I hope everyone’s 2016 has started off with a bang! Moe and I had a pleasant ride on New Year’s Day with our friends Holly and Roscoe. We spent most of our ride at a walk, practicing halts and trot transitions with an eye toward getting decent scores on our dressage tests this year. Moe still thinks the medium walk is a waste of his time , but he’s at least getting better about halting with less llama-like head and neck movements.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a D-ring for Moe on ebay for a whopping $17. This is normally the sort of thing I’d buy at work, but it’s nigh on impossible to find a small ringed D-ring; all the inexpensive brands are making these bits with enormous 4″ Ds! I wasn’t keen on paying $60+ for a new bit when I knew Moe wouldn’t care one way or the other so long as it was a single-jointed D. I found a fat Courbette, bought it, and finally got to try it on Friday. I thought it was a little fat for his mouth, but Moe really seemed to like it. He was much quieter in the bridle than he is with the French link eggbutt or any loose ring.
On Friday, I checked Gina’s heel for signs of soreness; she flinched when I squeezed her heel really hard, but seemed fine otherwise. Johnny and I headed out yesterday, and I planned to see how Gina felt under saddle at a walk.
When we got to the barn, Gina was trotting up and down the fence line, desperately whinnying for horses in the neighboring paddock. Gina’s usual pasture-mate, a Quarter Horse mare named Dee, moved to a new barn over the weekend and I guess Gina’s kind of upset about it. She seems uninterested in new pasture-mate Roscoe and has instead focused all her energy on calling to the herd of geldings next door. When I saw her trotting with nary a limp or head bob, I felt pretty good about my plan to ride her!
We stuck to a walk, and Gina felt great! I let her amble on a loose rein for a few minutes, then asked her to put herself together. She did, and she was steady and pleasant for the whole ride. We worked on leg yields and shoulder-ins as well as halts. Poor Gina’s so out of shape after 3 weeks off that she was huffing and puffing after half an hour. I plan to keep her on fairly light work for the next couple of weeks, then begin building up her endurance again for the back half of the hunt season.
I hope your new year started out as well as mine has!