Saturday, July 16, 2011

Five Weeks - Downs and Ups

It's five weeks since my accident, and while things are slowly improving, I'm not fully back to normal yet.  But my body takes care of itself - the day before yesterday I was very active, taking a long walk and having my first ride again on Pie.  Yesterday I was very tired and felt like a limp noodle and also had a headache, so rested most of the day.  Today I feel much better and have done some walking and managed another ride on Pie.  I'm expecting to continue to have these downs and ups for a while and don't worry too much about it - I do what I'm able to do and that's enough - there's no point in getting frustrated about it.

I think Pie's name should be changed to Saint Pie - there aren't too many 5 year old horses who would be so perfectly well-behaved after almost 5 weeks off.  Once again he stood completely still as I got on and didn't move a muscle until I asked him to walk off.  He halts and stands for as long as I want, anywhere I want.  He walks just as I ask him to and never picks up the pace unless asked. He's a very special horse and I'm lucky to have him, particularly right now.

We walked around for about 10 minutes, throwing in some halting and some backing, and lots of turns and figures.  I'm starting to work with him on his backing - he backs well and immediately, but he's not particularly soft and tends to put his head down almost between his knees - I expect this was how he was taught to back.  I'd like him to be a little more relaxed and soft about it - he tends to rush backwards - and to carry his head in a more natural position which will allow him to lift himself with his hindquarters rather than drag himself backwards on the forehand.  We're also starting to work on our softening at the walk as well - might as well take advantage of the walking we're doing!

We're supposed to have extremely hot weather for the next week - I'll be turning my horses out in the late evening and bringing them in the morning before it gets too hot so they can spend the day in their stalls under the fans.  And my rides will have to switch to early morning, as it's going to be too hot to ride any other time of day.  Here's a good post at Equine Ink on how hot is too hot to ride, depending on such factors as air temperature, relative humidity and wind speed - I've printed out a copy to put on the bulletin board at the barn for reference.

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