Well dear Bella seems to have hurt one of her legs, she’s slightly off sound and I think she may have either twisted her leg or hit one leg with another leg when she reacted/spooked big time on Tues with the mini Shetland on our hack out SO, I’ve giving her as much time off until she’s sound again.
With that in mind I had a lovely ride on big Stormy today. He did really well and benefitted from the slow stretch of his legs in walk first, then some nice bits of slow sit-able trot with a couple of blasts of canter for fun 😉
Nice walk out with some bits of trot
Bella waiting in the shelter
Mark trimmed Storm’s hooves today so I put together a new agility course ready to be played with and then did some very small bits of play with Bella to give her mind something to think about 😉
She did SO well…think she’s missed our play sessions and hopefully next week we can do the agility course I set up. She loves thinking and working things out 😉
What a very clever girl she is.
So brave with the large flapping tarp on the fence 😉
Not worried about putting foot in tyre either 😉
HAPPY 19th BIRTHDAY
Arrived with us at 11months old and the last 18yrs have been magnificent <3
Still giving Bella time off riding but decided to stretch her legs a wee bit with some agility now that I’ve put a new course up 😉
< Under curtain
Through bunting lane >
< Trot over tarp
Trotting poles >
< Halt on water tray
Under arch >
< Sidepass over drainpipe
Halt front feet over pole >
< Back front feet off pole
Trot weave >
Trot/halt in flag square 😉
She did really well and each day is a bit more sound. She will have tomorrow off too as I’m working but I’ll sit on her on Tuesday to see how she’s ‘feeling’ 😉
Mark also rode Stormy today…with a saddle!!! nice to give it a go for a change and they had a nice wee ride with some agility thrown in too 🙂
Lovely day for a ride today, nice breeze but warm and without any flies 😉 I’ve not ridden Bella for a week as she was coming up unsound and we think she twisted her ankle or hit herself when she spooked at the mini Shetland on our ride our last week SO…..
I gave her time out and checked her soundness every day. She was less unsound every day and today I decided to maybe do a short, quiet ride on her so I could ‘feel’ if she was better as it was getting harder to ‘see’ if she was unsound.
Started off in walk, quietly and with her not feeling on top form BUT she soon offered trot and was pretty rhythmic and stepping out with that. She also offered a lovely canter up a small hill which is where we ended the session 🙂
Hopefully she will continue to improve and I’ll get out to test ride her every other day so that she can rest between stretching being ridden.
Just a lovely day for a hack out
Decided on a different route, through nearby fields that farmer has no stock on at moment 😉
Using a large stone to remount after a wee bit of walking
Bella making sure the track is safe 😉
Lovely bit of trot and canter up this wee field
Following Mark and Stormy we rode as much on the grassy verges as possible
Really enjoying the track and views
Bella doing really well on uneven ground
Over a very large dry muddy part where forestry machines have churned up the field…both horses did exceptionally well over it 😉
Love this bit of field, it’s where I see a lot of fallow deer hanging out when walking our dog Beau.
Mark and Storm did a lovely canter up this hill, Bella and I waited for him to come back down…well Bella took the opportunity to graze 😉
Other side of the big hill we ventured through some lovely silver birch trees
Above the trees we had a wee trot/canter on this lovely piece of grass
Through last bit of field covered in small thistles then onto the track back to the field
Bella spies some overhanging silver birch branches…her favourite to snack on 😉
Last stretch of track above our field…home. Great fun ride out today 😉
Another fab day…another fab ride out.
Same ride as yesterday but riddenthe other way around. Love a circular routed hack out 😉
Bella following Stormy nicely…she also did some leading so it was a good swap of the leader regularly
Storm following and Bella leading. She stopped for a good look at the fab views
Slowly going downhill…what a great field to ride in
Had lovely walk, nice trot and a fab canter or two
Last leg of the ride, it’s not a long ride but nicely varied 😉
One small look before going through the gateway
But then….the last track and field home 😉 yeehaa
Nice ride today with Bella….offered a lot of trot
And also offered some canter on straight lines
Nice bit of exercise for us both, slowly get back into things making sure she’s not stiff or unsound still!
