Today we started doing some trot work. Since her feet are still a bit ouchey from her trim, we worked on the grass field behind the barn, and on the grass around the outside of our (still unusable due to water) arena. She was very forward - she always is - but stayed relaxed and responsive. We did little intervals - some trotting, followed by walking, followed by trotting, in both directions. I continued to ask for softening at the walk, but let her go in a relaxed frame at the trot, since she isn't in shape yet. As she gets back into shape, I'll add softening at the trot, and then at the canter as well. We did about 10 minutes total of trotting, which was enough for today. I was very pleased with how she went - sometimes she works herself up and gets a little too forward, but today she stayed consistent. Also, her trot was completely even and strong - she was really using her hindquarters - and I couldn't feel any difference at all between the two diagonals when I was posting. This is the first spring where she's come back into work with even gaits without requiring more chiropractic work.
Monday, May 4, 2009
A Little Conditioning
Grey Horse Matters had a very good post a while ago on getting a horse back into work after a layoff. I'm just getting Maisie back into work, and we're taking it slowly, since she has a history of stifle and back problems and getting her slowly and thoroughly muscled up is the best medicine. We've been doing a lot of walk work, at a fairly forward pace, and also working on her softening at the walk, as well as transitions to and from halt and backing. She's been doing very well - her walk is fluid and even and she's reaching well with her front legs and under herself with the back legs. There's a lot of swing as well - it feels really good. When I got her a number of years ago, she had horrible "stabby" gaits and was terribly on the forehand, due to problems with her back and hindquarters which made her unable to carry herself properly. We did a lot of fixing - chiropractic and dental as well - to get her comfortable again.