Support System

Nothing has really changed with Scarlet. He seems roughly the same since the quick improvement to his leaning as of Friday after the set back. He’s stiff and wobbles. He loses track of his hind end randomly when we walk and has to scramble to fix it.

But he is walking. And he is still eating and headbutting me for treats. He does his stretches even if he is somewhat resistant to the ones for the hind legs. We’ve got just over a week of sun in the forecast so I’m planning on walking as much as we can to help him with stiffness and building strength.

But this post is more about the people who have been keeping me sane. It’s only been two months of dealing with this and if everything goes well, we’ve got months more. The initial uncertainty was horrible for me. I went through waves of panic and somewhat-okay-but-really-just-dealing almost daily. I cried a lot. I’ve lost Scarlet once before when he was sold the summer before college. I know just how badly losing him will break me. And that terrifies me. I’m not ready (and likely never will be) to lose him again. So my normal emotional control was just gone.

I’d have absolutely collapsed into a pile of goo, tears and panic if my husband hadn’t been here. He’s been amazing with letting me cry and taking care of me. He’s had those hard talks and has even agreed to spend a bit more on trying to fix this than we’d ever talked about for emergency vet bills. He’s been the safe place I’ve needed through this whole experience and I can’t even express what his help has meant to me.

My friends have also been amazing. Karen and L. have listened to a crazy amount of panic ranting texts. They’ve talked me through the various research and treatment I’ve read. They’ve talked me off the panic ledge. And they’ve also added a dose of reality with giving me questions to consider when talking to the vet and questions to ask myself about how far can we go with this. Its incredibly hard to deal with something like this and have no one who really understands horses to talk about this with so they’ve been integral to my sanity.

My new vet has also been amazing. I regret not getting a second opinion immediately. The support I’ve received from her has been nothing but stellar. She’s responded to many emails and looked at many videos that I’ve taken of his movements. She’s even scolded me for castigating myself for making him worse. This last month, even with his setback, has been much easier than the first month because I know I’ve got a professional in my corner who has my back.

Another friend who has helped me is Holly. With Uno being in the stall right next to Scarlet, she’s able to see Scarlet super easily when she goes out to the barn. She always texts me and lets me know that he’s doing well or that she saw this that day. She’s even offered to walk Scarlet when she is out so that he gets some more exercise. I’m probably going to take her up on that. I think he will benefit more from having multiple short walks.

Even my team and coworkers at work have been supporting me. My team allows for a very flexible schedule so that I can potentially show up late from staying at the barn a bit too long. They are okay with me working from home on the bad days. My coworkers ask how my horse is doing and genuinely care about the answer.

And you guys. The blogsphere has been so supportive while I’ve been moaning about what is happening. Hearing people say they are keeping Scarlet in their thoughts matters a lot. Even though it is sometimes hard to make myself do the mental work for posts, it is worth it to update you all and hear back your supportive words.

I’ve had support from so many sides. I know we’ve just started dealing with Scarlet’s neuro issues but the first few months have been bad. You never want to be in a situation where you need the emotional and mental support system that I’ve experienced. But since I am, I cannot begin to describe how much I appreciate it. I’m so grateful to be in the place that I am in my life, with the people I have.

Thank you.

The Fall and the Bad?

So, this weekend has been a downer full of a fair amount of stress.

Saturday I went out to ride. Scarlet was fine for our warm up walk around the barn. We trotted to the left, reversed, trotted to the right. He stumbled. I asked him if he was paying attention. He stumbles sometimes at the walk if he is focused on something other than his feet. I got a drink of water and we went off again. We got about halfway around the arena and he stumbled again.

This one was a full on face plant. I went over his head and onto the ground. He scrambled to his feet and I did as well. I didn’t even straighten up fully before I started running my hands over his legs to see if he hurt himself or if I could find something wrong. There wasn’t anything. I dusted off sand and even dusted some off from above his eyes. That’s how much of a header he took.

I walked him off and he looked fine. He didn’t flinch at me pressing on any part of his legs. No heat, no cuts. A lady who had come to the arena fence to check on us didn’t see anything weird in his walk. I got back on and he felt fine at the walk. We walked for a little while and he seemed okay. I trotted again. We circled and at the end of the circle his back legs went down and then we were on the ground like he had laid down. I literally said, “Nope, nope. Somethings wrong.” as I walked off him onto the ground.

