Here we have exhibit a...
|"This is embarrassing, mom!"|
|"Focus on my dapples and not my belly..."|
She's on 24/7 turnout to help her hooves, she has hay but barely eats it because she prefers to eat the grass (what there is of it), and she gets 2 lbs of alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa pellets have roughly 1000 calories per pound... so she's not getting a whole lot to eat. I suppose I could cut out the pellets completely and give her a handful of something at breakfast for the vitamins. It's actually nearing beet pulp season, so I'll look into cutting the alfalfa and replacing it with beet pulp. I'm hoping the new exercise program will take some weight off her.
Speaking of which, after the x-rays I took Lilly for a ride. I set off with the intention of sticking to the new routine, but an opportunity for some training in another area presented itself.
She was a little on edge already because an old "flame" of hers came back to the barn. He has medical issues and sometimes stays with us because his veterinarian lives very close by to the barn, so it's easy for her to come over often and take care of him. He was screaming for Lilly all afternoon and all the horses were riled up. She wasn't very focused when we were working in the arena and two of the pastured geldings decided to come up and watch. Their pasture shares a fence line with the arena, although they usually keep their distance.
My sweet girl is also in heat, but she never misbehaves because of it... she might be a little more excited about visitors, though, which was the case yesterday. Every time we went past the boys, she nickered and wanted to stop and make kissy faces. So we did a lot of work down at that end of the arena until she decided the boys weren't worth all the hassle.
I was able to get in some planned exercises too and she was excellent. She's really learning to rate her speed and I can ask for a slower trot and she'll give me a nice jog. We can get about four or five strides in before I have to put her back together, but she's really starting to figure it out. She also has three gears at the canter now too instead of one really fast one! First gear is still a little fast but nothing to complain about, second gear is what happens when she gets unbalanced, and third gear is what I pushed her into when we were doing our warm-ups. I was really impressed!
She's a bit more out of shape than I thought, which I figured might be the case. This is also a strange time of year because we had 85 degree weather this weekend, but Lilly's coat has thickened quite a bit because of the 40 degree nights. She was sweating shortly after we started working and I had to hose her down when we were done. I wanted to err on the side of caution so as not to overheat her.
She's doing so well after such a short amount of time that I'm excited about how she'll progress over the next few months once we're really able to start working.