Letterman is super duper smart so I figured he would retain the knowledge.

Sure enough he had and boy did he feel amazing! However, he was not sound. He has a newish splint on his left front but it hasn’t been bothering him at all for the past week or more. I don’t know if that is the culprit but he was very ouchy. He quickly got stall rest, icing, surpass and wrapping and we will see what happens. Letterman is one tough cookie so you know if he is hurting enough to not be sound that you need to be worried. He randomly came up with a splint on his other leg sometime during the winter and it’s a hunker. Seriously big splint but he never took a bad step on it. I don’t know if he is doing something in the field or what but really???? Enough!

He looks good though!

He is a tank! We are both very much on the easy keeper diet plan 🙂

Whitney was giving Raymond some exercise. He is starting to fill out but as they change I think they sometimes look a bit worse before they look better. I would like fill out that neck!

I worked a bit with Love on the lunge line just because I wanted to see what he looked like now. He was kind of fugly..well okay he was really fugly there for a bit. He just need a bit of time to get into the program so there was no point in rushing him.

He is now starting to come around. I can see a shine, some muscles and just a more relaxed look in his eye.

I don’t think he has ever lunged before but he was totally relaxed about it. A bit too relaxed as I spent a lot of time chasing him around getting him to trot 🙂

I think there is a nice horse in there but he really needs to be taught how to trot. He does this short quick step and goes very inverted. He just doesn’t know how to use his body which of course is totally normal. Lunging in side reins in the first step in teaching him but it has to be gradual as he isn’t fit enough for much yet.

We finished up with walking over jumps. He has never seen a jump before so I just showed him that he could casually just come up and walk over everything. I love teaching horses that jumps are just part of the program and nothing to get excited about. It really pays off in the long run. He was a bit unsure about how to walk over them but soon he had it down and was perfect.

I do a lot of these silly sort of things to keep the work interesting while they are building muscle. It’s not fair to them to push them too quickly but when they are fit enough to add the jumping in then it will be no big deal to them.

Looks to be a gorgeous weekend coming up. We are headed to Delaware Park to do a track visit tomorrow and then picking up a newly donated horse on Sunday. More details to come on him. He looks lovely!

 

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3 responses to “Finally back in the saddle

  1. Good to read you’re feeling better!

    While you were “gone” I started my own blog at a friend’s request. I need to do that whole intro/who am I type of blog this weekend sometime… but I have a half novel on tension in TBs up right now. http://mountainsidefarm.blogspot.com/2012/05/on-innate-tension-and-horses.html

  2. Hey Jess, good to hear you are feeling better. All the guys look they are doing great. Nice and shiny and happy!

  3. Glad to hear you’re back in the saddle! Just discovered your blog via Chronicle of the Horse…looking forward to reading!

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