He got up without too much issue and I checked him again. Again, nothing really seemed wrong. I took him back to get the saddle off him and lunge him. He stumbled at the trot on the lunge so I stopped. He was fine on our ride on Thursday and had Friday off. I couldn’t figure out what was the issue.

He seems fine by most metrics. An odd walk step very infrequently. He stumbles at the trot. And that is about it. He lets me squeeze all four legs. I can pick them up and stretch them around. He rolled after I stopped lunging him and didn’t seem to have any issue getting up. He puts weight on all fours. His back doesn’t palpate as sore. He was pivoting away from me on his own so he has control of his back legs. I pulled on his tail and he counterbalanced to keep himself upright. His feet are just over a week done. He was eating and drinking.

I called the vet and spoke with the receptionist who ran my story by the tech. They didn’t have any openings for the weekend so since it didn’t seem to be an emergency, they recommended I watch him and see if it continues.

I figured it could be an off day. Everyone has them. Maybe he rolled oddly in his pen. Who knows. Horses man. So I decided to wait and see like they suggested. (Thanks L. and Karen for listening to me freak out over text all weekend) I figured he might feel different by the next day. He probably was a little sore from slamming his shoulder into the ground. (I know I’m sore from hitting the ground!)

Sunday, I went out with the intention of just lunging him to see if he tripped. He seemed find while I cleaned his feet and checked him over. I grabbed the lunge line and went to the arena. He walked around easily enough and then I asked to trot. He tripped within the first circle. I panicked and told him to stop. I walked him around in a circle on the lunge both ways. He seemed to have some nqr steps with the right fore but I’m not 100% sure. He definitely stumbled on the front when I had him trot. I didn’t grab my phone to film but I will be doing that on Monday.

I freaked some more and talked more to L. and Karen. My thoughts are to call the vet in the morning and schedule whatever their first appointment is. I’ll make it work, whenever that is. It needs to be long enough for a lameness evaluation/blood work session plus shots/floating. I feel bad loading all that on Scarlet at once but he needed the shots and floating anyway.

I’ve spent all weekend going over everything that he could be feeling. I’m concerned but also trying not to freak out too much. He is 22. It’s quite possible its just old age. It feels odd that it would be that much of a change in two days. But who knows. I’m hoping that its not neurological. It doesn’t feel like it but I’m also not a vet nor have I had tons of lameness experience. Also, I’m hoping its not a result of me forgetting to get his booster shots in spring. If its something that I could have prevented by remembering to do that, I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive myself.

I’m gonna end this post here before I spiral too much into my thoughts again. I have a plan. I know what I’m going to do with Scarlet while I wait for our vet appointment. Hopefully it isn’t too long of a wait so I can’t get too far into my head.

Riding with Friends

Friday I woke up to my alarm but felt so tired that I decided against going out to the barn. It ended up being a good thing as I got a text from my farrier around the time that I normally would start riding. He was asking if I’d moved barns. I had forgotten to tell him that Scarlet had moved stalls. Of course, he hadn’t let me know he was coming out and Scarlet was literally two stalls to the right. But he probably has tons of horses he does so its not realistic to expect him to remember what every one looks like. I directed him to the right stall and lazed in bed, knowing that Scarlet would have fresh tootsies when I next rode.

On Saturday, Holly was able to be out at the barn at the same time as I was. This was unusual due to her changed work schedule. It was nice to be able to ride around with her again. We got to catch up a bit while doing so.

We had an interesting incident that happened that day which is directly connected to one of my greatest pet peeves about this barn. The barn is not enclosed in a fence. There is a gate across the driveway but the back of it opens to a large hayfield. The trail that I ride in a loop around that field is used by a lot of people for hiking and jogging. That’s fine. It’s not fully a public trail but I doubt the owner of the land cares more about them using the trail than horses using it. What bugs me is a lot of people will then walk right through the barn! We are not public property. They will walk through with their dogs on and off leash. They will go JOGGING through a horse property! I’ve even seen a dune buggy come crawling through our barn!

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I needs that carrot!

So on Saturday, a family with a couple of dogs came onto our property from the trail. One of the dogs was loose. I was pissed at that. It looked like the dog had escaped. But they were following after it like it was a chicken or something that would run far away if they made any sudden movements or loud noises. I was just about to yell at them to actually make a greater effort to grab their dog (it was feet from stalls at this point) when one of the horses in the arena saw that they had suddenly appeared. And he freaked out. He bolted around the arena. The girl on his back was not prepared and was a newer rider. So she couldn’t straighten up and keep her balance enough to get him to stop. They made it around most of the arena before she came off. Luckily, the horse just stopped and waited for her to get up. Neither of them were hurt and she was in good spirits about having fallen off. The dog was grabbed and the people left in a hurry. But I’m so angry that something like this happened. I know it wasn’t just the horse freaking out over nothing as I’ve seen this horse a lot and he is really chill. I wish there was a way to force people to stay away from the barn.

