Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Better Now

Just a quickie post today to update anyone who might have been concerned about/depressed by my last post. I went out yesterday to see Sofie, expecting her to be stiff/sore/damaged in some way by her fall, but she was pretty much fine. She let me catch her, was calm, and appreciated her grooming without being crabby/reactive. She didn't seem to have any sore spots, so we decided to tack her up and see how she did under weight. She was pretty chill about being saddled.

She walked fine in both directions and was nice and relaxed, almost a little lazy, but that made sense because it was 50 degrees and we were in the unstimulating indoor arena (it seemed too squishy outside to ride, it's melting like crazy out there). When I started trotting her, she was gnarly, but not uneven or lame or anything. She was actually better on the right, the side she fell on! So I got off the outside track and started riding her in different patterns, changing it up, and doing smaller turns to make her think a little more. She got interested in what we were doing, and her attitude became magically better. After that, she was even fine when I put her back on the outside track to work on stretching down at the trot. She didn't stretch down decisively or consistenly (I haven't worked on that in a while) but she did put her head down intermittently, and I was able to steer her and keep her on the wall.

When another person came into the arena to go out and catch a horse, she got a little distractable, and stopped steering well and paying attention. But when my mom reminded me to look up and ahead, she started focusing a LOT better. That was a real wake-up call for me...when I have steering issues outside, I'll bet anything that I start to look down at her neck. And when I do that, she loses her forward motion, concentration, everything goes out the window. The more I focus on her not focusing, the worse she does. But if I look up and plan ahead, she comes back to me.

I ended the ride with a really nice, soft, relaxed trot. She was really relaxed and happy after the ride. I'm amazed at how well she did just a day after falling flat on her side, but that just shows how durable she is. My entire right side is messed up right now (for once I put more weight in my LEFT stirrup when I rode, and my right arm kills) but I'd much rather it be me than her.

Today I watch a couple dressage lessons at a nearby barn. Tomorrow I ride, and stay at the barn until Friday, as I'm doing barn work Thursday and Friday morning. And I have two lessons scheduled this month as well.


  1. Good to know that everybody is mostly A-okay. Maybe a jacket with a big collar would help with the looking down too much? That way if you started to look down your chin would catch on the collar and alert you to what you're doing?

  2. Horses can take a lot. Sounds like you just had a bad day. We all have them, horses and humans alike.