Two rides to report on - Wednesday and Thursday.
P had a few days off on Wednesday, so I was expecting her to be somewhat off the walls (which she was), though I was pleased that her outbursts were contained and totally manageable.
Instead of bucking, she just sorta hippity-hopped a few times in the canter
Instead of taking off while "bucking" she responded immediately and positively to a strong half halt and firm "bad mare."
Instead of being a total nit-wit with her stickiness, she kept moving (albeit barely), and worked through it.
It wasn't our best ride by any means, but it was a productive one given the excess of energy we were dealing with. I was disappointed that the stickiness seems to have resurfaced or at least increased significantly - But the fact that it is showing up when she's hyper and feeling naughty, along with the fact that it's always near the gate have me thinking that I've been too lenient with my corrections. O
nce we were through the sticky portion of the ride, she was decent. I didn't get total relaxation, but I did manage to get P firmly in my outside rein, and she was more responsive to changes in bend than she usually is, which was fun to play with.
She was trying to freak out at everything in the ring (branches, mirrors, shadows...) so that was obnoxious, but I got after her each time and she seemed to accept it and move on.
The really fun part of the day was when I let her free lunge a bit before tacking up. Maybe it was the extra day off, but holy LORD she looked like a million bucks. I've never seen her move that well, or with that much freedom in her shoulder.
Her trot was stellar, her canter was really uphill and light... it was all very, very pretty. Maybe we're on a good path physically? I certainly hope so..
Thursday. Thursday the farrier came again. I was lucky enough to catch him still at the barn so we talked about P's feet. He's still not happy with her hinds or her heels - but things are progressing. The right hind is starting to even out, though it still has a bit of flare on the inside edge which I'm anxious to grow past.
The good news, is that P didn't try to snack on the farrier when he put her away today. The bad news is I was terrified she would come out with her little baby-mincing steps again. We tacked up (she was bratty), and got ready to go. I think she was all out of sorts because getting her toes done meant she couldn't play with her slow feeder non-stop like she has been, but who knows ;)
I threw her on the lunge and yup. Mincing. This is the second time she's been short post-trim. I can't tell if I'm imagining it, or if it's real, but I don't like it. I know the farrier is really highly respected, and P's feet weren't abnormally warm.. so I can't think of a good reason for her to be backed off on the lunge. She worked right out of it (like usual) after some cantering, so I kept going.
I hopped on and decided that if she felt short under saddle, we'd just walk for a while and stretch her legs for 45 minutes. When I asked for the trot, she moved right into it, but then stopped. The Sticky was back, and even bigger than before. Chest bite, hopping on her front legs and pinned ears.
Not what we've been dealing with.
So, two thoughts. Either A) her feet hurt and they made her stickier. or B) the sticky has been on a progression for the last week and this was just the next step.
Regardless, I didn't want to let her get away with it entirely... so we worked through it with more difficultly than there has been and got about 15 minutes of decent work in. Little bit of canter, little bit of trot, some stretcy trot and a few lenghtenings then DONE.
Now the mare has the weekend off while I zip away for a bachelorette party for a friend. Her regumate should be running out today or tomorrow... so curious what will be there when I show up next week :)