Drifter seems to be doing quite well. I say seems because I’m not really well enough to ride him. I’m having post-viral symptoms that, while I’ve had them before and I know they will pass, are going to be something I have to live carefully with over the next few weeks. I did ride on Sunday (before I’d realised what was going on with me) … and paid for it on Monday, so I won’t be trying again just yet.
Although I was a bit floppy and useless when I rode on Sunday, D was really rather good. The swelling had reduced and we had three gaits again. Each gait was not as good as it could be, but the improvement since Tuesday was astronomical.
I’m a bit hazy on what I did on what days, but I have been lungeing him. The first time I lunged him just in a headcollar to see how he’d move. The second time I lunged him over a trotting pole, which I was really pleased with because we hadn’t done that before and I imagined he might just go around it but he was very good. The third time I lunged in the (quite loose) pessoa in walk and trot, then took it off him to have a little canter. While he has cantered in the pessoa in the past he doesn’t have much experience at it yet and having barely cantered at all in the last couple of months he needs it to be easy and to be able to pick his own frame and balance. It’s hard enough that I have to keep him on the circle.
It was really interesting to see how much easier it was for him to be lunged naked compared to the pessoa, even in walk and trot. It is hard for him to work in an outline and it’s good for me to have that reminder. I expect it now when he’s ridden, but he’s still having to work to keep it for me although I might not always be mindful of that. Lungeing him in a headcollar was easy for both of us because the transitions were easy for him, so he obeyed my requests in a timely manner without me having to threaten or insist. Once the pessoa’s added everything’s harder for him, so the lunger needs to work harder to get him to change gaits.
Another unexpected lesson: next time I need to replace my lunge whip or my schooling whip I’ll make sure I get one in a different colour. I felt pretty stupid when I’d got out to the school with horse, lunge line and … oops that’s my purple schooling whip not my purple lungeing whip. Doh! Handily there was one I could borrow rather than traipsing back for mine.
It’s frustrating that when D’s back to a fitness level where he can work in three gaits, I’m not well enough to ride, but at the moment I’m too tired to care massively. Hopefully soon I’ll get back on soon if only in walk and trot at first.
On other matters, the tiny dot on his D’s sheath has not changed at all and I’ve seen similar little marks on other horses’ faces at least one of whom has had that dot on his face for years with no incident, so although I’ll continue to monitor it I’m a lot less concerned.
Sudocreming his sheath does seem to be cutting down the fly bites although some are still getting through. It also leads to an extremely greasy tail and I can see a lot of shampooing in my future!
I don’t have a Lee Pearson lesson this Saturday, which is just as well. I cancelled it some time ago because of D’s issues and I’m really glad I did now my health is like this. Much better to have cancelled with good warning than drop out at the last minute. On the other hand it would have been really nice to see him so soon after his triumphs at the World Equestrian Games (another 3 gold medals to add to his collection). Maybe I could drop in on him between his lessons but I’m not sure – at the moment I’m not feeling like hanging around the yard all day on the off-chance that I’ll get a chance to speak to him when I could be at home resting. He’s one of the few people who make me wish I was on Facebook – if I was I could send him a message instead. Currently top of his feed is that he has one lesson left on Saturday. Yep, that was mine originally!
I’m relieved that D’s doing so much better because I need to leave him for a few days to go on a conference for work and it is such a relief to know that he’s OK to be ridden normally now so I can just book him in for schooling. The staff member who’ll ride him knows all about his recent issues and not to expect him to be on his A game, especially in canter.
Apologies for the stream-of-consiousness style of this post. I don’t have enough energy for editing or clarity of thought! Also I’m aware that my sense of humour is doing wierd things – it’s not my fault, I’m sick. Normal service will be resumed … probably … at some point.