Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Dinah rides off line
Dinah has made a lot of progress in the past few days. I think her teeth are feeling a lot better, and that is really making a big difference. It really shows how important good dental work is. Dinah did not have a lot of work this past week because she was recovering from having her teeth done and it was very rainy. On Monday morning I longed her with her tack on. She wanted to stop a lot and I was having trouble with her getting stuck in corners. Especially when tracking right she throws her shoulder out, which pulls me in front of her drive line and makes it hard for me to keep her forward. After some persistence, she improved and was trotting nicely around the circle. I then took her for a walk around the property and finished up. Dinah had another chiropractor appointment, and the chiro said that Dinah's eye seemed softer and her neck and jaw felt much better (most likely because of her teeth). She is still very tight in her hips. The chiro said that Dinah is one of only 5% of horses that have an overly steep angle to their pelvis. Most horses need to rotate their pelvis down to allow them to come more under themselves, but Dinah's pelvis angle is too steep. The chiro gave me some exercises to push Dinah's pelvis back in the correct direction. I rode her in the afternoon, longed her first and then got on. She was again resistant in the longing, but better after some work. Just like in riding, leg (the whip) steady contact, and half halts are the key to keeping her going on the longe line. When I got on her I rode her on the longe line. She is doing great with me riding, her transitions are getting really smooth. I have started to work on bending on circles and also pushing her into the corners. She is so smart, it really amazes me. It is definitely much harder for her to travel to the right than the left, she is much less balanced. The next day I just gave her a short longe before I rode her. From now on, every day longe time will decrease and ride time will increase. Then I got on on longe, rode her on circles and straight lines. Then I did the same thing off longe and she was great. I am really proud of her! After her ride I rinsed her off with the hose, which she wasn't so sure about at first but she settled down after she realized it felt pretty good. There was lots of activity out at the ranch, I am trying to start walking her around activity so she can get used to other horses moving around her and her not getting to follow them. One of the things I have to do in the competition is to release and catch her. In the afternoon I practiced this, I turned her out in the round pen and caught her a few times. She was very good about this as well. After that I walked her over the stair step thing and also over the teeter totter bridge, a wood bridge that is on a fulcrum so as the horse walks over it drops down, she was great! Then I took her on a walk around the property and worked on trotting in hand and let her graze some. I am very happy with her progress so far this week. Looking forward to more riding, and hoping for nice weather. A question I have, it seems like her belly gets swollen where her girth goes, not that much and it doesn't seem painful, but I was wondering if this is something that happens with young horses? Any info appreciated! Maybe she is just building muscle there, I'm not sure. Dinah is going to be moving to a new pen soon, because I need to separate her from her boyfriend George, they have become a little too bonded, so I am going to move her so it won't be so traumatic when I take her to the competition. A little less than two months till Norco! Hotel room booked, no turning back now! Next week I will work on trailer loading, and maybe take her out on the trail. I also measured Dinah and she is 14.2 hands, so she is right at the cutoff between pony and horse. She weighs 795 pounds. Thanks for reading!