Still working on helping Bella get fit but her wee bit of hq unbalance is not helping SO getting out Emily our Equine Therapist next week to go over her and see if anything untoward. Think it’s her hq’s as she doesn’t want to engage in canter although her trot has been steadily getting better and not ‘bobbing’ now! ;*(
Follow the leader with Mark and Stormy
Just a very short session with some stretching of her forelimbs in walk and trot
Love how they both walk with me on loose reins and I don’t have to hold the ropes 🙂 🙂
Bella has had some more time off whilst I was working away with some Horse Agility students in Aberdeenshire. Today I went down to the field, put up our own agility obstacles out in the field for us to play with and then played with Bella to check out her ‘soundness’ and to see if she’s feeling better.
Well Bella’s trot was on form today
Volunteered trot quite a lot which was fab
Her canter to the left wasn’t bad, she went into it nicely and was balanced and she seemed at ease
Going to the right though she was cross-firing (which means her front legs were correct for right canter but her back legs were moving as if in left canter…disunited canter). This can be caused by being unbalanced, soreness, pain or un-fit.
She has an equine therapist coming soon so we’ll know if the ‘mini Shetland’ incident caused some discomfort in her hq’s or sacral-iliac and hopefully put that right BUT I am also going to be going back in her fitness and start walking her out for a few weeks with nothing but walk.
I will then slowly bring trot back in with plenty of walk still, going up hills etc to build up her muscle again. I won’t be trying canter again for at least 2 months so hope this will help her regain her balance 😉
She did very well today and it sure was lovely to do have some fun play with her and connect back to her fabulousness <3
Thurs 23rd (Day 1 of fitness/balance training – walk only)
Just wanting to start helping Bella find her fitness and balance again I start a slow program of walking out for a bit today. The program will consist of lots of walking straight lines, around the field and around/through/over/under the agility obstacles I put out yesterday. Walking will continue for a few weeks building up to where we can start doing some trot on straight lines, walking the corners still. Then after a few weeks we’ll be working on walk/trot around the field. I will try my best to not canter for at least 2 months (unless she actually offers to canter) thereby working only on her fitness, muscling up and balance/coordination again.
Today we did just 15 mins of nice walk, not too fast but not a plod
We had fun with the obstacles…here we’re doing the curtain and there’s a blue tarp we’re walking on here…
Walking slowly through a weave pattern and again under the curtain
Slowly around the round pens and onto a slow weave around 4 flags
Very nice through the scary bunting land and took me flapping a flag about well too 😉
Love this pic….she’s such a beautiful horse 😉
Last was under the arch…just made it 😉
Fri 24th – (Day 2 of fitness/balance training – walk only)
So carrying on from yesterday Bella and I did a nice 20 mins walking but today we did 2 things differently…
- Passenger lesson in walk – she can walk, go anywhere she wants and all I can do is ask her to continue walking if she stops and keep her from grazing her way around the field 😉
- Took stirrups away – so we both started to lengthen our legs, I put my stirrups down a hole after this 😉
Bella’s walk was fabulous…strong, long, even and balanced and she was great in doing her own left AND right turns and moving about the field nicely without me doing a thing 😉 Passenger lessons are fabulous for letting go of ‘control’ and allowing the horse to have the freedom to choose where to go. With micro-managed horses (most regular trained ones) they often won’t walk on and/or only do left turns by a gateway as they find themselves a bit ‘lost’ without someone telling them what to do as it’s become habitual to surrender their wishes ;( I’m glad Bella wasn’t like that at all 😉
Couldn’t do full loose rein as the grass was just too tempting to stop and eat for Bella 😉
She went all over the field
Stirrups off, lovely to just plod about with Bella
Bella’s walk was really big and balanced
Finished with a lovely big walk around the round pens and then I put feet back into stirrups and put them down a hole…will see how that feels next time I get on! 😉
- Shelley – HorseSavvy