Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's My Birthday

But first, a service announcement to all listening horses:


Blue, a 18 year old Mustang, living in the upper field, should have known better.

Silly horse, should have known they didn't taste good!

I got up early and watched two episodes of The Good Wife (one of my favorite shows that my family hates), and ate breakfast, then headed to the barn. I wanted to spend the day doing the things I love most - ride my horse and watch Bronco football. (And hang out at home with J and T: that goes without saying). 

Ashke was pretty happy to see me. He was standing in the sun, with his eyes closed when I got there. He looked sleepy and surprised to see me. I wrapped him up in the BOT and put him in the crossties. His winter coat is coming in and I find the thickness kind of surprising. Beginning to think we are going to have a cold, snowy winter. He enjoyed my scratches at the edge of his cheeks and across his chest. I can't wait to get my birthday present -  I have a 3' by 4' BOT saddle pad (that goes from under the saddle to the end of his butt) coming on Tuesday. I'm hoping it will really help him stay loose and comfortable while we are riding. 

We went into the outdoor arena and worked on the lunge line to start. Ashke was still tight in the hip but got looser as we worked. After ten minutes or so, I put him in the side reins and discovered what Cassandra was talking about when I was on vacation in June. He struggles to bend to the inside on the left lead and I really have to force him to canter in that direction. He threw his head up and stopped himself a couple of times, trying to turn in the other direction and the look on his face says it all, "I can canter in the other direction, mom. Just watch." We only did two complete circles on the correct lead before we stopped. We are going to continue to work on it every time I work him in the side reins, because he needs to relearn how to carry himself. He's going to have to be forced to do so. I am thinking of it as Physical Therapy. He is thinking he doesn't like it. He has a horrible habit of cross cantering, because it's easier.

He did great with me on his back. We are still working on W/T transitions and on finding a solid, forward, collected smooth trot. I was happy with how hard he tried and how well we did. We have a lesson on Weds with Cassandra and I want J to come out and watch what we are doing. 

After our ride, I rubbed him down with Sore No More gelotion and then put the BOT on him. I was meeting Cassandra and a woman she wanted me to meet, Susan. Susan does Ttouch, energy work and massage with horses. I wanted her to meet Ashke and for me to see what I thought. Ashke grazed, but seemed really comfortable with her. We talked about Ashke's history and what I thought was going on with his hip. She thinks, and I agree, that the injury is probably older than I first thought and she thinks it might date back to his gelding. Especially, when you combine his issues with his refusal to drop. She showed me some Ttouch massage to use on him to encourage him to relax and drop, but agrees that the trauma of being weened and gelded at the same time, could have created an emotional resonance that he is having problems letting go. I am also going to work him on the fan shaped cavalletti to help strengthen his back.

We have an appt on the first Saturday in November. We will see how much work we can get done.