Friday got out to the barn and tacked up to ride with two other girls, A and A. Took a good long time grooming Libby, and currying her to get the shine out. I’ve been neglecting poor Libs appearance, not really my OCD just can’t handle the furryness and crazy mane, so she definitely needs a spa day.
Got on and walked around for a bit. She was REALLY tense through her back, giving a bit of a hump when I asked for the trot. Poor Libs 😦 I pushed her forward and gave her a good warm up, really asking her to use herself and to round through her back. She was being great, and finally listening. I added some poles that were on the ground, and some little crossrails that were up. Then my trainer asked if she had her changes. I let her know she kind of does, needs quite a bit more help on the left to right, but she doesn’t exactly know what your asking without a pole. So we did some pre-change exercises, cantering up to the pole, bringing her back down to the walk, exaggerating her change of bend, and asking her to strike off on the new lead right from the walk. Lib was acting like an old pro, and was listening well. We then bit the bullet and asked her for a flying over the pole, to which she was a bit too excited for in the beginning. She got it, but not before running through my hands a couple times first. Worked on slowing her down and then called it a day. She had a great workout and I was happy with her progress!
As I was finishing up, the CWD fitter came out to inspect another boarders saddle, so we had him take a look at mine. These were the same really helpful guys who had come out to fit me at my old barn, and they instantly recognized me. And they recognized Libby, even though she was “much thinner” then last time they saw her :-(. He put my saddle on and again told me the problems with her shoulder area. He explained again how her large shoulder blade is really a difficult fit, and how she needs a cut out type of tree, where the panels have sort of a cut out shape for the shoulder to fit in when in work. He brought out a demo for me to try, and showed me how it was a great fit for Libby with the special paneling. Happy to try this new one out!
Friday night it absolutely poured here, complete with crazy lightening and powerful winds. Got to the barn Saturday, and the ring was under water. So we decided to run some errands in the hopes that it would dry up. We drove to the horse show to pick up a couple things from a vendor and I was FINALLY able to try on a Samshield! The Premium version fit me the best, so now I just have to order one. If anyone is in need of a new helmet, I’d strongly suggest you try the Samshield out. The vendor was showing us all the testing done on the Samshields, and how its really one of if not the safest helmet on the market today. She showed us other stats about competing helmets, and I was surprised to learn that GPAs aren’t very highly rated when it comes to safety. I’d always been under the impression that their high price was due to the safety of the helmet but nope. Had a fun talk with her and headed back to the farm to check the ring.
Came back and Libby was running around like a crazy thing. Took her in and realized she’d lost a shoe. Put a call into farrier and he thankfully was able to make plans to come out the next day to tack it on her. So no riding for me… But I did give Lib somewhat of a spa day. I clipped her legs up, cleaned up her face and ears, and started on her mane. So at least it wasn’t a total bust, but really when is any time spent at the barn bad?
On another note, I really don’t understand what is setting Libby off. Whether its in turnout, or when shes being ridden, shes just not herself. To everyone who suggested that I check her for ulcers, we’ve been thinking along those same lines. Were having the vet come out the 21st, and hes going to run a couple tests to really help us get to the bottom of everything: her spookiness, her tense back and girth area, and to find out why she dropped so much weight in December. I’m really anxious to hear what he says, and if he thinks she needs to be fully scoped well make plans to bring her to the clinic.
Sunday got to the barn and waited around for the farrier. He got there around 3, so I brought Libby out so her could quickly tack the shoe on. Thankfully she didn’t rip much hoof off, so it was an easy fix. Unfortunately though, she started acting spooky on the crossties, giving our poor farrier a hard time. Paid him for his help, thanked him numerous times for coming out on short notice, and tacked her up so I could ride. Tacked her up with the new saddle and my Trifecta thinline pad, excited to try it out. She was so sensitive through her back that even on the crossties, she tensed up and even put out a tiny rear. The saddle was only on one hole on both sides at this point, very very very loose girth, so I don’t know if she just didn’t realize she had the girth on and got nervous or what. The saddle isn’t tight anywhere on her back either, so it just makes me want to get to the bottom of her sensitivity even more. Walked her around for about 15 minutes before even tightening the girth, to really make sure that she was comfortable. We didn’t exactly have the best ride to try out a new saddle though. She was so spooky, so sensitive, and so ADD and not listening that I had a hard time getting her to around, and didn’t really pay attention to the saddle. We worked through it though, with lots of direction changes and gait changes, and ended on a good note. Let the fitter know that I couldn’t really tell anything about the saddle in a day, so hes letting me keep it until Wednesday.
Monday got out and only had a couple hours to spend since I had to go back to school later that afternoon. Got Libby from the paddock groomed her up and got on. This time I rode with the saddle by itself, with no halfpad. One of the older ladies at the barn, L, was also riding, so I had a buddy to ride with. Good thing too, because in the middle of my ride, my helmet randomly decided to unclip itself. Yea, I think I need a new one… L commented and was very worried I was using the helmet, since its safety qualities are obviously compromised, but I let her know I was getting a new one. Couldn’t believe it did that! Anyways, I did lots of work get Libby focused and listening, lots of rein changes and moving her off my leg. We did some extending and shortening of her stride and I worked in the canter work we’d done when my trainer was there, going from canter to walk, exaggerating the change in bend, and striking off at the canter from the walk. Lib was nice and tired and I felt like I’d gotten my horse back.