Angel wasn't out all winter, if by 'all winter' you mean late autumn/fall to early spring, she went out in July and came back in around the 5th of September. But from late May onwards she wasn't in full work, I had a friend riding her but they only rode her a few times and it was just walk/trot arena work. She is coming off pasture rest, she has been running on 150 acres for that time. I rode her yesterday, just walking and watching my friend ride, and she felt pretty good, and not sore, but today when I fed her she looked sore again. I will also clarify that she will only go to the show IF she is fit and firing because she has had a bit of a rubbish year, health-wise, because of moving interstate and such, but show or no show, she needs to get fit. I tried to lunge her yesterday instead of riding but she nearly kicked my head in, so hence getting the saddle on.
Our terrain is fairly hilly, but there aren't really any trails. We live near a national park/forest type area but to get there means riding along a dirt road with no speed limit and apart from being dangerous, Angel isn't wearing shoes at the moment so I don't want to ruin her feet on the rocks. We have a beach, but again it is riding along roads and a good hour's ride away and I don't have a float/trailer to transport her to the beach.
Thanks for all the advice Kayty, but there is no way I could keep her happy just walking and trotting for three weeks. Angel is a typical highly strung thorouhbred and I can just see the tantrums unfolding if I tied to hold her back that long, haha. Having her at the show isn't a neccesity because I'm taking two other horses, but it would be nice as she's my number 1 and she only got one start this year as it is!
So she will most likely get today off too, but I will go and check her and perhaps do some lead-rein exercises to test her soreness because lunging is scary and I don't want to ride her again and make it worse.
The half-halt is also used as a "hey poneh, I am gonna ask you to do something in a second, is yew awake?".