It seems like both of the ponies are getting back on track. Overall we had a pretty good week.
Monday I hopped on P bareback and we had a nice quick hack, he was very good.
Tuesday night I had a flat lesson on Stampede. First ride since starting the beast on muscle relaxers and he felt much better. He was being cooperative and I worked on getting him to relax and use his back. I’d say overall it was a pretty good win.
Wednesday P and I rode in one of the rings. I took the focus off being forward and instead worked on bend. I am thinking that maybe I pushed him too hard last week, so I wanted to go back to something more basic and relaxing. While the trot work was pretty nice, he reverted back to being quick at the canter. I tried to do lots of half halts to calm him down but he was blowing through my hands a bit.
Thursday I was running late again so I decided Stampy could use a lunge in the Pessoa knockoff rig anyways. Of course it started to rain as soon as I got out to the ring and I had left my rain coat in the barn. Stamp and I toughed it out though and he was great to the left. Soft without being too lazy. To the right he was a bit more tense and really struggled at the canter to pull himself into a package. Once he was successful for halfway around at the canter we went back to trot and finished up as soon as he relaxed and started to use his back again.
Friday I decided to try P in a waterford D bit to see if that would help with him grabbing the bit coming home. Not sure if it was luck but he was great. When he would try to get quick at the canter (always coming home) I would half halt and he would respond right away. I will definitely try this bit again and maybe buy one if it turns out to be more than coincidence.
Saturday Stampede and I did a flat lesson again. This time we ended up indoors, but he was still pretty good. Trot was improved from earlier in the week, getting back to his normal feel. Canter is rough indoors since he’s so big, so I always struggle between packaging him and getting too much in his business and making him mad. Overall a good ride, I was happy with my pony.
Today P and I had a nice hack in the field. I completed my test for a starting time for Two Pointober. My back has been bothering me the last few days, so I went until it was screaming. Made it over 5 minutes, so I was happy with that considering.
I also lunged Stampy in the rig again today, this time in the indoor. I must say he was fabulous. No he’s not always on the bit and using his back, but I’d say he was about 92% of the time today. He stayed calm and responsive, even with ponies all around the indoor. Good Stamp!
The plan for Stampede is to continue my extra focus on building back strength (by lunging and doing his stretching exercises more frequently) and not jumping for a while. I am waiting on my more recent x-rays from MSU (they only mail them) so I can send them off for a second opinion on treatment options. Either way hoping for an answer on whether we have any other doable options for keeping Stampede comfortable as a riding horse.