Went out and Indie was up near the gate with a few of the mares.. although she was a good ten feet away from them all. I ran down and she walked right over so I could clip on the lead rope and walk her out. She seemed pretty happy to see me and her legs looked even better.
My polo wraps also looking pretty great, I have to say. I tacked her up and we went to our first lesson together, which was her first time being ridden in a ring with other horses. A 12hh pony named Romeo (who is probably almost as speedy as she is) and the same 14.1hh mare who kicked her out in the pasture.. the girl riding her is riding her for her owner. Indie handled it pretty well although she seemed to dislike little Romeo. She'd pin her ears right back whenever they came too close. I'd never seen her pin her ears back before then so I was surprised.
We did a lot of whoa-ing and keeping still while the individual work was going on. Once it was our turn, we got on the 20 metre circle and worked on bending and supplying her.. we then did a few strides of cantering. My instructor said she's like a gazelle, and that her canter didn't look half as good as it felt, but she also said her legs are pin straight.. which isn't true, she has pretty good angulation.
All in all, I was pretty happy with how she went. After I had her hosed off, I let her graze beside Romeo (with myself and my barn friend with the lead ropes) for a good ten minutes so we could talk for awhile. Once she left, Indie and I headed into the barn and finished getting ready. It was her first night outside so I was worried for awhile but she seemed to make out fine.
Also, we finally heard back from the vet about the x-rays and she said she was very pleasantly surprised. She had feared that Indie had mild to moderate arthritis but she discovered that quite a bit of cartilage remained and that she was only starting to show signs of arthritis so the supplement will be an even bigger help! She said she was quite impressed with how well her joints had held up.
September 12, 2012
Today we spent probably twenty minutes on lateral flexion in my private lesson. I felt like I was on a merry-go-round! I discovered that while Indie is very soft and responsive to aids, she's incredibly stubborn and set in her ways.. so to speak. After trying to get her to give her head through the lateral flexion, and spinning around about a hundred times.. I think I can honestly say that I was slightly disoriented. I told my instructor that we should be playing jeopardy music. Finally, she caught on and her reactions got much quicker. *thank goodness!*
Then, we worked on trying to get her to learn how to bend. After I finally got her bending at the trot, I was in the midst of a huge dizzy spell.. my instructor had me keep her going at the trot, with my outside rein thrown away, just trying to get her to bend on the circle.. no matter how small I had to make it. Just picture Indie going in a relatively fast trot, in a 10 metre circle for a good few minutes before finally giving her head. Needless to say, we took a nice walk break so I could get re-oriented and so that she could have a breather.
After that, we walked her out and I cold hosed her legs and groomed her up before putting her outside.
Oh yes, and apparently my instructor doesn't believe that Indie only wears a 74" blanket.. so I'm hoping that she's wrong, because I already changed the order and it's been shipped, all $450 of it.
Her new blankets and fly mask came today! The size 74 seemed to fit quite well, although her high wither made it somewhat a bit tight around the area, although she could still graze and move around comfortably. There was plenty of extra room to go around. :) Plus her fly mask seemed to fit well, plus it had a double velcro closure so that should keep it on.
I didn't ride today, I just groomed her, rubbed down her legs and got her all dressed up before putting her outside.
I ended up just sitting out by the pasture for ten minutes before my dad came. Ally, an older mare, came to graze a bit closer to her until Molly came over and Indie decided to move away. Then Ally ended up kicking at her so she trotted a bit farther off. When I left, she was grazing happily and was in a closer radius to the rest of the herd.
No riding today but Indie finally got her feet done! The farrier said the thrush in her hind feet is up to the hairline so he told us what to get and after my mom ran to the store, he showed me how to apply it. He said once we get it cleared up, there'll be a big difference.
He also put on new aluminum shoes, he said it'll make it easier on her front legs because there'll be less impact since aluminum is much lighter. He also discovered a five degree difference in the angles of her heels on the front feet which he said causes extra tension on her tendons and was why she stood with her front left leg more forward. He took it down three degrees and there was already a huge difference.. she was standing evenly on both feet.
The farrier apparently used to really be involved with racing Standardbreds so he knew a lot about leg care and recommended an anti-inflammatory. He thinks she's a really nice mare and said he was always told "be cautious when you shoe a Thoroughbred for the first time" but he found her to be incredibly calm.. she was falling asleep almost.
Then a man came to say hi to him and apparently he is sending a Standardbred mare up to Toronto to race and he asked a bit about Indie's past. He couldn't believe how calm she was and commented on how relaxed she looked.. he also suggested that maybe the bug allergy was actually a bedding allergy, whereas the farrier thought a food one. He said an anti-fungal soap helped his mare when she had hives before he found out about her allergy to saw dust.
They also wanted to bet money that she had Secretariat lines because of how much she looked like him.. even though I know he's not in her pedigree. They agreed that she was a really lovely mare and probably the calmest Throughbred they'd ever met.
