Well, we have officially lost our game of “how long can we wait before turning on the heat.” We made it to 48 degrees and finally decided it was time. Let the money hemorrhaging of winter heating commence.
Despite the quickly dropping temperatures we were blessed with a few lovely days last week. Friday afternoon I walked up the hill to visit with the boys. While Zeno Bay and Vai Via were happily munching Blade had made his hay pile into a bed for sunbathing. He allowed me to walk up and sit down with him. We had been sitting together quietly for a few minutes when Blade laid back for a roll to show just how relaxed he was.
When he decided to get up I started my way back toward the house; he followed along at my heels. I had free time so…why not ride?
As I tacked up the wind began to pick up. The cool gusts tickled Blade’s excitement sensors as his ears perked and eyes darted around looking for anything to get fancy about. The tall grass in our garden seemed to be quite “scary.”
I couldn’t tell whether it was the wind or the saddle fit but we had a wretched ride. Asking for collection was a task, and if I wanted to go straight?
The saddle left even sweat marks but I’m not convinced his attitude was entirely “brattiness.” When money allows I have plans for a proper saddle fit.
This makes me want to take a moment to really draw attention to his progress and celebrate a victory that’s been proving to be no easy task.
Earlier this year Blade was in great shape. His weight was great but has lacked a really great top-line for years. Bareback riding was always tough on my tailbone, I could typically only ride for 20 minutes in a bareback pad before my bum really hurt. During the summer he lost a good amount of weight as he adjusted to life at home and the new grain-free diet. This summer I felt like I was doing everything wrong. He choked, colicked, sun faded, dropped weight, had ulcers.
I kept telling myself to be patient as dietary changes take time to show.
Lately as I observe him I can tell you his spine doesn’t protrude. He has a better top-line than he has had since I’ve owned him. His weight is finally where I want it. I continue to work toward improving his muscle tone but can I just say WOW. He has come a long way.
The next day I bareback rode Vai Via in a halter and he was very good. Blade looked at me dejected so I took him out as well. While we rode bareback and in a halter I had to quietly rejoice within myself. My seat didn’t hurt from his spine. He collected beautifully. He was calm, light, balanced, and attentive. We didn’t ride long but he more than made up for our rough ride the day prior.
He is unrecognizable from the horse that I began riding when I started lessons with my trainer a few years ago. The new diet combined with our ample hills seems to be doing wonders…finally.
For this reason I just had to share it with you and celebrate our win. There are good days and there are bad days but the progress I’ve had with this horse just makes me smile.