Maisie and I went on a longer trail ride yesterday - about 30 minutes. She did very well, although a child riding a Big Wheel (they should call them Noisy Wheels!) in his driveway made her nervous. If we can keep up these nice forward walking trail rides, that will help her get back in shape. She has trouble with her stifles - they sometimes lock - and with her back. She's sounder this spring than she has ever been, which is amazing after a winter of sliding around in the ice and mud. Getting her fit, slowly and carefully, is the best medicine for the stifle issues. It also seems that all the chiropractic we've done over the past several years is really benefiting her and staying with us.
Today the weather was lovely again, so we did another trail ride. The ride I took yesterday is two big loops, one around the pastures - it takes about 10 minutes, and then a longer loop in another direction after you pass the barn. I changed two things today - we rode at noon instead of at bring-in time, and we did the second loop in the other direction, which means we have to do the less inviting part (along people's back yards) first as we go away from the barn.
Today on the first loop she was very relaxed. On the second loop, she was clearly somewhat reluctant but was very compliant as we headed away from the barn for the second time. Her walk was very forward and even, and she was stepping well under herself - she felt really right to me. As we got to the outermost point and turned for home, she wanted to accelerate, so we worked on slowing, and occasionally stopping for a moment. She stayed very soft and only tried to jig a few times. She was relieved to get back to the barn, and when I turned her back out she galloped around the field a few times to let off steam.