Since my last post was almost a month ago, whoops, Cinder has come back, and better than ever. Her grooming aversion is gone, she hasn't tried to kill anyone while getting blanketed/unblanketed, she's put some weight back on, and her flat work is improving by leaps and bounds. She's still grouchy when getting girthed up, but it's getting better and for only being three weeks into her ulcer treatment, I'm not too concerned that it hasn't gone away yet. I did buy a Mattes sheepskin girth from Hufglocken during Black Friday that's supposed to be better contoured for her body shape, so maybe that will help.
|every ride lately has been lovely, but I have no media of said rides
We've really been focusing on moving different parts of her body around, and asking her to take the connection and self carriage to the next level. As Trainer A said in one of my recent lessons, "The buttons are installed, now we're finessing and refining the buttons." In our trot work we go back and forth between shoulder in and haunches in, both down the long sides and on circles, and we've started shortening and lengthening her stride. I'm to focus on shortening her stride with my body, not my hands. The first time we worked on this I was nearly dead by the end of the lesson, but it's gotten easier for both of us and it seems like every ride I have to do less and less to get her to do more.
|she whacked the bottom of her fetlock and it was just swollen enough for me to put wraps on overnight. she was not amused
The biggest improvement has been in the right lead canter. That's always been our trouble direction, and it still is, but we've gotten moments where everything comes together and it's absolutely lovely. A has had me think shoulder fore in the canter, and to be really on Cin about giving to the bit. There were a couple rides where we had some pretty ugly canter before she gave in, but once she does I can soften and just half halt every second or third stride to keep her there. And again, each ride it's getting easier and easier to get her there and she's capable of keeping that canter for longer and longer. I told A in my last lesson that the canter is getting so much fun to ride, even the bad moments because I know we can get this dream canter out of it. I'm pretty sure I look ridiculous riding around with the world's biggest grin of my face.
In the past couple of months, Cinder's turnout group had been frequently rotated, and her stall neighbor had been on stall rest for kicking himself in the leg. He had been getting very bored, and very angry, and kicking the walls a lot which I think caused Cin a lot of stress. But he's back on turnout, and can start under saddle work next week, and Cin's turnout group has stabilized. I think this, in combo with the ulcer meds has really helped. She's out with two other mares, and the three of them have become a giant chaos unit. The three of them are frequently huddled together, and two weeks ago Cinder and Jazzy were in flaming heat and taunting the boys across the fence. There's been two ripped blankets, three pulled bell boots, and one lost shoe in the month they've been out together. But the girls are devoted to each other and I'm happy that Cinder has her BFFs.