Sunday Scarlet was in a funky mood. He was very well behaved but he dropped his head, curled his neck and stuck there no matter what we were doing during the ride. It was very strange. I need to check his mouth to see if his teeth are looking bad. He is due for a floating soon. But I find it odd that Saturday he could be perfectly fine and then Sunday he just wasn’t.

Since he seemed to not want to ride, I cut the arena part short and we went for a walk around the trail. He was a little reluctant to start but once we got going he was fine. He power walked most of it but I wouldn’t say he was tense. He was alert for sure. We definitely won’t hit relaxed on the trail for a while. But he wasn’t worried. It was a very good end to the ride.

Busy Busy

Life has been pretty crazy this last week. Work had a bunch of events going on which made riding in the morning not feasible. I was only able to ride Tuesday morning. I believe it went well, though I honestly can’t remember at this point. I didn’t have much plans for that ride as I knew there was going to be a break between rides.

We had a team outing and some hack days at work, which are like big parties with lots of activities and lots of work for us so I enjoyed those, even if I missed riding.

Saturday I woke up too late to sneak in a ride before we had an appointment. It stunk but I needed to clean the house for friends visiting this weekend so it all worked out in the end.

Said friends were here with their band to play in a video game cover performance at a brewery. We went to hang out on Saturday and it was a lot of fun. The crowd actually got pretty large. I think the brewery decided they want to do this again as they didn’t expect the crowd size.

Sunday I did get to ride and that was a lot of fun. It was getting quite warm quickly which wasn’t lovely but Scarlet and I dealt with it pretty well. I warmed us up and he was reaching pretty nicely into the rein that I was allowing him. He didn’t stay consistently out but it was a lot more that usual. I was really focusing on keeping my hands forward due to feedback from my lesson. His reaction to my hands makes me think that I was pulling a lot with my hands unconsciously. I had thought that might be a problem but I think this cements the thought.

After warm up, I couldn’t resist doing some jumps. They were all set pretty low and I didn’t feel like getting off and changing the heights. We hadn’t ridden much the last week either so I didn’t want to strain him too much. But Scarlet happily cantered over the smaller jumps. I did the one stride with him once and then turned to the four stride line.

We never seem to get that line right. We wobble our way through it partially due to me having conditioned him to turning out of the line by jumping just the first fence. But I kept my leg on this time and we made it through relatively straight. The first time through we chipped for five strides. I had only planned to do it once but after that, we had to do it again. The second time was the same issue, five from a chip. I kept us going around the arena to try a third time. This time, when I turned us to face the line, Scarlet powered up to the first fence. When I felt him kick into gear I knew we were going to actually make the four strides that time. He continued to maintain the same pace through the line and we jumped out nicely. He got tons of pats and a treat for that. I’m really happy he figured out what he needed to do. I was planning on really kicking on after we jumped the first fence to get the striding but him realizing it on his own is awesome.

I love jumping this horse. Now if I could just figure out how to get him over to the barn for lessons…

Aliveeeee!!

That’s how I feel right now. Roughly three months ago, I got an in office job. I had been working from home for roughly two years before this job. My human interaction was minimal and my immune system had been enjoying the vacation. Two weeks ago Thursday I woke up with a really sore throat. I had a conference I was going to that weekend so I medicined up and pushed through it.

That was not the best idea but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Pushing through the weekend caused my cold to get worse. My immune system threw up its hands and said, “Screw this. I don’t have to work this hard any more.” So it’s been about two weeks of recovering and trying to be able to breathe again. It sucked.

Wednesday was the first day I got to see Scarlet in two weeks. I went out before work to groom him and give him a bit of turnout.

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I groomed him and was sweating by the end of that. Getting that sick really takes it out of you.

I had to leave town for a work trip Thursday-Friday so I didn’t get out to see him then but I was determined to make the weekend worth it. After all, I could almost breathe at that point.

Saturday I met up with Holly and we rode around together. Scarlet was super energetic. I think he was happy to be out. I forced him to walk more than we normally do. He was super stoked when we trotted and did a tiny bit of cantering. I loved every moment of the ride but I was definitely tired by the time we were done. I was really happy that I was even able to get out there.

