Yesterday was September 1st. Not a special day by any means in terms of historical events, holidays etc... But for me September 1st was a very special day indeed. It was the day I finally got to do this:
But first lets back up a bit.
When I arrived at the barn and grabbed Gem's bridle it was with the thoughts of 1) yay!! I get to ride my horse and 2) Pete probably is sore from Sunday and could use a day off. Having been partnered up with Gem for so long now I am used to her giving me the horsey middle finger after a strenuous ride and not wanting anything to do with me. I just expect it and being conditioned to that I also expect it from every horse. You can just imagine my surprise then when Pete came charging over to the gate from out of sight as I walked past to say hello.
A horse that actually wants to be with me? That wants to ride and explore? Holy crap what is that?!
I actually felt really bad as I petted Pete and explained that today was Gem's day. He looked sullen as I walked away without him and I promised that I would ride him on Thursday (which will actually be a lie and end up being Friday) as I went to get Gem.
As I walked towards her, I mumbled under my breath that she better not run away or be annoying since there was a perfectly nice gelding begging for the attention. I needn't have worried though - Gem has changed since her injury and has become much more affectionate and friendly with me overall.
I led my portly mare out of the pasture and to the trailer where I inspected her feet closely. I have some very interesting, well to me anyway, observations on her injured hoof that I will save until later in the week after Mr. Farrier comes out. I am baffled by something I am seeing and really want to get his opinion before I have diarrhea of the keyboard on the subject. The actual soft tissue injury is nearly invisible at this time as her hair is growing back in.
Dusty and Wyatt showed up around this time and since we are at a walk only for the next month, I figured why not let Wyatt ride along too. It would serve many purposes:
1) Keep Wyatt happy - always a good thing with a tired toddler
2) Keep Gem calm in the start by being led so she didn't do anything too stupid
3) Allow Dusty to watch her walk
We started off around the 1 mile track and Gem was up but behaving. She would throw in some trot steps here and there but was basically well behaved being led. A mile later, Wyatt got off to visit with the cows and I took her for a spin myself for another mile.
She was lazy and slow, but did well at the walk. While walking is boring, it will force me to go back to basics with her and who knows? Maybe it will help get rid of her race brain.
I was concerned with noticing a definitive short striding to the front. It occurred with both fronts equally and was sporadic so I am not allowing myself to freak out just yet. Part of it was due to her not really moving out as she was doing her best WP impression. I think she is also still getting used to the shoes and her feet are in need of a trim as well. It is hard to judge her full movement when she is trudging along at the walk, but as we progress throughout the month it will be something I keep my eye on.
After a 2 mile ride that took an hour, yes we moved at a lovely 2 mph pace which is slower than I walk when carrying Wyatt, I untacked her to find her sweaty.
|This would be a gorgeous shot of her if she wasn't looking so grumpy|
It is still in the upper 80s, low 90s here, but seriously we barely crawled. Poor mare is way out of shape.