Velvet's been a sweetheart, never mind the brief fussies due to estrus, through the arthritis ordeal. She's a registered Paint, I suppose you could call her type a lean stock or stocky race (someone took a good barrel racing-track racing AQHA bloodline and crossed it with an iffy APHA bloodline, same purpose, with plenty of TB blood). So, not the easiest work with, not the hardest, a good medium horse and definitely one of my favorites. However, the poor girl's slight cow hock and rushed early training with her first buyer a long time ago landed her with arthritis in the hocks a few months ago... she's twelve
years old. If you're going to work a 2yo, do it right
Anyway, we're branching off from her low-level show jumping career (7yo-present) and going for Eventing practice. The arthritis is minor, so a bunch of treatments for joint health and blood flow as well as stretching, massage, and chiro adjustments keep her in working condition. Someday I probably will start hock injections, depending on how this plays out, as the girl is cleared for work, just has to go along slower than what I would like. Just part of the woes til I level out her asymmetry more.
Canter leads are looking good. Now it falls solely to me to get my weight just-so to ensure the correct lead each request.
Stretching is going well on request. She still has her giraffe moments at faster paces but still gives a good stretch-down.
Energy is still magnificent, I put her on 12% grain and she's happy to give that extra thrust for impulsion.
Jumping is pretty good. Getting those forelegs tucked and no more run outs.
Lateral and vertical flexion is awesome.
The downward transitions from trot.
I. Am. Hating. Them.
If I could bring her out to a track every day and let her gallop her heart out, I'd love that, and so would she, she a has a heart, ground-engulfing gallop, but incidentally.... I can't. When it comes time to trot--->walk... Velvet is more in the stead of saying, cool, we can walk for one stride aaaand back to trot with a passion. Now, I can see she's flexing herself like she's been showing nicely on free lunge sessions, but I would like to walk and stay
walking for more than a few strides and then
tell her when to shift. We have a training level Dr show coming up, and of course, a trot2walk is called for. Since Velvet's body has been freed up, she wants to use it! It isn't that she's getting flighty with me, more that once she gets going, she's going, and screw you for asking a slower pace or dare for a walk. She won't go into canter or gallop, the girl is too classy for that trick, but once I get her in the mind for a trot, well, I Hath Spoken.
The dirtiest thing is that she can be going along with a beautiful overtracking trot and then, when I ask for a walk, she dives to the forehand. It throws anyone forward. She's a booger. I put my aids on very, very slowly, and have to wait out any burst of speed she has, as once she feels my leg she thinks it means GO, and close my hands. What usually happens is her pre-frame falls to pieces and she sticks her nose up, speeds through. Gaaaaaaahhh. Now I know. I need to practice. I have my trainer, she's been telling me the same. But it sucks. I love my girl but I don't prefer spending an hour out in the fields (don't have an arena) turning and circling her, waiting for her to slow down so I can ask for the d**ned walk transition correctly. Hate it when I end up getting flustered and of course she picks up on it. A few times I got so agitated, probably stiffened up, and she shook her head side to side like a dinosaur when I asked for a halt instead of waiting longer for her to cool off ;_; It's one of those you-no-good-rider moments one has to muscle through T_T
Just so you know, nope, I'm not hammering her sides or hauling her mouth. Sometimes we go out with a neck strap or a halter for variety, or let the English reins out to full slack for neck reining. Tack with plenty of fleece cushion and a thiiick snaffle bit. She's sensitive,
at the same time pretty forgiving, thankfully.
That's my vent. Sorry =_=
Hoped this might help anyone else sharing the same ordeal; you're not alone and it's not the end of the world