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The hikers on the hill across the hay field might be dangerous. He has to keep a close eye on them just in case.

Sunday, I was definitely tired but I was determined to go out again as I am going to be gone the coming weekend again.

Scarlet was eating dinner when I got out but didn’t give me too much of a glare when I took him out. I wanted to just do a short ride, no longer than 30 minutes. I’ve got to be careful how much I do so that I don’t push myself before I am fully healthy. I was planning on heading out around the barn at a walk to warm up. But Scarlet wasn’t cooperating.

I got on at the mounting block and he immediately tried to walk off and hurry back to the barn. So, we walked in circles around the mounting block. And he kept hurrying around and trying to trot out away from where I was telling him to go. So right to the arena we went. I forced him to walk for one lap and then we trotted around. I was able to trot for about six minutes at a time, which is pretty good. We walked some more and then cantered. Walked a bit more and then finished off with some trot serpentines.

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I kept myself focused on being as precise and correct in my position and cues as I could be. I knew I wasn’t strong enough to help much with the ride so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t in the way. I think it helped some with the bending. It also helped keep my balance proper. I’d notice myself leaning forward at the trot and I’d realize my lower leg had gotten out of place. Fixed that and the lean would stop.

I’m looking forward to getting my rides in the morning again before work. I’m looking forward to rides period but going before work puts me in a pretty good mood for the rest of the day.

Del Mar Gran Prix Again!

The Del Mar Grand Prix was awesome, as always. I got to go with Holly, her bf and Kristen from the barn. 

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This year, they had Land Rover as a sponsor and did the jump and drive fun class before the Grand Prix. They did this at the first one I went to three years ago. It’s always so fun. Especially seeing the riders try and run fast in their tall boots. That’s very difficult. 

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The first person to go went clear. He also ended up being the only one to go clear for a long time. Rails didn’t seem to be a problem as much as the time. There were a fair amount of rails but there were a lot of people with a bit over the time but clear.  

We ended up with four riders in the jump off. But that isn’t to say that we didn’t have some crazy stuff happen before. 

One ride really stood out to me and I really regret that I didn’t take note of who the rider/horse was. All I know is the rider was a man. His horse didn’t feel like jumping fence five, which was one of the fences right next to me. So the pair went through the fence. Amazingly, he continued on without much hesitation. As he jumped the next fence and turned, I realized he had lost BOTH of his stirrups. There were X fences in the course and he jumped the rest of them with no stirrups! The crowd went wild after he finished. Understandably, the rider looked a little annoyed because they took down a fence which equaled no jump off for them. But it was still an amazing feat of strength to get through that course like that. 

The jump off had an interesting ride as well. Uma rode around the course very well and was clean up to the very last jump. They went over and she lost her balance over the last fence and fell off at the very end. It looked like she was going to win until Enrique Gonzales had a clean round one second faster. 

I love going to this show with friends and watching the horses do things I can only dream about riding. I hope I get to continue going in the next years. 

Counter Canter and a Horse Show

Friday I wasn’t out at the barn as the night before had been a late one. My work took us all to see End Game in theaters. It was amazing and I’m so grateful to have an awesome job that does stuff like this. But it did cut into my riding time a little bit. Worth it!

Saturday was a bit of a shorter ride than I prefer to get on the weekends due to having something to do around lunch time. Scarlet was ignoring my right leg per usual. I had to really get after him with asking, spurring and then digging it into his side. I’m considering moving my spur on that side above the spur rest a few times until he starts respecting that aid a bit more.

We didn’t work on too much technical stuff. We were trying to avoid the other horse in the arena that was circling randomly at the trot all over the middle of the arena. Normally that would be fine but… the rider didn’t seem to be focused on anything but trying to trip her own horse up. We managed though. It was hard for me to do any of my normal circling and serpentines as I couldn’t predict at all where she was going.

After we got warmed up, we crossed the diagonal at a canter and kept the counter canter for roughly 2/3 of the arena. He’s really balanced at the counter canter so this is not too much of a problem for him. On the right lead, we broke to the trot right before I turned us back to go across the arena to the correct bend. I think that was my fault. He’s not as strong on that lead and I didn’t support him well enough for us to be able to stick it. We did it again while I was more present and it went just fine.

I meant to grab a neck strap for keeping my hands forward but I keep forgetting to grab one of my old stirrup leathers. After I was done on Saturday, I hung it up with my bridle so I wouldn’t forget in the future.

