I can't believe it... September is here, and summer is fading fast. Although today you wouldn't know it, as it was a steamy 95 degrees with 9583891048592048 percent humidity. Ugh! The leaves are all definitely beginning to change though, which I am certainly happy to see, as it means we finally might have some RAIN and cooler weather coming. This heat is horrible!
1) Build up our canterwork by an increasing 5 minutes a week
Success! We did stop at 15 minutes versus 20, for reasons previously discussed - it just wasn't doing anyone any good to just go around and around the rail for an exhausting length of time. She is sound and holding up to that level of work well, so it's time to back off and start some slightly more complicated work without the intense time factor. It is too hot and there is no sense in exhausting her - she is fit and strong already. Too fit maybe!
2) Once in the second week of canter, solidify fall plans (AHHA, etc.)
I am calling this a success, because I solidified my own resolve and decided against making serious plans for the fall. I have no reason at this point to push her, and it would be silly for me to try and get her ready for anything serious, even if it was just Approvals. Fall plans at this point include trail riding and HOPEFULLY hilltopping. But as I said before, if I'm not completely comfortable with her level of fitness outside the ring when formal season starts, we won't be going.
3) Once in the third week of canter, start to add 30 & 20 meter circles at the trot to our rides
Success! Not much to report here other than damn, it feels good to circle again! A strange thing happened when I started to circle though... suddenly, I found myself fighting urges to throw in random lateral work, transitions to and from gaits and within gaits, and add various levels of collection and stretching to our work. Wait, we can't do REAL dressage yet! But I felt that itchy urge.... I miss it so much!
4) Once in the fourth week of canter, start to hack outside the arena again
Success! Like I said, we did not actually add a technical fourth week of canter, but instead started to hack out again. I've been hacking out every day for the past week and a half, starting little tiny hills and changing footings, and she feels amazing. I plan to keep hacking out little bits before and after most rides as well, both for the mental and physical benefits. Her legs were amazingly tight and cold all last week, but now that the heat and humidity has returned, the light fill has returned. Oh well, I will wrap when I have to, but it was nice to go for a week and a half without them (save for the one day when she was wild last week).
5) At the end of the month, check in with Dr. C - ask about jumping, turnout, etc.
Success! We had a great vet visit and Dr. C cleared us for full work again, so long as I am slow and careful with it. Don't worry Dr. C, I've got time!
1) Daily turnout in the medical pen (POSSIBLY to move into the next size paddock, but this may wait until next month) save for days when I will not be there to moniter
2) Jump our first crossrail in a year!
3) Return to a 5/6 day a week schedule - dressage, jumping, hacking out (schedule still in the works but I have a good idea at this point of what I want to be doing)
4) Trailer off property for our first real TRAIL RIDE in a year!
5) Just enjoy my mare. It's fall, it's beautiful out, the brunt of the rehab work is over and it's time for fun!
Today was our first 'jumping' day, or what I plan on turning into our weekly Wednesday jump session. I took down most of the jumps set up in the arena and made them into two trot poles each, then set out on a 15 minute walk warmup outside the arena. Once in the arena, I trotted her on the buckle for a little while, doing a few walk transitions for good measure. She was listening well, so we cantered a bit, and she was just as quiet - love that! She did scoot off when she cantered by the trainer giving a lesson (the trainer said she thought she gave her a 'look' on accident and Gogo percieved that as a cue to take off) but she didn't get far, just took a few speedy strides and humped her back like a dolphin. Silly mares! One trotting over the poles, her energy level shot through the roof, and it took a few halt halts to convince her to just TROT. She listened perfectly to every single one. I had to smile when we came down the five stride line that had two trot poles for the first jump and an actual jump at the other end that I hadn't taken it down - obviously we were NOT taking the jump, but her ears were so far forward when she saw it that I thought they might snap off. When I steered her away from it, both ears swiveled around wildly in all directions, clearly confused as to why we would not be jumping it. We only did a handful of trot poles, but it was a ton of fun as she was obviously enjoying it. In two weeks, I plan on trying an actual tiny crossrail. Sweet!
And then, we went to cool out on the perimeter trail and found a massive flock of wild turkeys:
A bit hard to see but there must have been forty of them. She stopped, looked, decided they weren't important, and walked on. That's my girl!
And did I mention the best part of all of this? NO DRUGS! I haven't needed them since I started to hack her out again. She is definitely a little bit hot, but she isn't being stupid at this point. Thank god, I was so tired of having to drug her every ride for the past three months!
Gogo's favorite thing in the entire world besides food was also at the barn today - my boss' six year old son. If ever there was a mare obsessed with having a baby, it's this one. She LOVES him and he kisses her on the nose and leads her everywhere, her following along like a puppy. Even my boss commented, "she wants a baby!" Have you ever seen such a motherly, loving look?:
She never takes her eyes off of him. She is a perfect angel for him and always makes sure to keep her feet far from his.
If that isn't the cutest thing you ever saw, I don't know what is!
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago