Work was long today... way longer than expected. I had big plans for horse training but my day job won.
I came out to a sleeping and very relaxed herd. Gem was in the front pasture alone and the rest of the herd was looking pretty good. They all look fat right now! Even Tina, the newest horse here for training has put on some weight since her arrival. Hmmm... I can cut hay back a little I suppose, but happy to see them carrying a little extra as we head into winter.
The herd is getting along lovely and it's nice to see them take turns laying down while the others keep watch. It's just a peaceful scene.
We had non-stop rain the last 4 days in a row and the temps were so cold I had to put a few in winter blankets (Z, Abby and Tina). The others are so hearty, they don't need the blanket support. I was glad today to pull blankets off and stow them until temps drop again. Winter coats are coming in strong now and they all look hairier by the day. Goodbye sleek summer coats, hello wool and hairy mammoths. :-)
Tina's feet are much, much better after trimming. Another month of growth and proper trim and she'll be in great shape. Nina is due for her trim now.
I cut Z's bandage off and decided to leave it off. The wound has healed very nicely and I wanted it to get some air. I'll hose it and clean and rewrap it tomorrow as I think it's healing so nicely under bandaging. I'm hoping it will leave a minimal scar. I then decided it was time to ride my most developed horse! I've missed her.
We had little time since work was so long and late. I tacked her up, did a little ground work and then rode her out to the front pasture towards Gem. She felt great! We picked up right where we left off! I worried that 3 weeks off might mean a step back, but after a few mins on her back I realized that she was the same horse I put away the session before her injury. Her backup is soft and fantastic, her responses are positive and willing, her legs feel strong.
I'll take her to the Pair Pace tomorrow. Decision made. We played in the trailer a bit to be sure she'd be ready to load up and go. She'll do great and it will be better than pushing Gem his first time. I wanted to take him to the dressage show today to feel the air of a show, the excitement and the adrenalin, to see how he'd react. Work was too busy - I couldn't do it. I don't want to take him to perform for me w/o first taking him under zero pressure. I want to do it right w/him and set him up to succeed. I also want to set him up to trust me as much as possible.
I'm learning a ton. Preserve their dignity and put the relationship first and your horse will pay you back ten-fold. I will show Gem in dressage next year. It will be his time to shine.
Before the sun went down, I coached Chrissy on her stuff with Lakota. She warmed him up and then I stayed close for her to mount and dismount. She's working on overcoming fear after going off her horse weeks ago. She got on, practiced lateral flexion, then got off. She got back and did it again. It may seem simple, but she's preserving her own dignity and rebuilding her confidence. It takes the time it takes and I'll help her however I can. She then asked that I ride her horse. I'm sure it's nice to watch him be ridden and I appreciate the opportunity to supple him and remove more brace. He did very nicely for me with serpentines and then simple disengagements at the walk. I just wanted to practice things that would supple him and relax him. He was very amenable and trying hard to do the right thing. He's a great horse - Chrissy's lucky.