It’s slow here in Amberland, getting colder but still staying nice during the day. I wasn’t able to ride Amber at all last week – mostly because I didn’t want to stress whatever was wrong with her leg, and then because of her injection Thursday, and long work day Friday. So when I got her out Saturday, she was almost pulling me to the mounting block. She wanted to GO! Which manifested itself in walking faster lol. Wild thang this one is for sure.
I asked my mom to watch and did a small half circle of slow trotting, just wanting to see how she felt. She felt a little strange at first, but then after a few very slow jog steps, she picked up pace and I could feel some float there. Not as much float as when I got her SI done, but the float and softness was definitely there and she felt really good. So I brought her down to a walk, she felt a little disappointed, but ready and anticipating for when I was going to ask again. I just worked on the walk, and at the end of our 20 minute walk she almost stopped, and I swear her ears flicked back like “OH we’re doing this walk-all-the-time-shit again? Ugh” lol. And was then content to really mosey her way around. She really doesn’t think walking has any purpose haha.
Sunday was a good mix ride. We kept it to a walk once again, but she felt smoother and her footfalls sounded softer. Throughout Saturday I’d kept an eye on her, and noticed both days that she wasn’t dragging that right hind anymore. Sometimes she’d just stick her toe in the dirt, like she couldn’t get her leg up. Other times she’d just drag it along if she was walking slowly. Now, she really looks like she’s picking that leg up and it feels much better.
So we walked for about fifteen minutes in the ring, then I decided to take her on a nice walkabout but only on the street or just to the side of it. I didn’t want to stress it by making her go up and down on uneven terrain, so we kept it at that. She was a bit looky, as she is I’m finding when I can’t get her out sooner than 2 weeks apart. Not that she’s horrible, she just focuses on everything – stop, look, walk fast, look, stop, walk behind your leg, walk very fast, look, stop, stop and look and then walk fast lol. Which don’t get me wrong I LOVE about her because I’d much rather have that than one that takes off, but I was wary on Sunday since our only outing for a week was Saturday and I really didn’t want to get dumped since she has a mean leap-to-the-side lol.
She’s really never pulled that with me (only time was when she was 2 and got startled, whirled around so fast I’m surprised I didn’t come off), and even when she really wants to go she is able to focus on work (cause she knows we’ll work lol). But, I really love that even when she’s a little lit, she controls it well. Of course I couldn’t stick her on a lunge line and let her play even though I wanted to, but like I said she was fine.
Towards the end of the ride, she knew when we were headed home and really started walking, being a little barn sour, so I took that as a mwahahaha opportunity that she had to work and so I gathered contact to work on the walk. And dammit if she didn’t do it immediately. And pretty well. Well, nuts lol. But, we still worked on it, and it was good doing it without a fence because I could still feel her curve to the right, and even without spurs, wanting to go home, she said “well, sure ma, I will move my hip a little left, walk straight and lift my shoulders, and I’ll even get it for five steps until you release”. I love this little horse. She’s just so willing, and on any other horse, it may have been an issue, but it was even a little difficult to keep her actually moving forward when I took contact! After she’d been almost power walking to get home. She’s just the best.
Since we’re stuck at the walk for a bit, I’ve been trying to make it a little less boring by practicing contact, circles, asking her for a haunches in (I hope I’m doing it right), matching the shoulders up and then pushing them back out and lining the haunches up (again I hope I’m doing it right. It feels good so I think so lol). She’s been really developing in the contact, learning that I want her push forward, but not so much that she’s leaning. And she’s really coming around to me asking her these new lateral things – like she sees them as a challenge and is bound and determined to do it right.
But the injection and the small step back came at a really opportune time. Wednesday the fam and I will be driving up to Reno to spend Thanksgiving with my sister, brother-in-law and niece. I’ll be missing my horsey time, but my other sister who couldn’t make it up there is taking care of the horses for us. By then, Amber will be cleared to start back into light work, and we’ll both be very happy about that.
Also, my Lund bridle is supposed to come today. I’m so excited! I’m a little worried the 57″ laced reins might be a little short, but they will be used for jumping for now (the 60″ dressage reins I have sometimes feel short lol) until I can try a pair of their eventer series rubber ones. Can you tell I’m excited? lol