Sunday morning was Dante’s return to showing with L. I got coffee and donuts on my way out to the show. I arrived just before the warmup round started.

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I love supporting my friends and being their paparazzi at events like this. It’s something I’d love if I were doing this someday in the future. Plus I get to spend time with people I like. And horses. Always horses.

After her classes and sending Dante back home, L and I went to Mary’s. It’s really difficult to resist going when the showpark is literally right next to it. Plus I needed more grain and wanted to pick up a few more things. I’d gotten some socks there during the tack sale and they are the most comfortable socks ever so I had to grab a couple more pairs. I just love when the weekend has horse stuff every day.

A Lazy Weekend

Friday was the only day I did anything horse related this weekend. Saturday we had some friends visiting and Sunday I just really needed to be lazy. I feel a little bad because Scarlet doesn’t leave his stall if I don’t get him out but I don’t think he is going to worry too much about one day less.

Friday morning I didn’t want to do anything too complicated. At first, I thought I was going to work on lateral work but that’s not really what happened in the ride. Instead, we did a bunch of canter work. I wanted him hotter off my aid for the canter rather than trotting several steps and then cantering. So we did a few transitions and I praised him for anything under two steps of trot. This is a work in progress like anything having to do with transitions.

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Eagle eating his dinner at the zoo

We also did some more difficult counter canter work. Scarlet has zero issue counter cantering around the arena and can turn down the diagonal fine. Since it’s so easy for him, I wanted us to do some counter canter circles, trying to make them smaller and as well balanced as possible. He did really well with it. I thing we got to around a 30 m circle. He didn’t try to break or swap leads and we were relatively well balanced.

I try to make sure that we don’t end our rides on canters. Scarlet sometimes thinks he’s done after we canter for warm up. I don’t want to encourage that thought process. So we did some trot figure eights and serpentines. I focused on getting some good bends out of him. But we encountered a problem. My sitting to change direction made him think that we were stopping. Even when my legs were on. So we had to have a discussion about that. He’d toss himself on the forehand as well so it took forever to get back to a good trot. More stuff to practice.

While we were cooling down, I had us back up and walk a few steps forward around the rail. Scarlet hates backing up. He curls his neck and angrily chews his mouth. I’m praising when we’re doing it so its not that he is anxious that he doesn’t know the correct action. He just hates it. We need to do it more often so that he gets used to it.

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Delicious chocolate covered cheesecake with a crunchy cookie crust from a restaurant called Extraordinary Desserts. Definitely recommend for your next SD trip.

Saturday I cleaned my brushes and then went to the zoo with friends and Sunday I lazed and did some chores. One of the chores was replacing the laces on one of my boots. It had snapped and was slowly wiggling itself loose. So I unlaced it and laced it back up with a cheap lace I got from CVS. It doesn’t look too bad. I’m quite pleased with myself. Whenever I have to do it again, I know how to lace it in an easier fashion than attempting to do it backwards. So while I may have been lazy as far as leaving the house, I at least got things done.

 

Weekend Revival

I got a lot of riding done this weekend. It definitely made up for some of the crappy days this last week.

Friday started off the “weekend” quite terribly. I got up at my normal early morning time and came out of the bathroom in the morning to the dulcet tones of rain on my window.

Luckily Friday was the only day I had to crawl back into bed in a cranky mood due to rain. Saturday was a pretty nice day, back up in the mid-70s. Saturday is the only day Holly and I have that we can manage to match up our schedule for riding so the time is erratic.

This time we ended up riding in the evening. Holly was setting up some jumps when I arrived. She’d changed some heights and made a two stride up the diagonal. The two stride was set higher than Scarlet and I are ready to ride at this point. We did set up the rest of the jumps at heights we are able to do as well as a mini oxer for fun.

Scarlet was definitely excited to ride with his friend. We warmed up and then trotted over the mini fence set at the bogey fence. No problems there or at the canter with it. I tried the X we’d set up that was much higher after that. It went super well too.

Then the next time I pointed Scarlet at it, he charged it. We went over but it was definitely not graceful. I think he was just excited because he listened a lot better for the rest of the jumps. We went over the vertical we’d set up a couple of times. I think it’s about 2’-2’3”. We also attempted the oxer but knocked down a rail each time. First time was the back rail and the next time was the front. I’m pretty sure I caused those rails so I pointed him at the larger cross rail and called it a day.