It was raining super hard when we left the barn so luckily Indie isn't too prissy about the rain. I'm going down tomorrow to ride and bathe her so hopefully it goes well. Lots of bending, suppling and standing still is in order! Posted via Mobile Device
Started out good, ended in me just getting frustrated and disappointed. I suppose that's my ADD kicking in.
I was looking forward to spending the afternoon riding and giving Indie a nice bath, so I was expecting a lovely time.
It started out great, you know, that great feeling you get when your horse starts walking to greet you as soon as she notices you're coming to get her.
I even got three of my polo wraps on nearly perfect today! The right hind one didn't go on too great though, so I had to try it again. When I did, Indie refused to keep her foot down. She'd bring it up to her stomach and act like she was going to kick me.
A brief refresher, Indie has thrush in all four feet.. only a mild case in the front feet and the hind feet are pretty bad, the right one being the worst. We're caring for it with the farrier's recommendation of treatment.
I ended up assuming that her hoof was bothering her so I decided I'd just give her a bath and then do some groundwork.
While hosing her down, as soon as I went to spraying her hind legs, she'd bring them up.. which is why I'm assuming her hooves were bothering her because she's been hosed down several times and I've wrapped her legs many times as well. The farrier said we could expect a bit of sensitivity from the product but that it'd work to clear up the thrush and soon we'd notice a great improvement. I don't doubt it in the slightest, but I just wish that today would've gone better.
At least I got in some groundwork for five minutes though.. and now my next visit will be on Tuesday so who knows what'll happen then. Fingers crossed.
Had a group lesson tonight! It actually went quite well but I'll further summarize the evening below.
My dad and I headed up around 4:30 and I got there at 4:50. Indie was in the pasture heading up to the hay holder for some hay, although my barn buddy was helping my instructor bring in some of the horses for their supper so Indie knew she'd get to come in soon. I rushed to get my boots on and met my barn buddy about half way and she said Indie had looked her at her with a relatively confused face and followed her and Livvy to the gate. When Indie saw me coming, she whinnied and walked over to the gate.
When she first came out, I couldn't believe the difference in her hind legs! No swelling in the pasterns which meant that her thrush is getting better! :-D
After, I was cleaning her hooves and oh my goodness, what a difference! Before her right hind hoof had no point and there was a deep crevice.. but tonight, you could see the new frog forming and the crevice was hardly that deep. Still a little sensitive but once she realized I wasn't giving up, she let me wrap her leg.
For our warm up, we did lots of lateral flexion and circles with an exaggerated bend. She was much less stiff, she gave her head in the matter of a few seconds instead of minutes. She also was bending nicely through her circles.
After, my instructor set up two squares (made of ground poles) and we serpentined through before we rode down center line. Considering Indie has not amy experience going over more than one ground pole, her striding was really nice. She didn't touch a single pole up until we did canters down the long side and she became harder to collect. That's a new thing to work on! There were times when she was trotting in a nice frame so that was lovely.
Oh yes, and we came to the conclusion that she has something against Romeo, the speed demon of a 13hh pony gelding. She pinned her ears back whenever he came close.. she wasn't quite as bad towards the other mare (who is in her herd) but the mare pinned her ears a couple times at her.
Other than that, it was great and once I coldhosed her legs, rubbed them down and then took care of her feet.. she went back out in the pasture. I got a picture of her and Maggie having a seemingly nice interaction but I'll have to post it once I get on my laptop. Posted via Mobile Device
(picture taken on my phone.. so not great quality!)
Today's lesson actually went pretty well. She's bending so much better! She was a little stiff to start with, but my instructor said she was inside all day.. which explained why her hind legs were a bit puffy. (the swelling was gone after I rode)
At the start, I ended up trotting her for a few laps each way just to get out a bit of energy as she wasn't focusing too well. After that, we did a three loop serpentine, going over two ground poles for the two end loops. Her striding is getting pretty darn good and by the end of our lesson, she was going in a frame with a nice inside bend! :-D
She's super sensitive to leg, so I'm working on keeping leg pressure on her at all times and just applying more as necessary. She's slowly catching on, although by the end of the lesson, she was much better!
My instructor also complimented how my polo wraps are getting better and better; she also added that she can see a pretty huge difference in Indie since having her feet done and being on the supplement. Indie is turning into such a looker!
She didn't want to go outside afterwards, as it was dark and she couldn't see really but I coaxed her in slowly and she walked out towards the other mares. I gave her a smooch and rubbed her neck! I know that horses don't have human emotions, and I don't allow her to push me around (ie: itch her head on me.. I'll itch it for her but I don't allow her rubbing up on me or anything of the sort).. but I figure it doesn't hurt! On another note, she's getting better at taking the bit instead of me having to shove my fingers in the corner of her mouth to get her to open.
Also, we're ordering some nice turquoise SMB3s tomorrow plus a new winter blanket (need a size bigger since we're estimating she'll have weight put on) as well as a midweight blanket for the fall since it's starting to get cooler.
