I opted in for a dressage lesson with ED near the end of September. I figured Gwyn seemed to be moving well enough after her bout of lameness and at the very least, a walk lesson with some trotting wouldn't be bad.
All of the riding I had been doing was very low key and basically trying to strengthen her hind end more so she could step better underneath herself. We resisted the siren call of the little jumps when we rode in daylight hours.
And Gwyn continued to make me doubt if she was lame. But she did continue to track unevenly with how far she was reaching underneath her with the left not reaching as far as the right. If her right hind was on the inside, she was stepping into or over the hoof print from her front leg, if her left hind was inside, she wasn't reaching the front hoof print. I made myself dizzy watching this.
Gwyn and Zephyr greeted me and Zephyr looked disappointed I didn't take him too.
Riding in the covered arena, which I try to avoid unless it's been watered, which it now has!
A nearly new BoT sheet and hood popped up on a tack group in Gwyn's size that I snatched up for a steal. It came with a heartbreaking note about a lady's eventer who she lost due to colic and basically asked that I make sure to pamper my horse like he was. Dear seller, absolutely. Gwyn will be pampered.
The summer shed into fall has occurred and all the horses are becoming fuzzy little by little.
Our lesson with ED was good. Gwyn was still NQR but we kept it simple and she seemed to work out of it the more we rode. One thing I brought up was how Gwyn falls into the inside of the circle. ED watched me ride and told me I wasn't weighting my outside foot enough.
Sure enough, if I focused on feeling my outside stirrup, it was easier for Gwyn to move off my inside leg and move out. That was my biggest revelation, though I was still not feeling totally balanced as we did this, but some fixes for that came later. Gwyn was a trooper for the lesson so any improvement in me where I'm better able to influence her body is a win, in my book.
Cortney sent me a link to an online tack shop that was taking orders for holographic tack sets. I threw caution to the wind and signed up with a half down payment. #worthit
They arrived the day before my birthday. I.E. right on time
I told Erica not to bother with a birthday present. I had it taken care of.
"Mom.... why. I don't need bell boots"
"Dere is carrots here. I eat them"
This is actually the second use of them. I took them with me camping (post ... eventually) and used them for my birthday trail ride. That... I do not recommend. The pad is literally covered in plastic holo material and doesn't breathe. Poor Gwyn. It's fine for 20 minutes of toodling and working at the walk in cool weather though. But also would not hold up to daily use. B/C plastic. The underside is decent and at least looks like a quality base for a pad.
The bridle is leather with the plastic holo material on top. It's not something I'll want to take apart often (again... plastic) so I'm looking to buy another bit that will live on it semi-permanently. That being said, I need like... two more so I don't have to continually switch bits around on my bridles.
I actually rode with other people! And they took pictures of us because you always need to pose with new tack, lol
Everyone was trying very hard to get Gwyn to prick her ears forward. Miss Gwyn is well... ah... desensitized to most things.
Unless you throw sand.
"WHAT DA HECK?"
And then she looks offended.
We got some good images though!
And someone has strung christmas lights on the outdoor arena fence, which adds just enough light with the covered arena lights to flat school outside.
Arenas at night
I'll still bring it to trail rides because at the VERY least it'll be good as a signal flare
Work was being stressful in September and with the change from summer to fall (you could smell the difference once day), I needed some forest time on horseback. I asked Cortney if she had plans and we were going to make a big day of things down south with another person who was just cleared to go back to riding.
Unfortunately, she couldn't make it after all, so rather than drive down to her, we adjusted for a more local ride. Cortney and Robin would come and meet me at Lord Hill Park. Robin had never been and given the forecast, it would be the most ideal spot for us.
We met at the south parking lot, which is a shared lot, and to my surprise, there were a ton of people! Usually that's due to an event at the park and this was no exception. Search and Rescue was practicing that day. The lot is big, so there was plenty of room for our two rigs.
Starting in the south lot means that you start at the bottom of Lord Hill and have to climb. The 'usual' horse lot is at the TOP of the hill. I do like starting from the bottom because the climb up is a nice leg stretcher.
The forest was nice and quiet. Robin and Cortney are always down for adventures so I was able to finally figure out where that trail went (that my barnmates were convinced was not a trail - it is)
Cortney rode her older mare, Splendid and ponied Reign. Reign has been changing so much that her saddles aren't fitting well. Hopefully the new saddle she ordered will be perfect! It arrives at the end of October!
We stuck mostly to the horse trail and had a good, quiet time in the woods. We encountered a few hikers, mostly near to the main parking lot.
I always feel like I'm in a fairy tale when I ride through here. The best part is, it mostly stays this green through winter.
The video I have below is from the section in the above few pictures. Just gorgeous!
We even found bones on a log, it looks like they were laid there by humans, but were not human in origin.