FIRST OF ALL - CONGRATULATIONS TO JEN on the NEWEST ADDITION TO THE BARN: WELCOME BABY TRISTAN!!!
It seems as though every time I feel we are making headway, I do something stupid (like not be patient) and screw it all up. Well, last night, was the exception to that.
Chester was in because he went shoe shopping...this horse of mine, I absolutely freaking adore...he knows when I am coming and when he spots me, doesn't take his eyes off of me...I fall in love with him again for the first time, the second I see him, everyday. He has his head over his door and his greeting to me is with an outstretched neck and head. I give him the cheek scratch and let's out what I refer to as as close to a sigh that a horse could do...I rest my forehead on his head and give him a little kiss...oh how I love him.
I noticed he was a little more 'stiff' then usual through his stifles yesterday...but after pressing and prodding, there was no soreness or flinching away from my touch and I chalk that up to him having to stand for the farrier and then be in his stall...it is amazing the change in him from the horse strength robaxacet and being outside 24/7...
Ring work - with poles and raised cavaletti - maybe 8 inches or so off the ground...I really want him to know it is okay to use his butt and that it doesn't hurt when he does....I have to tell you, he was an absolute dream. While I wasn't so much concerned about him in a 'proper' dressage frame, I was concerns about him keeping his head down, moving at an even pace, not coming up short behind, bending a little more through the corners (still no circles really), and maintaining balance and rhythm. Well, he did ALL of that...and the trot poles with no problems!! I asked Jen if he looked as though he was coming up even, because that is how he felt and she said he looked great! I was so so happy. He was snorting, his mouth was frothy, he was relaxed through his body....Now if it would have been the Carrie of old, I would have said, GREAT, let's canter. But, I did not! I will save the cantering for the trails this week (which I am rotating btw, one day ring, one day trail) and I ALWAYS take him out for 15 minutes after the ring work...I will make him brave...eventually.
Now - the reason I am so overly excited and pleased about last night...is that, the 'pickle' made its first appearance in a while...like the 'pickle' that I have been so accustomed too...by the time we had finished our cool out hack and I had dismounted, it was out...and stayed that way the entire time I was grooming and fussing over him. (NOTE - I think the people who were sitting by the barn while I was riding think I am absolutely crazy because I talked to Chester the entire time I was riding and made a HUUUUGEE deal of ANYTHING he did well.) By the time I was back in the barn, I was the only on there, it was quiet, warm out and the birds were chirping...it was nice quiet time for the Pickle and I...as I was fussing, he was uh, 'relaxed', had his neck stretched out and an ear cocked back in my direction.
DVM extraordinaire comes on Sunday (that'll be 3 weeks of blistering already...!! I'll try to remember to take a picture...it is friggin NASTY looking) to reassess and determine the best course of action for us. But, we are absolutely making headway.
I think last night was the BEST he has felt in a long long time and he's starting to trust me again: that I'm not going to ask him to do anything that will hurt him and that he can believe in me as his Pilot again.
It's a good feeling.