Got down to the barn today! Indie didn't even glance at me during my walk through the field but she didn't make a fuss about calming and just happily walked alongside me until we got to the cross ties.
I got her all groomed up and her legs rubbed down before wrapping her legs and tacking her up to take down to the arena. Molly and her leaser (soon-to-owner.. so happy for Molly as she's spent most of her life as a lesson horse since being bought by my instructor when she was two) were down there as well before they left for a trail ride.
My instructor ended up bringing a beginner student down for a lesson while I was working on leg pressure and bending with Indie. I'd keep Indie going at a trot, with my inside leg on until she started to move over and bend. Once she got three circles in frame and with an inside bend, I'd give her a walk break. She caught on quite quickly! :-D
I did it in both directions before calling that part quits since I wanted to end that on a good note. I also just did lots of leg pressure at a walk since she tends to trot off, so after I could rub my inside leg on her without her trotting and just moving outwards, I hopped off and walked her out. I was very happy with how she went, at one point, she couldn't passed as a WP horse if she wasn't 16hh and a skinny Thoroughbred.
I also realized exactly how tall she is, she made Major look so short, which I suppose he is.. at 15.1hh.
Afterwards, I hosed her down and treated her hooves before putting her back outside. I think she made friends with the little Arabian mare, although maybe she mistook Indie for Annie because Mirabelle and Annie are best buds.. who often run off together and give Annie's leaser a hard time getting her from the pasture.
I first got to the barn at around 11 and go figure, Indie and the rest of the mares were all the way at the end of their pasture.. so I took a short cut through the middle pasture and crawled under the fence. Belle looked at me like I was crazy but oh well!
It seems that Indie and Maggie, aka the "alpha mare" have become pretty good buddies. They were eating together when I got there, and Indie went and found her again once I left. I was just overjoyed that Maggie didn't go to the trouble of following us back.
After I got her all tacked up and groomed, I took her down to the arena. We worked on lateral flexion for a bit and just doing lots of little circles with inside bend. Once I had her doing bigger circles, with inside bend and she wasn't trying to trot forward.. we moved onto trot work.
She grabbed onto the headset so much quicker today! After one canter attempt, she got into a decent frame and got more under herself with the help of my inside leg and a tiny bit of contact. It's nice to finally have her understanding that inside leg means move the rib cage over.
After that was going well, I decided to throw in a canter transition. It took a couple tries to get the correct lead, but it was a nice little canter.. or should I say, huge, ground-covering canter. I put some inside leg on and got some more contact and she went into a frame and inside bend around her corners. I brought her back and she was a bit worked up so I kept trotting her until I got three nice, in-frame circles.
Then, I got off and I walked her out by-hand. Before too long, another local instructor was here to check out the winter blanket to buy it.. so there's another $100 to put towards the new ones! :-D
I was really, really, really happy about today! I cleaned Indie's leather halter while I let her dry off after being hosed down.. so she got to chow down on some hay while I worked some more. Then I put the flymask on over her halter/cribbing collar and put her outside, where she immediately went over to where Maggie was and when I pulled out of the driveway, they were off to the side together eating. :-D
Well, today was definitely interesting.. both great and somewhat bad.
It started out good, nice bending.. walking on a loose rein. Her lateral flexions were relatively quick and her back ups were a bit stiffer but we haven't been working on them as much so that's no surprise. She also went into frame and got balanced quicker this time. She also is figuring out the meaning of leg pressure.. she gets better each ride! Yay!
Then, we were all to canter on a 20m circle.. yes, the three of us students. Now, with Major, it would've have been an issue. But, with my green-broke OTTB, I figured it'd be interesting. She was already lapping everyone at the walk. We basically just cantered up behind the person in front of us, so like a domino effect.
Indie got the correct lead going left lead, but not right lead.. I'm going to guess that'll be a longlasting battle because she was probably trained that way at the track. She can get correct leads, but I need to get quicker at figuring out which is and which. She also did a flying lead change on the circle.. but of course, it was all her doing. (the little goof)
Her canter-trot transitions are a ginormous work-in-progress, as in, it takes quite a few circles to get her somewhat settled down. Ironically, her canter-walk transition was darn near perfect. She started to walk almost immediately and calmly walked off on a loose rein. I gave her a huge rub on the neck for it.. so hopefully our trot transitions will eventually get to be that good.
She has so much potential and she shines more and more almost every ride! As I say in nearly every entry.. I can't wait to see how we progress!! Maybe some day, she'll even be able to look at Romeo and not pin her ears.
Afterwards, the barn was crowded but one of the women riding in the next group lesson kindly offered to let me use the cross-ties to quickly untack Indie so I could go hose her down.
I threw a cooler on her while I finished taking care of her for the night. Her joints are getting so much better, they cool down faster when I hose them and usually they aren't that warm after exercise.. and they aren't warm anymore when I bring her in from inside.. so another yay!