Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Getting her back into shape...?
So last November, as yall know, I rescued an emaciated senior TWH mare and have been working on getting her healthy again. Joyce was probably a mid-to-high-2 (possibly a low-3) on the Body Condition Scale (I use the 1-to-10 scale, where 1 is skin and bones and 10 is morbidly obese).
She has put on enough weight that I feel comfortable taking her out on short (3/4th a mile-to-1 mile) rides, and we went on our first ride the other day.
However, I realize that I'm in desperate need of a good riding plan for her. She is a sweetheart and doesn't have a bad bone in her body, and she was extremely happy to be out yesterday, but she's had so many bad riders on her that she's dead to leg pressure and is all over the road, weaving and swerving, and I had to constantly be in her mouth to keep her walking on a moderately straight line. I had to constantly keep on her with my heels, which I do not enjoy doing...
When a friend of mine owned her several, several years ago, Joyce was kid-broke/beginner-broke, walk/rack/running walk/canter all in a straight line, etc...
The other day, I did have her in a snaffle bit, where she has always been ridden in a mechanical hackamore (she was trained in a mechanical hackamore, I know the man who bred her and trained her).
Can anyone help me figure out a riding routine for Joyce and/or help me figure out how to get her back to where she once was...? I only feel comfy taking her out once a week for a mile or less right now, but I was thinking of starting off at a 'powerwalk' for half of each ride and letting her relax and 'cool down' for the last half of each ride for the first month or two. I'll be riding her probably every Sunday afternoon, after work.
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)