Monday, February 22, 2016

Loose Rein Cantering?

Lilly started receiving her new joint supplement yesterday. After quite a bit of research and comparison, I opted for the SmartFlex Senior Pellets. I got the herb-free ones based on reviews saying they are better for horses with sensitive tummies. She definitely has a sensitive tummy. It pains me to think of her as senior, and I didn't want to get a senior supplement, but she WILL be 16 this year, and I have to face the facts. They seemed like the best choice and the best value based on what I wanted to get out of a joint supplement. I'm hopeful they'll keep her comfortable as her workload increases this year.

I went to the barn and rode her Thursday, and while we had a good ride, there wasn't anything I was really excited to write about. We just keep working on the basics, and fitness is what I'm really going for right now. I'm keeping the rides to about 30 minutes, increasing the amount of canter work we do during each ride, and I can already tell it's easier for her to hold a decent canter for more than a few strides. She's doing really well with everything I'm asking of her.

I've been making a point to get out to the barn for a ride on Tuesday, Thursday, and either Saturday or Sunday. So she's only being ridden three times per week right now, but I'm trying to be realistic and consistent. I wondered if she'd get tired of the rides and start avoiding me when I go to the pasture to bring her in, but she's always very happy to see me. Yesterday she ran wide open from the back of the pasture when I called her name, so the rides aren't something she wants to avoid. That makes me so happy. It let's me know she's comfortable and enjoying the work.

Yesterday's ride was great because for the first time in probably forever, I had her cantering around on a loose rein. It's a faster canter than I'd like, but it's easy to ride and great for now, and I just love that fact that she's doing it on her own. She's learning to stay consistent, and while I have to keep her in circles for the most part (things kind of fall apart when we try cantering on the rail), it's a noticeable improvement. I didn't expect to see improvement like this so early on, but I'm loving it.

Cutest cookie face ever!
I love my girl so much! She tries so hard to please.

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