Things are improving in my little horse world.
First, Kaswyn's leg has pretty much stopped swelling. It's cool and non-puffy pretty much all the time now. So the question is - what do I stop first and how do I stop it? Do I wean him off the bute and keep wrapping? Or do I stop wrapping and keep him on the bute, then wean him off the bute? I need to call Dr. G and find out what he thinks, but I think it's time to wean him off of something.
Also, his wound is just a small scab now. It's scabbed over before, but when I put pressure on those earlier scabs I got serum and gunk that would seep out along the edges. This scab is really dry and I hope that in a week or so it will fall off and I'll see skin underneath.
The next great thing is I had a fantastic lesson riding Lee on Thursday. My trainer is fabulous! In like ten minutes she completely changed how he was going. She had me give him a little rounder frame, and had me do a fantastic exercise for a young horse to help develop bend and later suppleness.
We started on a 20 meter circle at one end of the arena. She had me take hold of the inside rein, use my inside leg at the girth and really ask for true bend (bend in the direction of the circle - as in if we were going to the left then then I took on up the left rein and he was bent to the left). Then at the top of the circle, where the open end of the arena was, she had me keep the same bend but make a circle in the other direction, but a slightly smaller circle. We were then essentially making a figure eight, with the 20 meter circle on the bottom and the smaller circle, which was like between 15 and 10 meters, on the top. But I was to keep the same bend of the large circle, so on the small circle I was counter bent.
As I was preparing to make the smaller circle, I changed my diagonal on the centerline and then turned my shoulders into the circle. This, in turn, moved Lee's shoulders onto the new circle but I held the old bend, so now he was counterbent. I still pushed him with the new outside leg to keep the counter bend. The most challenging thing was keeping him on the bit, confirmed in the contact, and having adequate impulsion. After doing the exercise both directions I could feel a difference in his suppleness and ability to move through his back.
She also helped us with the canter departs by having me really make him fill the outside rein. She said "Think of the outside rein as a glass. You need to fill the glass in order for him to load the outside leg and be able to do the depart by planting that leg. That way he won't need to use his neck so much in the transition." So I really shoved him into the outside rein, and what do you know? Wonderful departs. Well, one GREAT one, the rest were at least better than before.
There is a show (Class A, USDF recognized) in three weeks. Lee will probably go to the show. I'm just not sure if I'm showing him yet. I really want to, but it's not my choice. We'll have to see!
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