15 weeks later

Koda has been cleared to ride for 15 weeks now, and our progress has been slow going. However, anything that isn't a set back is progress in my world. We are advancing slowly because of me, not him. There were five weeks around January that we only got to the barn once a week, consequently our riding routine stayed at a holding pattern. Now that we are back to riding three times a week regularly, I've begun to add/ask more. 

This is our current routine:

• pre-ride hock wraps for 20 minutes minimum (no clue if it's helping, but it's not hurting)
• groom & tack
• 25-30 minutes of riding, mostly walking with trotting 2X around the arena each way, and
  some mid-arena moves at the trot - both collected and just moving forward
• groom & untack

After weeks of not showing even the slightest favoritism/soreness, I stopped the brief lunging warm-up check. I have yet to add any side passing, poles, lope, or standing/tighter turns. These will come in small increments, eventually. It's a rare trail ride that is under an hour. What we need most is to increase the length of our ride for stamina. It will be easier to do once we can ride in the roomy outdoor, it's just so much more stimulating in so many ways. I am cautiously optimistic that we will be ready for trail riding season, which is coming up fast!!

One of my favorite trail riding photos,
from the last season we were able to enjoy the magical forest
photo credit: Brad



Shirley said...

When you get down to it, the horses don't care how often you ride- they are happy just being horses. Riding is all about us, and what we are comfortable doing or enjoy doing. I take it slow with Clancy too. I need to get her legged up too but I find it hard to get motivated to ride when the only place I have to ride is my 50 ft. round pen or down a busy gravel road. There is an indoor arena close but it's $15 an hour to ride there. I'm waiting for the spring trails to be ready, and the big outdoor arena that is free to ride at to be ready.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like you're making great progress together! I always say slow and steady wins the day. I'm sure you'll be ready for the trails and have a great year. Good luck.

C-ingspots said...

I second what Shirley and Arlene said...the horses don't care, and if we're content with whatever we're dong - it's a good ride. As far as bringing a horse back from an injury, I've never seen one re-injured when the rider was bring them back into condition too slowly. But by contrast, get in a hurry and things go downhill quickly!

I'll share another of Mr. Hunt's famous and legendary one-liners with you...
"The slower you go, the quicker you'll get there". I've found it to be true.

LOVE that photo of Brad!!

aurora said...

Can't blame you Shirley, paying to ride would just be another obstacle for me. For us, it's the distance - 40 minutes one way.

I sure hope so Arlene! We are far from where we left off, but at least we are heading in the right direction!

Thanks Lorie, Brad takes nice photos with his phone. This one is my iphone screensaver. I don't think I've shared the one he has on his, it's a close-up from the same ride - but I'm flashing a cheesy smile *^*