The long weekend was 2 steps forward and one back. I shouldn’t be surprised that this horse can get hot – I’ve often told people that when riled she can be hot. And not riled in a bad way. She wants to please so badly and she gets into this mindset of “we doing work and work is lots of cantering so let’s just GO” from when we were training reining a bit ago, that she jogs her super cute jog and is just WAITING for me to ask for the canter – canter now? how about now? okay, now?!
It’s really not a bad thing. I keep trying to tell myself that. The reining me is like NO and the trying-to-rearrange-my-brain-to-beginner-eventer me keeps trying to say “at least she’s really forward for xc and stadium…?”
And of course our one step back was my fault. I wasn’t really paying attention and poor girl was sore backed and really wanted to reining slow lope to stretch her back and I wanted her to collect up for bursts of let’s-try-to-get-used-to-contact. I try really hard to pay attention to her but it’s difficult to tell if she’s uncomfortable or if she’s in “hot” mode because I’m starting to go back to a “training” regimen. She does the same thing for both – she goes faster. I just need to listen better.
But, over the weekend I’ve also been wondering if I need to get anything injected. She’s never had an injection her whole life – not for her knee or her hocks or anything. She’s also been tripping these past few months, mainly on that right front, and she’s just been pretty body sore on a relatively consistent basis even with massages. I’ll get all her aches out for a day or two and then she’s back to being sore.
Especially if I’m getting into a demanding sport like eventing, even if it’s just at the intro level, I want her to be happy and sound. She could be body sore because of her hocks and her knees and potentially sore SI ligaments. Plus, considering her injury history and the fact that most rides are “work”, she’s relatively fit (albeit fat and heavily muscled). Enough to walk herself out after a good 45 minute ride in 5 minutes. So the strain of that could be getting to her joints.
Since the arena is slanted, we’re technically doing marginal hill-work every day. I think that’s really put on the pounds of muscle that I hope she loses after a few months. Plus, some of her hay isn’t the best looking or most nutritious – I think it’s similar to us eating popcorn. So we’ll try to lower her weight first to see if that helps (I will get plenty of stink eyes from her when she goes on her diet). I kind of want to try one thing at a time so I know what actually works instead of changing five things and not knowing which one helped.
Yesterday, the dirt for our arena came in, and now we’re just waiting for our grader to be available so he can spread the dirt and we can do a test ride. Can’t wait!
So after the last load of dirt was dropped off I went out to see the mare and give her a good full body massage. Of course, belly scratches were a MUST. I’ve seriously never met another horse that loves belly scratches as much as Amber does. Such a weirdo. Walked her a bit and it looked like she was feeling much better.
On helping Amber feel better, what do you guys suggest? What has worked for you in the past?