After five days of riding, I gave Dawn a day off yesterday and just groomed her. She had a long cut on her hip - looks like a bite - although she was wearing her heavy Rambo turnout blanket. And sure enough, when I inspected the blanket, it was torn at that spot - that must have been some bite as those blankets are tough. So it's another blanket off for mending . . . Fortunately, I have another heavy blanket she can wear on cold days. She's also still looking very thin. If her weight doesn't start to improve by next week, I'll be adding some supplemental high fat feed.
Today we had a very nice ride. We did a bit of lungeing first - I use this to check her energy level and(begin to get her attention, although I suspect we won't have to be doing lungeing first for much longer. This was Dawn's sixth ride since being brought back into work (at the new barn) after a several months layoff. Her lungeing work was very good - to the left her trot was relaxed and she was doing some stretching down, and we even did some very nice canter work on the lunge, and her transitions were good. To the right, she's a bit stiff - it looks like the left hind needs to warm up more than the right - and she tends to want to carry her head to the outside. I moved the line to attach it to the side of the noseband, instead of below the chin (she was in the fuzzy nose halter) to help her keep her head slightly bent to the inside.
Our mounted work was really good - there was some real relaxation at the walk, and her trot work is improving. There were some glimpses of relaxation, mixed in with lots of circles and serpentines and a few straight lines when she relaxed. There was a young girl lessoning on a very forward pony, and at one point the pony was really careening around - almost out of control - but the girl managed to get him back and Dawn coped really well with it. I was delighted with how well she's doing.
Pie and Drifter are scheduled to make the trip up to Wisconsin for their month of training next Thursday, weather permitting. I'm pretty excited about that, too. Heather is all ready for them, and they (and pretty soon I) will be going to boot camp - improvements are likely all around . . .