Monday, December 14, 2009

Lookin' good

Muddy horse

This is what Panama looked like when I arrived this afternoon. The mud was so thick in places that I could barely even see his markings! It took some flower power to get it all off.

By the time I finished brushing him and picking his feet, his favorite outdoor arena was empty, so I checked his left front fetlock again for any soreness. Once I was convinced he was okay, I turned him out. He seemed pretty happy to be out, and ran back and forth along one of the straightaways, snorting and bucking at the cattle dog that was keeping pace with him on the other side of the fence.

I wasn't sure I was going to have enough time to ride, even bareback, but I decided I couldn't leave without getting on his back at least briefly. I didn't ride for long, but it was good to get on for a little bit. I made a few observations:

1) Riding a horse bareback when it's cold out warms your legs up pretty quickly! I've been told that before, but I hadn't actually experienced it for myself until today.

2) Panama has gotten noticeably rounder from two weeks off. The people who feed have also been feeding extra hay during the cold weather, and it was a bit more than Panama actually needed. It made for a more comfortable ride bareback, though!

3) After just two weeks off, I was already becoming unaccustomed to using certain muscles. Even five or ten minutes at a walk made that clear. It always surprises me how quickly your body gets out of practice when you don't ride for a while!

We didn't ride for very long — maybe ten minutes at most — and all we did was to walk. Panama seemed fine, and did very well on leg yielding without trying to trot every time. I would have liked to ride him a little longer, but I didn't have much time — but that's just as well, since I am after all trying to take it slow to make sure he doesn't become sore again.

Tomorrow I'll go out there and check him over, and if he's still doing well, I'll ride him some more — bareback again, but hopefully for a little longer this time.

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