I haven't been here in a while, but last time I posted, Amber had a mystery "offness". It cleared up in about 2 weeks, and I gave her an extra 2 weeks, monitoring her continued soundness, just to make sure everything was okay, and two months later she's sound and getting fit again.
I posted about my barn manager's suggestion on the training fork...I know some of you were skeptical of this to get her carrying herself better, and some were flat out against it.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical myself. I really don't like "gadgets". But I vowed to at least try it and do my best to use it in a way that was as sensible as possible.
It seems to have paid off. Amber is doing WONDERFUL. She's come along so fast all around, and she's really starting to understand contact. The toe dragging issue we had is almost gone, because she is starting to stretch down and work with softness through her back and at the poll, really applying herself. Right now, she's unevenly muscled, and it's only one side that tends to drag every so often, but there is huge improvement.
We are gradually "weaning off" the fork, and it's mostly used in warm up now. She responds well without it, and is improving under saddle without it. Her gaits have improved tenfold.
My friend came out and watched us ride and even schooled Amber for a few minutes herself. She hasn't seen us since March, and she said Amber's come a long way. My trainer said in our lesson last Friday that she is amazed at Amber's progress in just the last few weeks. So I feel really good because hearing things like that tells me I'm doing something right with Amber! Here's to continued success.