Sunday 14 February 2016

Weekend Rides/COPD Update

I've been making up for lost time and riding every day. Poor Midge! And, poor readers! Prepare yourselves for multiple ride recaps...or do yourselves a favor and go read something more interesting :)

Friday: The Midge felt really, really good physically. Loose and soft and bendy, light in the contact. I asked for transitions everywhere: within the gait, on a circle, through a leg yield, etc. Besides all the things that happen because she is green, my only little critique would be she felt a little bit stuck now and then, resulting in some wiggliness.
Sassy thing.

Saturday: Felt awful. That bit of wiggliness turned into full on revolt, including more impressive rodeos when we discussed forward and straight being a thing. Partly my fault for not wearing my spurs and maybe not picking enough of a fight the day before. Problems were somewhat resolved by incorporating some poles on our canter circles. Poles = jumping fun in Midget land and require immense amounts of focus and enthusiasm. Up transition issues were solved easily with this, bolting off after the poles being my new challenge. I finished on a good note, and immediately signed up for an extra lesson next week, since we both felt awful and need help!
Ginger and her lover last Valentines Day

Sunday: Valentines Day and love is in the air. Midget Pony is in heat, as evidenced by her attempts to get the boss mare in the paddock to breed her. Silly horses. I tacked up and we went for a trail ride in the rain and wind. Bridget was less than impressed by this, being slightly ridiculous about the neighbours alpacas, and completely ridiculous about an empty garbage can in front of the house beyond that. Obviously all the running water in the culverts and creek crossings were cause for concern - we never see rain here, after all </sarcasm>
I wasn't holding out much hope for a great ride in the arena, but since pony loves to mess with my mind and play the opposite game, we had a really good ride! The soft/loose/supple pony from Friday reappeared, without the stickiness. Ride highlights : some quality walk to canter transitions where I really felt her think it through and sit to make it happen (rather than the default of trying to rush through the bridle). As always, left lead wasn't quite as fluid, but she really, really tried to do what I asked,  and what more can you wish for?  I asked for leg yields in the canter and got them, like no big deal. Our spirals are paying off! Lots and lots of pets and praise for Ms Bridget.
The world is so scary

COPD update: the meds helped significantly, but as soon as we took her off them the coughing reappeared.  I spent yesterday morning helping the barn owner make a separate paddock for Bridget and her best buddy, Scout. Scout is an older Arabian mare who's worth her weight in gold for the lesson kids, but who is also a little heave-y.  Separating them allows us to soak their hay and hang nets especially for them (eventually they will have their own special feeder to make it easier). The hay we're feeding is beautiful quality, but apparently that doesn't matter. The ponies could have an allergy to any part of the hay or the inherent bits of dust, or even if there was a bit of fertilizer used to grow it. We switched hay from a late cut Timothy to a first cut grass/alfalfa mix from a different area, but it didn't help. So, we're trying soaking it.  Today, I put in a fairly intense ride and there was zero coughing . Crossing my fingers hard it's the soaked hay making the difference and not a fluke! It would be such an easy solution!


  1. Overall it sounds like the rides were good and productive. I hope that that soaking does it for you too!

  2. at least you're already starting to see what helps and what doesn't with Bridget's coughing. hopefully the soaking makes a big difference!

  3. Hopefully the soaked hay proves to be the ticket!

  4. I've got my fingers crossed for you that the soaked hay is a big help.

    I'm totally stealing your ground poles for canter action exercise. :)