The weekend was a bit of a whirlwind. I posted two tack sales – one english and one western – for ridiculously good prices and suddenly I was scrambling to answer everyone’s requests, get invoices out and send the packages. I’m still going to be sending packages today since I missed the deadline on Saturday. But I’m super glad I was able to get a bunch of stuff sold that I didn’t need, and make a couple bucks while I was at it. Then I saw someone selling an Ogilvy in just my barn colors. I was planning on buying a cover anyway because my lovely white one with navy piping is getting dirty – but not too dirty thank you scotchguard. So I basically got a whole pad for the same price as just a cover. I’d say that’s a win-win.
I didn’t get to ride Friday, but true to form after 2 days off Amber was brilliant on Saturday. She was much straighter in her body and was absolutely less jumpy about my left leg. I left my stirrups long and I also felt I had a better grasp of position this ride, which no doubt helped her. My left toe has a tendency to swing out and look weird and be in the wrong position, but I felt I had at least better awareness of when old habits were taking over so I could change them. We tried out our new PS of Sweden dressage polos which…. were absolutely made for a warmblood. I will definitely need to cut them.
Amber’s trot felt much more springy, but she was also long and fluid. We may not get points for being a flashy mover, but damn her steps were so rhythmic that I’d rather stick with rhythm and cadence vs flashy. We’re never really going to be flashy anyway so as many points for correctness as we can get, right? Her canter to the left was phenomenal. She felt very through in her back and while we don’t get much upward lift in the shoulders, she was really trying for me. She was also a lot less worried about the contact and willing to let me keep just that little bit on her before I let her go, she maintained and we stopped.
Her right was still a little choppy, a little less together in terms of straightness but when she was straight and trying to lift and didn’t rush downhill when I released, we stopped and called it a day. I was very pleased with her, and I think she was actually happy to go back to the flat after having a few days of OMG exciting. And I think it helps her to go back to the flat because it’s something she knows well and can pretty easily succeed in.
But, I also switched back to the Ogilvy, and she just felt so much more fluid in her back, too. I’m still a little concerned the Ogilvy may be too fluffy for her shoulder fit but the saddle is a shoulder free model, and if she feels more comfortable in the Ogilvy, then that’s what we’ll do. I still like the Thinline, and many horses do, but I just can’t get over how stiff in her back she felt on Wednesday and how fluid she was in the Ogilvy over the weekend. Maybe it was the time off, but I’m thinking it’s the half pad. There’ve been a few other instances where I’ve either used a different half pad or none at all, and her reactions were very similar. Also, my back was a little sorer with the Thinline! So, if it makes us both feel good, well then we’re sticking with it.
Sunday we went for a nice 30 minute hack. I’m really loving having a stopwatch and being able to time how long I’ve been on and how long we’ve been performing certain exercises. I’m really enjoying all this detailed work. But anyway she was really really good for the hack. She stayed in front of my leg the whole time – no stop jig stop jig stop jig. Just a very nice marching walk almost the whole way around. She was on a loose rein the whole time, and I just felt utterly comfortable on her yesterday.
The best part though was when we almost ran into a cactus. I’d thought it was a sagebrush but it wasn’t, so I made a command steer. And she did, just….right into a pretty sizable creosote bush. And it was just like she shrugged and went nbd and just powered her way through the bush. Didn’t even care if it scratched her or whatnot. I was laughing pretty hard but was also thinking brush jumps will probably be nbd to her considering how many sagebrush and creosote bushes she just stomps through. Towards the end she kind of just stopped and I figured she’d reached the end of her “this is new and exciting” feeling. Just trail walking is boring for her, so when she seemed a little done I headed home and there was no rushing this time. She was actually a little slower. And she only called once for Whisper. It was a huge improvement from the last time, and it was just such a pleasant hack.
Amber finally got her acupuncture appointment Sunday evening. I’ve been planning it for a bit, even though she’s felt much better. There are still times when she seems to have trouble with that side, and since she loves her massages I thought she’d love this. Plus it should just help release those muscles that have been pulled and shortened and stiff around her pelvis even more.
Her hotspot was predictably her right SI, but the vet stuck her with a few needles on either side and let those sit in there for a few minutes before taking out the laser machine.
The two spots on her spine are usually hotspots too, but after a little while her eyes started to droop. I tried getting photos but every time I’d move to get a pic she’d wake up like wait, what’s going on?! so I didn’t get any. But towards the end of her laser therapy, her lip was starting to curl, and I could tell she was beginning to feel really good. Unfortunately, the laser stopped with 8 minutes to go because it was literally too hot outside for the laser. Thanks, Vegas.
She looked like she felt better afterwards. A little wide-eyed and looking at me like what just happened mom? how could you betray me? which I think is such an amusing expression on her but I hope she’s over it soon haha. And after this, I can’t wait to ride her and see how she feels!