Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back In Business!

Today was an exciting day, and a big milestone for me six weeks after my accident.  Although it was still pretty warm this afternoon - mid 80sF - I was ready to ride, so I did - both Dawn and Drift - it was too hot for Pie.  And this time, unlike the two times I rode Pie more than a week ago, I didn't feel tentative, or weak, or worried.  In many respects, I benefited from the enforced time off due to our week-long heat wave - for the past few days I've been pretty much feeling normal and my energy level's pretty much back although I'm certainly far from fit.  All three horses got thorough groomings, and when I was done grooming Dawn I saddled her up and off we went.

I'd set some cones in the arena (freshly dragged thanks to my husband), and Dawn and I did a bit of in-hand and leading work before I got on.  She stood pretty well (not perfectly but we'll refine it) for mounting, and we did a bunch of walk work, confirming her softening at the walk - her head position is now perfectly stable after my work on allowing at the clinic.  Then we did a lot of walk/halt transitions and also some backing, as well as some stretching down.  Very quickly, everything we'd had was back - she'd had only one ride in the past 6 weeks (my daughter rode her while she was visiting) - she was soft and responsive, despite Scout and Fritz deciding to run like maniacs in the closest pasture.  We then did just a small bit of trot work - both posting and sitting - Dawn was great but I wanted not to shake up my head too much so I stopped there, and Dawn's not fit at all - I sure wanted to keep going but that was enough for our first outing.  I was by myself at the barn when riding Dawn (wearing my helmet and cell phone of course) and had no concerns about this at all - this is how I usually ride and with our small number of horses and people I need to be comfortable doing this, and I am.

Then I groomed and saddled Drift.  We also did a bit of leading and in-hand work before I got on - I'd waited for our p.m. barn lady to bring in Scout and Fritz so he wouldn't have running horses to deal with.  Everything was good, so on I got.  We first did some confirming work on his standing still on a loose rein for mounting - it took three tries to get acceptable but not perfect standing.  Then we worked on confirming his softness at the walk and in the walk/halt transition and in backing - it took a few minutes for him to remember,  but once he did it was all there again, although he was prone to being distracted.  We didn't trot yet, because I want more consistency in his walk and walk/halt work first. When I was done I dismounted, and then led him back to the mounting block and got on again - he stood like a rock on a loose rein!  I got right back off and put him away.

I was delighted - I didn't lunge either horse before getting on and they both remembered every bit of their training - it took Drift a few minutes but then he was back with the program.  I'm tired, but I feel really, really good.  More riding coming up soon . . .

20 comments:

  1. Good work! I'm glad this heat wave worked for you. There's always a positive to be found in every situation, even miserable heat waves!

    The training foundation you have laid for your horses is solid and gcorrect, of course they remember their training. Six weeks isn't such a long time, when you consider all the time and care you've spent on them.

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  2. So glad to hear that your strength is returning and you are feeling back to normal with your surroundings. Congrats on two great rides!

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  3. Kate, I've been away and computerless for a couple of weeks, so I'm so excited to hear that you're "back in the saddle again!" Sounds like you'll all be back to "regular" work in no time. Glad you're [mostly] recovered!

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  4. Way to go Kate! I'll bet Dawn and Drift were happy to spend some time with you! You are really cookin' now!

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  5. When you are on the right course it's really apparent after time off. Glad to hear you rode today - and two horses!

    Hope Pie feels up to snuff tomorrow.

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  6. That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you that you had such a good day with the horses and everything went well.

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  7. Yay!! I'm glad you are feeling normal and I'm glad you had good rides and I'm just plain old GLAD that your are BACK to riding!!

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  8. It must feel wonderful to have things returning to normal at long last. Very good news.

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  9. I've been trying to leave you a comment for ages but for some reason blogger didn't let me :( Hope this one works and lovely to hear your are back on track :))

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  10. Well done kate ...sounds like you are going great

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  11. That is such great news! I'm happy to hear that your strength and energy are coming back! :-)

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  12. So glad to hear you're "up" and in saddle again! And that everyone retained their lessons. Yay, progress :)

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  13. "She's back in the saddle again" Yaya!

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  14. Good to hear some good news today. Congratulations and hope that you continue to improve.

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