I don't ride my younger mare every day, but she doesn't really need it. She's chubby, but not horrifically, alarmingly overweight. My older pony mare, however, is horrifically, alarmingly overweight, and she really needs worked daily to help her shed some pounds. She's so heavy that it's beginning to affect her balance.
Pictures are attached below, but the potbellied little mare you see below is Dee. She's about 17, 13 something hands high (13.2 or .3, maybe?), and I've had her since the beginning of May. She's very well broke, knows a LOT, is sensitive, but she's still your typical lazy, test-you pony.
Anyhow, I rode her almost every day for the last two months, but then she started getting really stiff so I gave her a week off, fearing the worst. I speculated it was her arthritis finally kicking in, but I didn't learn until the end of the week that regular work is the best thing for arthritis. So, in a week of no work and all the pasture she could eat, she gained back a large amount of the weight she'd worked off in the last while.
And thus, we come to my quest. Even though the last thing I want to do after a hot, tiring day is drag a saddle out to the barn and ride, I'm doing it for the good of her health (and mine).
So, I'll start my entry with yesterday (even though I've been riding her religiously for a few days now).
Wednesday July 20
As usual, it was sunset when we started off, and I must admit that riding with the shadows long and the sun casting a warm glow over everything is really pretty. I walked her to the trail head, then trotted for about half a mile to warm up (with intervals of walking), and then cantered down the open fields and between the rows of potatoes. The only good thing about a foreign-owned company buying and desecrating our land is that they don't know how to plant potatoes, and this year the rows are nice and wide, and leave plenty of room to canter comfortably. We walked home by the road, and then around home I rode her around the pool. She is TERRIFIED of the pumps and hoses, and it's a little ridiculous, so every day I just walk her around and around the pool and work her near there. By the end she's always a little bit calmer, but it's a daily work in progress.
And now, enjoy the pictures.
I have no idea why she's standing so ridiculously in the first picture. What a dweeb.