Ups and downs, befores and afters

For me this month was the reality of the highs and lows of owning and working with horses.

We had some brilliant moments in our training which included attending our first Dressage Association training day. It was great to have wonderful OTT coach Sue McDermott’s expertise for our first training day outing. We worked on slowing down Pringle’s legs and lowering her head and neck to relax in the new environment. I was very pleased with how Pringles coped with the atmosphere.

During the month, we have had some great hack outs through the bush and along the beach where Pringles has felt so confident and happy which is great.  Unfortunately, we also had one terrible trail ride, where she seems to have lost all her training and it was like I was riding a fire-breathing dragon that didn’t know if it wanted to run home backwards at a million miles an hour or throw itself up, down and around! We made it home safely and I took her to the arena straight away to get her brain back, where she was super and we actually did some lovely relaxed work. But that’s horses!

Unfortunately, halfway through this month’s training I was doing the daily cleaning out of Pringle’s paddock and noticed huge skid marks across the paddock. When riding her, she was not happy and felt quite crooked. She also kicked up her hind legs in the canter which is very unlike her. I got off and organised my body worker to come and see her as soon as possible. Pringles was very sore through the muscles over her lumbar spine and ended up needing 2 weeks’ rest and continued body work.   I am so pleased that I know her well enough to understand when she is trying to tell me she isn’t comfortable.

While Pringles was having some time off, we managed a dental check and a booster tetanus injection.  The vet also ran a faecal egg count that came back negative, which is great for my worming regime and paddock rotation.

Unfortunately during this downtime we missed out on being able to ride in our first show jump clinic. However, I decided to still take her along and I held her in hand and practised our ‘park’ in the arena while the other horses in the group participated in the lesson. This was great exposure for Pringles and I’m pleased we were able to do something productive in this time.

Next month I plan to attend a show jumping freshman’s day and our first Dressage Competition, depending on how Pringle’s back is feeling closer to those events. We have now had our first ride after her time off and she is feeling good again, so hopefully there is no more hooning and slipping in the paddock hurting herself! 🤞