Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We did our first dressage lesson today.  It was like when you take your misbehaving car to the mechanic and it runs perfectly.  She was pretty darn good.  She has improved daily for the past few days and it showed today.  She was a tiny bit off so we didn't do too much, but lots and lots of transitions.  Every time she sucked back at the trot, it was walk and then trot again.  I haven't done much of this because it has been so hard to get the forward trot in the first place, I have been inclined to let her keep going. She was very good about it until she got tired, we quit before she could decide it was worth fighting over.
We even did a few canter strides.  She is so unbalanced at the canter that I have been trying to get her stronger at the trot first, Sara (dressage instructor) suggested that we just go ahead and canter and let her figure it out.  So we will try that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

break through

We have had some great break throughs in the last few days. Change of rein on a big figure 8, bending through her body. Today she was really forward, in front of my leg and actually stayed there, no dropping out the back door. And for the first time, a little leg asking for a little more got a little more instead of a hissy fit.
Also did some cloverleaf patterns over a couple of poles on the ground, making the turns tighter and harder and she dug in and made the turns and let me help balance her.
For a horse that has a fit when you touch her mouth or use leg at all, this was incredible.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I think I have a schedule figured out.  Nina will get Mondays and Thursdays off.  I did that this week and it worked well.  She is beginning to work hard enough to be a little tired or sore while she is building some muscles to go with her attitude.  Had a fabulous ride today.  Little bit of a rocky start, normal for her, and then a wonderful swinging trot.  Did a big figure 8 for the first time, nice changes of bend in the middle without tooooo  much hysteria.  After we did it a couple of times she got the hang of it and was nice and forward. 
This is the first TB I have ridden that I don't have to worry about boring.  For her, the more repetition the better, it makes her feel like she knows what is going on.   Next week, new shoes that are overdue because of the abscess and a dressage lesson on Wednesday.  Yay!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm almost afraid to post...

... it seems like everytime I report that things are going well Nina finds a new way to make herself lame. 
I am happy to report that since the abscess blew and she got a couple of days off, I have ridden everyday but one.  She has been wonderful under saddle.  Little bits of resistance here and there but constant improvement.
This week for the first time I was able to use a little leg and hand together and get her straight, her stride was instantly a foot longer and she liked it a lot.  Much easier to get her to go along with the program the next day.
Again, I am amazed that this horse has NEVER had anyone take the time to teach her how to carry a rider. 
She still takes an occasional ouchy step on the right front so we are not doing much, but a month of standing in a stall has made her stiff and weak in the rear so I want to do as much as possible to get her moving and loosened up.  It's all  good.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New footing at the barn

New footing in the indoor arena, woohoo!  Scraped all the old stuff out and distributed it between the outdoor arena and the turnout and put nice new stuff indoors. 
The guys working on it were awesome, leveling and moving stuff around.  Fun to watch.  I think Nina was unhappy that the big mounds of sand in the turnout got spread out, it looked like a good rolling spot.
She is still a little sore, but I am going to ride tomorrow, just walk around for a while.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I was pretty happy that the first foot wrap I have done in about 10 years nearly took a chain saw to remove.
But I am even happier that the wrapping is over.
Nina's abscess blew out today and it blew out at the coronet band so no stuffing and packing on her sole.  Nine miserable days for her.  I didn't realized how stressed I was by it until this afternoon when it was finally opened up and she could walk again.  I felt a huge weight lift off me.
We walked (slowly) over to the roundpen with the best rolling spot and she rolled and rolled and rolled.
Life's little pleasures. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

like falling off a bike

I was a little concerned about wrapping Nina's foot.  When I tried to soak it she destroyed two buckets (wouldn't you love to be that strong?) and acting as if I was attacking her. 
So I layed out everything I needed within reach, stuck a bucket of food under her nose and proceeded to pack and wrap her sore foot.  She stood like a rock, no fuss no muss. 
She delights in reading my mind and making me feel foolish.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

up and down week

Last Sunday Nina was three-legged lame (again).  When I got there she was balancing on the toe on her right front.  It looked like the tendon to me, she had a wide range of movement in the leg and foot, but didn't want to put weight on her heel. Since it was the right front I was afraid that it was caused by turning her out and letting her run.  I figured that right front was not completely healed, was weak and resulting in a bow.  I really cannot afford a bunch of diagnostic tests right now so I decided to wrap all four legs, give her some bute and see how it looked after a few days.  Today it was very slightly better, the puzzling thing was there has been no heat or swelling in the leg.  She really was starting to look like she had an abscess.  So I got the hoof testers out and I did find a tender spot on her sole.  I am going to soak it and see if it breaks through in a few days.  If it is an abscess I would prefer not to have to cut it open.  I also switched her to aspirin which she will eat in her feed instead of going through the half hour fight over bute.
It will be great if it is an abscess, a few weeks off instead of a year.
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