1) Go back to Dr. C for our next ultrasound: maybe get cleared for canterwork??
Success! We got cleared for canterwork at our last appointment, and she is sound and strong. We hadn't cantered on purpose as of the end of the month, seeing as I wanted to build her back up slowly after the hock injections, but this was my choice and we were allowed to start canter whenever I saw fit.
2) Reevaluate her hocks and see where we are with possibly needing to medicate them (or hopefully not)
We did go ahead and medicate her hocks, as I stated above, although I don't think it made an amazing difference like it did last year. Actually, I'm not sure it made any noticable difference at all. She feels amazingly strong though, so maybe it did help, who knows.
3) Solidify plans with the AHHA for Holsteiner approvals (send in papers, DNA sample, etc)
I have all of the paperwork sitting right here on my desk, just waiting for a signed check. Her photos are all ready, and her papers are all in order... I just need to send it in. I have deliberately stalled on this, just in case something were to go wrong, but after we canter safely for a week, I will feel confident enough to send it in. I have until September, so I'm not in too much of a rush, although I'd like to do it sooner than later.
4) Continue to keep standing wraps off unless really needed (hard work, acting wild under saddle, etc)
Success! Mostly! The wraps stayed off except for the week when the legs were big for some mystery reason. True to Gogo form, as soon as she went to the vet the legs shrank dramatically, and I've kept the wraps off for over two weeks now with no consequence. Honestly, I can't believe how beautiful her legs look!:
She might be standing funny in the picture so that it's a little hard to tell, but if you remember what the legs looked like after the original injuries, you'll be amazed at the difference.
5) MAYBE take our first steps of canter??
On accident, we did ;) Not cantering yet was by choice. But we did start cantering.... TODAY! Scroll down for more on that! :D
6) MAYBE start to hack outside the arena again??
Nope, not yet. By choice... we can't add too many changes as once.
7) MAYBE go out in the medical turnout??
Same as above. It's just not time yet. I hope to shoot for September! Honestly though, it's probably for the best. She absolutely hates bugs and excessive heat, so I honestly think she is far less stressed and far happier with a big pile of hay in her stall. She has yet to complain, and has honestly been amazingly behaved, as if she doesn't miss her turnout as all. That makes me feel a LOT better, because I certainly feel poopy about it!
1) Build up our canterwork by an increasing 5 minutes a week
2) Once in the second week of canter, solidify fall plans (AHHA, etc.)
3) Once in the third week of canter, start to add 30 & 20 meter circles at the trot to our rides
4) Once in the fourth week of canter, start to hack outside the arena again
5) At the end of the month, check in with Dr. C - ask about jumping, turnout, etc.
And now for the moment you've all been waiting for..... CANTER!
I had a ridiculous day at work, and was very worn out by the end (this is what happens when I am stuck at home for three days... too much to catch up on!!). Nevertheless, I definitely felt good enough to still get on and ride, so we stuck with the plan of 30 minutes of loose rein walk, 20 minutes of connected walk, 15 minutes of trot, and a few steps of canter, one long side on each lead. We had to add an extra long side in, as she picked up the wrong lead on the second long side and then tried to gallop away down the third (wheeeee!!), but it all worked out in the end. I rode in my jumping saddle, which I'm sorry to say exacerbated my calf-cramp issues... perhaps this needs further looking into. The thought process behind it was I was going to be able to get into two-point and let her find her own balance in the canter, but it sort of didn't work that way. Tomorrow, we will go back to dressage tack, although I have no intentions of trying to get a nice fancy canter for awhile yet. Anything that isn't plunging and leaping is good enough for me. Below is our very first canter attempt in almost five months, which she was clearly excited about:
Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! I love it! The other bit of canter was not quite as adorable, and the video isn't as good, so I didn't bother posting it. I plan on trying to lasso one of my boarders tomorrow and wrangle them into taking some more video of our second attempt.