"Retiring" to Drive.
I've got a little mare who's probably going to be the death of me or drive me to drink. I adore her, love her sweet attitude (as long as I'm not on her back) and will be a home for her always.
A little backstory...
She was injured in early 2012 in her right front, and was off the rest of the year. Brought her back into work this year, and things were going slowly, and then she bucked me off spectacularly in mid March and I steer clear of her back for months. I took her out, worked her on the lunge but stayed off riding. And then I switched saddles from western to english, and started tentatively working from her back again. She showed some improvement and interest, but I didn't sense a lot of enthusiasm from her. And between driving and riding my Haflinger, who is totes fun either way, I guess I was trying to keep myself from getting too frustrated that I wasn't getting anywhere with her.
She's not bad, per se. She's a doll of a little mare, and a real little gem. But our last few rides have been lackluster, and I've ended up getting off frustrated. Which isn't fair to her. I want to have the vet look her over and see if there are physical ailments in her back that might be exaggerated with the weight of a rider, but at this point, I'm ready to throw in the towel and call off riding for good. She's paid her dues, if she's done, I'm going to respect that.
I'm hoping to lay in a good driving foundation though, whether or not she actually pulls a cart in the future. I've been having a great time with my Haflinger, and think that at least ground driving her would get her out and about to exercise.