Our chiropractor/vet is also an endocrine specialist, especially for older horses, and we'll be drawing some blood from Noble to recheck his thyroid level. He's still eating well, and his energy level is good, but he's dropping some weight, which I'm not happy about. At this point in the summer, he should have gained some weight. We know his teeth are good since the dentist visited recently. It may be that his thyroid dose just needs to be adjusted.
Someone who isn't having any problem putting on weight is Dawn - I think she's the fattest she's ever been, mainly because my younger daughter isn't around much this summer to give her good workouts. I'm trying to get her more consistent work so we can take some of those pounds off. Today we worked on lunging off my body language and verbal commands, and some more walk work under saddle.
One of the things I love about Dawn is that she is very sensitive to every action you take and cue you give, and will tell you exactly what she thinks of what you are doing. When I was saddling, she was giving me a bit of "mareitude" - some ugly faces and pinned ears. She isn't really girthy, and her back isn't sore - I think she was saying that I need to move more softly when placing the pad and saddle and moving them around. I hissed at her until I got ears up, but told her I would try to do better tomorrow.
While we were lungeing, we started some more focussed work on transitions, walk/trot, and trot/canter. When I asked her to whoa from the canter using a verbal command, she stopped perfectly within one stride - and then the interesting thing was that she nickered to me, each time just as she stopped. It was her "acknowledgement" nicker that she uses to say "I see you and know about you and what you are doing". (Or perhaps it was "I did it just right, and where are the treats?" this time.) I didn't use treats today, just verbal praise and stroking for her verbal whoa. She seemed happy enough with that, and got a jackpot of treats after we were all done.
She did a really nice job with her transitions off my body language (I walk more quickly and raise my energy level to transition upwards and the reverse for downwards transitions) and verbal commands to trot and canter. She did tell me, however, that I was overcuing her for the trot/canter transition - she would do a little crow-hop/scoot for a stride or so. When I toned things down and was softer with my energy level, she transitioned perfectly. She'll get me trained eventually - she says she's working on it!
Under saddle, we did some work over ground poles - she was good about not rushing and accepting my direction - and we also did some softening work at the walk. She also paid good attention to my direction to either shorten or lengthen the walk, off my freeing up or slightly resisting with my seat and body - no rein cues. She also did some nice halts, and some soft, slow backing steps - she was really tuned in today.
A very good session! Tomorrow, I don't know if I'll get to work with them, since the heat index is supposed to get up into the high 90s again.