I haven't ridden Echo since Sunday. She always has Mondays off, but yesterday I was too busy, so just brushed her thoroughly and turned her out. The weather is awful this week - gales predicted for tomorrow. It was very very windy this evening, and as she hasn't been ridden for a couple of days, I thought she'd be very sparky. However, I have made a big fuss about her feed recently. She has been on blue chip for a week now, but when I happened to be there when she was fed last week, I saw that she was getting a whole bucket of grain! She had a feed bucket full of oats and barley, with a little chaff and a little sugar beet! She is a youngster in light work!
So the last few days she has been on the diet that I thought she was on before. No straights, but a lot of chaff, sugar beet and some mix, along with her blue chip. When I got on this evening, I had a calm, sensible pony, who was willing to work properly. Magic. She is never naughty, even on all that food, but she finds it hard to concentrate when she hasn't been ridden for a while. Tonight she was great.
I was working on keeping her off her forehand. She is very croup high at the moment, and as a result, she tends to slip onto her forehand as soon as we get going. She has been feeling a little odd in her back recently. She isn't sore when I run my hand along it, and she is happy and willing to work correctly, but it just feels a little strange. She doesn't seem to be in any pain, but I am having the saddler check my saddle still fits, as she has changed shape a bit recently. I am also going to have her back looked at. Rather than get the lady I had last time, I am going to get a Bowen specialist that the rest of the yard use. She is apparently very good and works with vets at Newmarket. I am a little cynical of Bowen and reiki, but I have seen the results on other horses, so I'm willing to give it a go. I don't think there is anything wrong, and have a feeling that the odd sensation when I'm riding her is more to do with her being so croup high at the moment. I was watching her walk away from me in the field today, and the movement in her back did look a little odd when she moves her hind legs.
When I rode her today she was very good. I had a canter on each rein quite early on in the session and after that she felt very powerful. She was taking quite a strong contact, but it was definitely forwards rather than downwards. It felt lovely and as if she were really powering into the bridle. I've only really experienced this feeling in one of my lessons with John. I am desperate to have more lessons, but for the last few weeks he has been coming in the day time, and as a teacher, this is impossible for me during term time. With any luck, he is going to start coming in the evenings to teach some of the liveries; there's a little band of us that can only ride in the evening! I'd like his advice on her movement as well because I'm just not 100% sure. But then again, are we ever, as horse-owners!?