In epic news this week: I rode my horse! It’s been a full week [seven excruciating days] since I last rode Miles. But I finally swung my leg over my horse last night, and flatted him around for my trainer. We did a nice, long warm-up at the walk before I picked up a trot. At first he felt… not great. He was very sluggish, dead to my leg and every once in a while I would think to myself: “was that a short step? does he feel lame?” but it was never for more than one stride and he never bobbed his head, so we kept going.
The entire ride was very methodical: trot around the area to the right twice, come down to the walk and change direction across the diagonal. Trot around the ring twice to left, walk and change direction across the diagonal. Then we picked up the right lead canter, went around the entire ring once and did a big circle in the lower half of the arena. Then guess what we did? Walked and change direction across the diagonal. Wash, rinse and repeat to the left except this time we got to transition down to the trot! Yippee!!
I know it sounds boring [and it really was] but both Trainer and I wanted to see exactly how he felt every step of the ride. If he was lame at all we were going back to the vet for a full work-up: ultrasounds, x-rays, blocking; the whole shebang. Luckily, when Miles came back down to the trot after cantering, he felt really good. He went into a long and low frame, really stepping up underneath himself and pushing from his hind end. While it’s not the best he’s ever felt, it was pretty darn good for me just sitting there and not asking for a single thing: he obviously felt good enough to do it himself, which was exactly what I wanted to hear! We quit on that note because it was pretty hot and discussed the game plan moving forward.
For the rest of the month I’m just going to flat Miles, increasing the difficulty and frequency of my rides a little at a time to ensure that he really and truly is 110 percent. I’m going to keep treating his thrush, and doting on him like a good mother. Trainer offered to let me ride Vinnie, and maybe some other horses, in my weekly lessons so I can still jump around and work on myself [because let’s face it, Miles doesn’t need reps over fences but I need all the help I can get]. I have a vacation planned for the beginning of August, but when I get back if Miles is still feeling awesome then we’ll start jumping again. I don’t think it will take him very long to get back in the groove, and hopefully we’ll be ready to show Labor Day weekend.
All in all, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders; I am so incredibly glad that Miles is feeling better. He really is my baby, and for me there’s nothing worse than knowing he’s not feeling great, but that there’s nothing I can do to make it instantly better.