Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pie Update and Working on Lateral

For anyone who wants to know how Pie is doing, he's doing fine since we've been extra careful not to overfeed him hay in the late afternoon and evening - he's had only one "episode" in the time he's been back from the vet hospital.  So long as there's not too much bulk moving through his system, he seems pretty comfortable.  Tomorrow our vet is coming to draw blood to retest, particularly to see if his liver enzyme levels have changed.

I rode Pie today, just at the walk - I was tempted to do some trotting since he seemed to feel pretty good, but didn't - waiting for the results of his blood tests is a good idea.  We did some walking around in the vicinity of the barn, and a little bit of work in the arena using our cones and ground poles.

Drifter seemed a bit sore behind to me today, although not off - he just wasn't using himself well from behind - so although we did some trot work, I kept it on the stretching down, long-and-low side and didn't ask for a lot of transitions or shortening/lengthening, or tight turns.  I think the scrapes on his left hind, which have been healing, may be a bit tight right now.

Dawn and I had an excellent work session today, and made some good progress on her relaxation and lateral work.  One of the hardest things with Dawn is having her accept any leg - with her it's possible to dial your aids down to almost nothing, and if you do more she tends to get fussed.  Simply placing a leg on her side, without more, can get her to make a big move - with her you almost have to think your aids rather than do them.  She's a great teacher of keeping your body, posture and breathing quiet and intentional and soft - she's my guru.  I was able to get her to do some standing around on a loose rein between trot sets, which is hard for her - she always wants to be in motion.  She also had moments of relaxation, and we were able to do some stretching down at the trot.  The relaxation wasn't consistent, but it did keep coming and going, so it's available, and when it's there she's soft in the bridle and really using herself well.

We did some really nice lateral work, including doing some shoulder in around turns and on circles, spiraling out - two-tracking so her shoulders were to the inside of her hindquarters, which made a larger circle - her hindquarters were really active and she was allowing me to lay a leg on her inside barrel, while "stepping" out with my own feet (mentally more than physically although I'm always careful to weight my outside stirrup to get the "out").  I was really pleased with how she did.

We've got a weather change coming up, so the run of beautiful October days we've been having may be coming to an end.

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