We then went out and played with some concepts such as riding more forward (to avoid weighting the back farther back where the muscles don't support weight well). We played with the web halter vs the rope halter, to avoid intense pressure on the nucal ligament. We watched how the horse moved with these changes from the ground. They naturally extended the hind legs slightly more and dropped and relaxed their head and neck. Very interesting!! Gem had a decent headset already so I didn't see much of a change when I went to the web halter. The saddle placement was definitely better, though.
We were going to ride next and I decided to start with Z. Well, when I went to the pasture to get her, I noticed Starlet was in a bad way. As I got closer, I saw that her rump had been torn open vertically just under the tail. Oh, poor girl - she was very hurt. I let Z go back to the herd and I led Starlet in to the barn.
I have no idea how she did this. There was no indication in the pasture of a struggle against fencing. We'd had a terrible hail storm and I thought maybe she sustained a kick where a hoof snagged her skin. I just don't know. Regardless, my vet couldn't come for about 5 more hours and instead of finding a different vet sooner, I decided to wait for my tried and trusted Dr. Walters. I didn't treat her besides 2 grams of bute and putting her in the stall with hay and water. I decided to do the rest of the day with Gem since he was already with me and ready to go.
We rode for a bit then and Jinita started to help us address our riding flaws. My big offense: over-riding! This was a little tough for me to understand. We took some video so that she could help me understand. After some discussing and watching the video, I think I realized that my legs are too far forward. Once I started riding with my legs more under me, she became happier with the picture.
It was a neat first day full of information that caused me to rethink my existing views on riding, saddling, and online play. I ended up meeting Tom about 9:30 to get Starlet stitched and we didn't finish until 1:30am. Day 2 was going to be a challenge with a lack of sleep.