Last Friday the vet came out to clean Scarlet’s sheath. I was told that yes he has a bean but he was cleaner in general than the vet thought he would be. I think the vet thought I was some sort of over anxious client. (Hey, only sometimes is that me.) But, when I voiced my concerns about the swelling potentially being something more than just old gelding not moving around as much, he did tell me that the sheath is a place horses can store fat. I never even considered that. And I do think Scarlet is a bit rounder than he needs to be. So, come next month, no more lunch ration for Scarlet. He is getting 20 lbs of hay morning and night and grain from me when I come out. I don’t think he needs that extra 5 lbs. Though I do like him eating all day the barn doesn’t allow me to split the 20lbs up between three feedings.
Saturday I went out in the morning before Nik’s work BBQ. I tried to keep it as quick as I possibly could. So we didn’t go up to the jumping arena. Instead, we rode in the arena closest to my tack room. It’s the same footing as the jumping arena but without anything in it. I’ve been trying to ride in there a bit more lately as I don’t focus on circles and bending and such as much in the jumping arena. It’s hard to do good circles when you have to move around jumps. Scarlet was pretty good and I didn’t ask for much more than a workout. Nothing to really challenge his mind.
Monday I was later getting on cause the small draft horse at the barn tore up her automatic waterer again. She likes to play with it and the poor owners have tried so many different options to keep her from flooding her stall and the stalls around her. I texted them and they asked me to turn the water off. Her stall has its own shut off due to how many times she has destroyed stuff. So it was a bit later than normal when I got on. Scarlet was very patient following me around while I got a wrench and turned the stuff off.
We warmed up and then I decided I wanted to hop over the jumps. I think I did one trot warm up jump and then we just cantered around. I think I’ve managed to change my habits just enough that Scarlet doesn’t feel like I’m anticipating the jumps. He has slowed down his rushing a bit. It’s not completely gone because that is part of his personality. He likes jumping and he wants to get to them faster. But it’s not as bad. Progress.
He got a little wiggly on some lines so we did those again and again with me focusing on my hands and keeping my legs on to try and keep straighter. It went better. There were a lot more verticals set up in the arena than normal so I got to keep my promise to jump more than cross rails and still be lazy! Win!
A funny thing happened on one of the vertical lines. Scarlet lost all momentum up to the jump and I was like uh-oh, we are gonna actually have a refusal. But we didn’t. He got over it. But it honestly felt like we should have brought down the pole. I didn’t feel like he even lifted any part of his body up. But I pulled him out of the line and there the pole was. I think we literally walked right through the pole. That or teleported to the other side. It was weird. That line also jumped odd for us the whole ride. Not sure exactly why. I eventually got it okay just by trotting through it and called it a night.
Tuesday, I wanted to focus on trot work. I think that I generally put in enough work with Scarlet at all gaits but I wanted to focus on circles and the spiraling in and out exercise. That is really hard for him to actually stay connected. He would rather dive in and out than slowly move. We had a few arguments about it but he did really well. He lost some gas but that is to be expected. When that happened, I’d let us trot around on a bigger circle so I could encourage him to move forward. I also worked on overbending on a 20-meter circle in both directions. That was hard for him as he just wanted to move his hind away from the bend. It also was hard for me because I had to use a lot of leg to keep him on the circle. After the ride, we walked around the barn and onto the start of the trail. I’
After the ride, we walked around the barn and onto the start of the trail. I’ve been trying to get him to go down the trail a little bit by himself. We have gotten out to the second post on the trail, maybe 200 yards. Not super far but its progress. I’ll keep doing this at the end of our rides and maybe someday I can just turn him down the trail for our cooldown.