Tuesday 23 August 2022

Scaling Back And Preparing for Plan S

Despite my ever so careful program of bringing B back in work, she's again just the tiniest bit off. 

I thought I maybe felt something the weekend of the island clinic, which is why we just went for a hack the final day and she's had a couple of easy walking weeks since. I tried a lesson this week and yep -  once we trot on a small-ish circle to the left, the on/off super minor niggling thing is back.

She looks so good right now though!

This is not completely unexpected, it's another part of the reason she has been best trail pony for a couple of years now and I bought a baby Sophie. I've had a few vets check it out, and normally they say she's sound. At last check finally the vet saw what I was feeling, identified her left hock as the issue but it was so minor that we decided with her trail pony lifestyle it was appropriate to let it be and just keep an eye on it. 

At this point I can again revisit getting hock injections so I can add some regular jumping and harder work back in, or go back to our trail pony/occasional clinic/fun jump night lifestyle. 

I'm opting for trail pony lifestyle. I know hock injections and arthritis in teenaged ponies are completely normal things, but I have no solid plans competition wise for her, and she's probably going back for breeding next spring (I need to update you on that, don't I?). So, I think scaling the workload back again is the solid choice. If she's still comfortable and loving her trail rides I'm happy enough to accommodate that, as always she owes me absolutely nothing. 

Weekend trail walking with B

Next up, I think we're well overdue for a Sophie update?

Prior to this week I was quite content doing all the things with B and had plans of just leaving Sophie out at the farm to enjoy pasture time in the herd until our little place was a little more set up. But, with it looking like B would still be happier not being the main riding pony, it looks as if it's time for S to come back to work. I'll start fast tracking some of the outstanding things I need to do to get things ready for her.

I think I've been pretty transparent in that as much as I like S, the jury is still out on whether she's here forever. There is zero rush to make any decisions regarding her, and in fact I won't be making any until her training is a bit further along and I have a more solid idea what she's going to want to do and how she's maturing. Also, whether she's going to suit being a backyard pony or would be better in a bigger place with more turnout and amenities. So, that's my winter project. I have a week long boot camp set up at EC's in late September which will hopefully give us a good start in the right direction.

My heart of course wants to keep her, my brain says it's not the perfect fit, but then is any horse the perfect fit? Is there even a perfect fit out there? *looks at Welsh Cob ads, sees nothing with an obvious halo in my budget*. And around and around I go ;)

I kind of sabotaged myself with this unexpected summer of Bridget riding, because of course now I've fallen in love all over again and can't imagine any pony being good enough to fill her shoes. I'm not being as open minded as I should be re: other horses and that's super unfair to Sophie who is so wonderful in her own right. I can totally relate to the kids who outgrow their pony but fight moving on and riding anything else despite being super lucky to have the option.

But, give it a few months, and if I know myself at all it's quite likely I'll be sitting here telling you how great Sophie is and how I can't imagine any other pony being my main riding pony :)



  1. I think you have a realistic plan. See how it goes and make decisions then. Finding the right fit of horse is hard enough and then making sure they fit your facility and goals is a whole other thing.

    1. So much has changed since I bought Sophie! Crossing fingers she's as adaptable as I hope she might be.

  2. I've got similar feelings with my blonde baby pony and Gav. He's like my main man, and the pull to invest all of my time with him is strong, but I keep telling myself that Moe is her own pony with her own personality that I'll come to love and appreciate just the same. I guess time will tell for both of us and our palis ;)

    1. This made me smile. Your girl is lovely but it really is such a hard thing to take time from the one you've dedicated so much to!

  3. I think giving yourself time to evaluate your partnership with Sophie is fair to both of you. Having challenges here & there is one thing, always finding yourself struggling to make things work is another and takes away from the enjoyment horses bring to our lives. It's ok to admit if things aren't working despite all efforts and find a more suitable partner.