I popped out on Sunday to watch the BO put a ride on Miss Mare and she was mostly good. The bodywork seems to be helping her, already her hip and back are much, much looser and we can work deeper into her shoulder joint before rides..
I'm confident in saying that all signs still point to a happy mare. P continues to be quiet in the cross ties, calm and generally consistent. All things that make me really (really) happy.
The only (small smidege of a) downside is that Pia seems to be dropping some weight. Not a ton, probably like 20lbs, but its noticeable (especially because she wasn't plump when she arrived). I can easily feel ribs on her (certainly not on me!), and I can see some drop around her hip bone and her shoulder. I like to keep my horses on the plumper side, so this is slightly horrifying to me. It makes sense though, I mean the girl is getting WORKED six days a week, and now that she lives outside I'm guessing that she meanders around a lot more than she did at the old barn.
I'm not really worried, since she's hoovering her food up and everything else is strong and healthy. But I do I think I'll pop her back on some rice bran to chub her up a bit. She's also due for a worming, but I don't think that's our primary issue. :)
P seems to be making some strides in terms of consistency and her focus. We are still starting her off with a short (BRIEF) lunging session, and as of late she's very mellow and reserved in them. I love that she's such a sensitive pony that she's able to open up and shorten her gaits according to your voice, even on the lunge. That bodes well for down the road...
Under saddle we are struggling with the same issues, but she is evening out a lot. Her main annoyance is your leg (anyone's leg) on her for any extended period of time. It's worse when she's in heat (at which point she will squeal/explode if you touch her girth ANYWHERE), but when she's in normal-land she still objects to lots of leg, or repeated requests to move forward. As such we are still focusing on getting the mare to move off with gusto and open up her stride instead of getting "stuck" and taking little baby steps.
The really good news is that P's objections at this point come in the form of head tossing and balking, instead of cow kicking, bucking and other unnecessary actions.
I think our consistency is due in part to:
a) the Soothing Pink, she seems way comfier.
b) getting back in shape, it's not that bad.
c) Us learning her limits - I think her objections are somewhat honest, we just had to learn the difference between her saying "what,?? no, I'd rather not right now" and her saying "STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT I"M CONFUSED AND TIRED."
So far she's only working for about 30minutes per ride, and it seems to be best to keep her walking breaks to short intervals. The longer she rests, the crankier she is about returning to work. Also, the BO has taken to cooling her down from the ground, so that P "knows" when she's actually done and doesn't throw a hissy fit thinking that she'll be "forced" back into the trot again.
Here's a quick video from Sunday. This was her last trot/canter session and her crankiness/fatigue is starting to show. BUT you can see some brief moments of forward, and also that she isn't kicking into her canter transitions. (ta-da!).