We have been working diligently at making sure Tyra's colic does not come back. Her bloodwork showed unusually high levels of protein, which makes her susceptible to stones and irritates any hind gut ulcers she may or may not have. Even though I pulled her off of all the alfalfa hay, shockingly enough she isn't losing condition. I supplement with an amino acid powder that I put into her food. She gets extra electrolytes and we installed a second water bucket in her stall outside, so now she has two places to drink from. Of course, she prefers her large bucket and not her automatic waterer.
We've moved up in the dressage world. I had a lesson with Maggie this weekend and we worked extensively on getting moments of suspension in our trot. We also focused on staying on the bit and impulsion through the trot. So far so good! We've moved up to first level now. Maggie wants us to start competing at the end of this year.
Things with Alyssa are better, and the training is going OK, but she is no Maggie. I know it makes her uncomfortable knowing I am riding from a Grand Prix dressage trainer, but in my opinion she doesn't really get too much of a say. I checked her training book, and despite being with her for nearly four months, and working with Tyra once a week, Tyra is still not on her list of "horses in training." I am doing all I can do be included in her riding program, but sometimes I still feel like we are struggling to be seen.
Regardless, Maggie really, really likes Tyra. She talked extensively on my contact and connection, and says points are easy if we can keep her nose on the vertical. So she shortened up my reins and told me to ride like this. Immediately I felt a bit nervous, because as soon as we were truly "on the bit" I could feel Tyra swell up underneath me and fill with very intimidating power. The canter work is getting better, but every time I allow Tyra to open up her stride I get nervous and pull her back. We are doing our best not to discourage her, but she is such a powerful horse that it is hard for me not to feel a bit out of control.
That's all I've got for now. I am probably going to give her the day off tomorrow, and hopefully ride her Tuesday. Count down to the show begins!