Then Holly and I hopped on each others horses. Uno feels so weird compared to Scarlet. He also really didn’t want to go forward. We figured it out and then I aimed him at the mini x. He didn’t lock on like Scarlet does so we turned toward it and then continued in a circle. After that, I TOLD him we were jumping and though we faded to the side, we made it. I did it again and it was much better. I want to try again at some point and see if I can ride better next time. It’s so weird riding a horse that isn’t mine though.

Sunday I got to hang out with L! We started at my barn, had brunch and then moved onto her barn for a full barn day. Can’t beat that.

It’s really awesome to have a ground person while jumping. L adjusted the jumps so that I could keep going around. It was pretty fun to show that Scarlet and I only had a mess up day the last time she saw us. She also is quick to tell me I don’t have enough pace.

We also got to try the two stride set up as a cross rail and a vertical. It was a bit too forward for us so we tried to do it in three strides. The first time I tried that, we chipped in badly so I turned us out of the combination. L scolded me for that, as it could teach Scarlet to run out. So I tried again. We got it, though it wasn’t great. The next time through we tried for two but Scarlet was NOT up for two. I did kick him on but he was determined to not do two and launched himself off of one foot just to get the last stride in. I’ll have to try two strides with poles or something to work on actually getting the two strides in.

After that L had a lesson on Dante. I got to cuddle him quite a bit before the lesson and then I went down to the arena with them to be their paparazzi. I got so many videos for her. It’s great to see Dante growing up and improving in his jumps. He looks so smooth doing it, even with his baby moments. He learns from them which is the important part.

A weekend with friends and horses is always the best weekend. I’m glad I got to have so much fun jumping with them.

Jumps and Trail

My muscles are still sore but I figure that’s going to continue for quite a while. I’m not going to let that stop me from riding though.

Friday I jumped. I forgot to look at my jump exercises book (again) so I just raised some of the jumps rather than setting any real exercises for myself. I raised a couple of cross rails and put one jump up to a vertical. Pretty much everything was under two feet. I think one cross rail was maybe 2’3″.

Scarlet’s getting used to being hauled out of his stall in the morning before breakfast. He was quite a butt at the beginning of the week but its become routine for him now. We warmed up without too much issue. Since it’s still cool/chilly in the morning, once I warm up I can’t see at the walk. My glasses fog up! It’s a bit annoying but the breeze at faster gaits helps so its not much of a problem.

Scarlet was so into jumping. We trotted and cantered over a single fence to warm up and then jumped pretty much everything else I’d set up. I kept eyeing the yellow fence we’d refused at last time. I’d set it up as the highest cross rail in the arena. It was then that I realized I made a mistake. I wasn’t ever going to jump it like that. That fence was a bogey fence in my mind. Scarlet might not give a shit but I did. And my hesitation wouldn’t support him to the fence.

So I need to not do that again. I’m going to keep that fence as the baby warm up fence and put the higher fences as other ones. It probably wont be for forever but it needs to start like that. I need to get over whatever is in my head that’s making me worry about refusals.

Even though we didn’t jump that fence, we jumped so many others. Scarlet was very good and we got to the base of most of the fences. The four stride line had been moved slightly and the striding was a bit short. We had to keep throwing a short last stride in and it was very choppy. I’ll have to move that one when I jump next.

Saturday I wanted a super relaxed ride. I wanted to get out and be with Scarlet but I was in no shape to really work hard. Luckily Holly was totally up for a trail ride.

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Scarlet seemed to know that we were being chill because his energy was low the whole time. We walked around the barn first and decided Uno might need a bit of trot work in the arena to chill before the trail. There were some trot poles set up on the diagonal. We normally only have 4 but this time it was 5! So many poles! I couldn’t resist trotting Scarlet a bit and doing the poles. Having 5 really made a difference. We actually got a lot more nicer steps because he didn’t just find his nice form and then we were done. I definitely want to set up multiples like that again.

Holly switched to an actual saddle and we headed out onto the trail. Scarlet had no tension at all.

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He was such a chill pony and that is super weird for him. He doesn’t like the trail. He’s better with a friend but he usually has some sort of tension in his body but he just didn’t. I couldn’t get over how good he was being and kept talking about it. It was one of the best loops around the trail that I’d ever had. I’d love to get out on more trail rides and do ones that aren’t just a loop. I’d need someone else with me and hopefully someone who knows the trails around my barn. Something to think about for the future. For now, I’ll just bask in how awesome he was on Saturday.