Neither of us are doing altogether wonderful. We're also not too terrible either.
Lady has overall been actually really good. I am quite pleased with how she's been looking. Her coat is shiny and soft, even her mane and tail feel softer and fuller, and her feet are actually wearing down on their own and look better than they have in a long while. (I'm writing up another post on my hoof care beliefs, so I'll expand more then.)
I am also super pleased with her weight and conditioning this year. She is still carrying some weight over her belly and hip areas that wouldn't hurt to come off, but I'm not pushing it right now. She does not have excess fat around her shoulders or even across her back. And speaking of her back, I am loving the shape she has right now through her neck and back. So round and strong and lovely.
Bullet points to make my thoughts less rambling:
- Her arthritis seems to be a lot better. It is usually better in the summer, but even so, I really think that focusing on improving her fitness has helped a ton.
- Keeping the weight off of her also helps with the arthritis.
- She isn't completely even on both sides, but I am very happy with how she is currently tracking up (see above picture).
- When she is having a bad day or obviously hurting, she doesn't hollow and resist like she used to. She is much more willing to let me help her feel better.
- She has learned how to carry herself so much better, even just out in the pasture and it has helped her so much.
- She gets bitten by bugs so very badly and almost always has welts on her neck. This has gotten worse over the past few years. Need to find a solution. :-(
Health-wise, that is about all I've got for her. For me, its a totally different story. I'm not sure if I'm going to get into that here though. Maybe another day, since its a bit complicated.
I finally got a job at the end of July and it requires me to be on my feet for several hours at a time. Definitely not something that I am used to, and the high stress and fast paced environment wears me out very quickly. Next week I'm going back to school 4 days a week, plus attempting to hold down this job. It is going to be difficult, and I definitely won't get to spend as much time with the horses as I want.
My plan is to keep getting up by 7 or 7:30 in the morning and going out to ride as soon as possible, but since I'm working evenings and am often out late it is not easy to get up early all the time.
More bullet points, on me and our schooling as of late:
- I made a fantastic, detailed schedule in July, and it has gone superbly terrible.
- Lady has improved. A lot, actually. More than I realize.
- Her attention span and attitude have improved especially.
- We are actually working on the very edges of light contact! I am no longer jerking her mouth when I shorten my reins and she is no longer upset by it.
- I am getting SO much relaxation, blowing out, confidence from her during rides. So pleased about this.
- I need to be more consistent. Always more consistent. It's my fault...
- She does really well with 2 days of work and then 1-2 days off (cycle).
I love this horse. She has taught me a lot lately, and we are becoming a great team. I couldn't ask for a better creature than this little bay Arabian mare. :-)