I mentioned before that we have had a ton of rain. It's definitely been more than this area is accustomed to for this time of year. The surplus is awesome and much needed, however it really messes up a training/exercising schedule.
We managed to get a day and 1/2 break from the rain so I exercised Cookie pretty good. She never achieved a sweat, which tells me she is in far better shape that I thought she was. I however, still have some catching up to do with her. lol. Getting back into a working schedule can be a challenge depending on how good of shape your horse is in during the "off" time. To keep her somewhat in shape, I place small piles of hay all over her paddock which causes her to move and walk often. She also has moments where she cuts loose by herself and runs around playing for a short amount of time. These play times are an added bonus for me. They relieve stress and remove excess energy, though they can be somewhat stressful for me as she is not always careful. lol.
After this great day of exercising, we got another day of rain. Blah! That's ok. I'm certainly not complaining by any means. The more often it rains, chances are we will not have those triple digit days too often. It's not great for treating thrush or for getting exercise but I'll take what I can get at this point.
This morning I fed about 1/2 hour earlier so we could beat the heat. Smart move on my part. It looked like it was going to rain but it held off and cleared up.
I decided to check her progress and memory. We went through warm ups of walking and trotting in both directions and then I started throwing commands/cues at her. We went through back up, move your butt, side pass, and come up. Then we did some more walk/trot in both directions. I was pleasantly surprised when she stepped up to the plate and showed me her stuff on command. We took a break and I asked her to flex at the poll and to each side. She is still fairly stiff through her middle and we're still building her topline, though I expect those areas to catch up in the next month or so.
As you can see I'm in no hurry to get through any of her training. I want her to learn each step and I don't skip any of them. At least not on purpose. I may skip over one if she's just not getting it, but we will return to it because it is part of the basics.
You can't really trust the weather person, but if the weather holds we will begin working on giving to the bit and collection. These 2 lessons will be done on flat ground. I mentioned ground cavaletti in an earlier post, but we will start on the flat and work towards cavaletti. Some trainers do multiple things at one time. If it works for them, that's great. I don't want anything confusing for Cookie so I do one thing, one step at a time. It's as much for me as it is her.
I think to mix things up and give her a break from working in the paddock, I'm going to begin taking her back out to the neighborhood and do some ditch work to tone and build muscles. Cookie has to learn to hold her tempo going up and down hills and this ditch will provide the training obstacle that is needed.
*NOTE* I hosed out her front left hoof to find the split is back. All this rain and mucky weather is not helping the cause at all. I'm going to buy a roll of good duct tape and make a boot for that foot to try and get it healed up. I also found a very small staple embedded in her left hind hoof. It was only stuck on the surface, but I imagine it could have become a problem if I didn't pull it. Her hooves are in pretty good condition even though she's over on a trimming. Due to the heat, she's becoming more itchy all over and I've found a few spots around her ears and the sides of her face where she's rubbed bare. She is still shedding out in her white spots, though that has slowed down a bit. Appetite is voracious, attitude is up and down due to being in heat. Overall she is in super condition.
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