We are still being plagued with general back soreness. It will resolve over night, but the evening after a ride, plain and simple she is sore. It seems to be a little of this and a little of that. Both slight muscle soreness, and sensitivity of her skin. I'm trying to figure it out so I can get it resolved. Not fair for a horse to haul me around if her back hurts. All of our gear is new which makes things harder to unravel. I may ride her with the Crestridge next time (which will be at least Friday) and see if we experience the same thing.
Another issue is her topline. I'm used to a round arab back with a divet down the spine. Journey isn't made that way. Her back is more like an "A", with an almost prominent spinal process that diverts away at an angle. She looks as though she has never built a strong topline. She was healthy weight when I got her, but I've attempted to get a little extra on her so I don't work her thin with fall coming soon. My hope too was that a little weight would fill in that topline somewhat with a nice fat layer (which would also provide cushion). She has picked up a little weight, but nothing along the topline. I'm feeling the only way to build it is with work that "lifts" the back. The only work I know how to do along that line is "long and low". So I expect I need to make that my short day focus from now until....it is better. We did trotting intervals tonight, trying to build up her stamina for duration with the trotting. I want to gnash my teeth with frustration. She is good, SO GOOD to work with, but little girl just quickly runs out of juice! She tries, but you can tell she just gets so tired out. She is a strong little downhill horse, good on the flat, but hills just chew her up and spit her out. We've got to build up her stamina, fill in that topline, get to the root of the back ( muscling, pad, saddle, my big fat butt) issue, get her into some boots that fit, and begin to stretch mileage past 10 mile sessions. What I'm currently doing isn't working on that front, but of course if her back is getting sore, nothing is going to work.
I've determined that Journey is near-sighted. Seriously near-sighted. My daughter knew I was out back riding and rode her mare to join us. As they came out of the woods Journey about flipped out. She was running side-ways and backwards in a panic when she spotted them. I got her moving into a circle and kept talking to her, and settled her down. By that time they had cantered close enough that she could see what they were. Her royal spotted highness needs glasses. When we were almost home I let my daughter gallop off from us, we picked up a gallop too but she got a little to excited, so I had her stop and walk the rest of the way in while the buddy horse galloped on home. She did much better with that than I expected. She pranced a little, then settled to a walk and walked the rest of the way home. GOOD GIRL! Next time I ride with my daughter I may just have her do a lot of leaving us and just work through that once and for all. Journey is getting the hang of who directs the traffic flow (that would be me).
Attempt #2 at registration was mailed off today. More expensive than the other place, and we will have to submit a hair sample for DNA testing. Hope it goes smoothly this time.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association