Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great End to October . . . Now on to November!

It was a very good October with my horses.  Pie's treatment for Lyme disease started and he's been at the full dose for a little more than two weeks - we have two weeks to go.  His grumpiness and soreness is already much improved, and he's moving very well.  Red's rehab is progressing very well so far, and he's able to do a fair amount of continuous trot work and is using his hind end well again.  Dawn continues to be wonderful.  Who could ask for more?

I try to ride each of my horses five times a week, with two days off.  The routine I've developed is to ride Dawn from Saturday through Wednesday, and give her Thursday and Friday off, and to ride Red and Pie from Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday off - this means that Friday is a non-riding day for me, which means I can do other things during the day and then just stop by in the afternoon to check on the horses and pick feet. If I manage to ride each horse 5 times a week, each horse will have 21 or 22 rides per average month, depending on such things as farrier, vet and chiro visits, and other commitments I may have - riding's pretty high on my list but occasionally I have to be somewhere else.  Now that I have an indoor arena, the weather is no longer an issue, which has really improved my consistency.

October went well - Dawn had 21 rides, and Red and Pie had 23 each, although 7 of Red's rides were just at the walk as part of his rehab.  That's a total of 67 rides - I'm a big believer that time in the saddle is a major factor in how well I ride, and how well my horses and I communicate and work together.

Today was a great conclusion to the month.  Dawn and I had an excellent walk/trot ride in the indoor in the morning - I was working on her relaxation and riding the hind legs and she responded by very nicely bending into the corners.  We didn't canter, because I wanted to solidify my work at the trot.  Red and I had an excellent ride in the afternoon.  His trot work was very good on both diagonals, and we were able to do a fair amount - this is the second day in a row he's done a good amount of trot work, and if he's still feeling good tomorrow, we'll do some more.  We're working on gradually building up his stamina.  Then Pie and I had an outstanding ride - we had the indoor to ourselves and were able to do a fair amount of cantering.  His canter is really coming along rapidly - he can now sustain it much more easily and the softening and lightening of footfalls are really improving on both leads.

So that's it for October - now on to November - every day I go to the barn with a sense of excitement and delight in how wonderful my horses are and how privileged I am to have them and be able to ride them frequently.  Our communication is deepening, day by day, and it's a great joy to me.

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