I have so many things to catch up on, I can't possibly put them into one blog update alone!
We last left off with me having a broken computer, and prior to that, I hadn't blogged since Pangea's first AquaTread session. Let's begin this entry with a schedule de-briefing, shall we? I'm treating Pangea's reconditioning essentially as a rehab, taking it extra slow and methodical. I see absolutely no reason to rush anything, and want to put a solid base on her before I get out and start yahooing around. (Which I desperately want to do.... but that will come in time!) We're starting all our work at the walk, with varying amounts of on the bit work, stretching, lateral work, hillwork, and work on the trail. I'd throw cavalettis in there too if I could find a few.... unfortunately, they are a bit hard to come by at a barn primarily boarded at by barrel racers. Texas problems.
The schedule for the past two weeks has been three rides and one AquaTread session each week, all at the walk. The first week we only walked for 30 minutes each ride, half on the bit/stretching and half on a loose rein, and a 15 minute walk session in the AquaTread. This week, that has been increased to 40 minutes a ride at the walk, with 25 of it on the bit/stretching and 15 on a long rein. We do lots of changes of direction, varying circles, suppling, and have just started going sideways a bit. Next week, we'll ride four days a week instead of three, as well as go on the AquaTread once. I MAY start trotting her on the AquaTread this week, but may wait until I start getting ready to trot under saddle.
Pangea's second AquaTread session went wonderfully, with her walking right in of her own accord without any hesitation. Having trained all types of horses to get into the water, I can safely say that this is not the norm! It usually takes three or so sessions until a horse normally walks in without any sort of extra assistance on our part, but not in Pangea's case! She just wanted to show all of her counterparts up. It took us a half hour today to get a horse into the water on his second try... it took a second one an eternity to even load into the chute for his second try.... it took her about 3 seconds to walk right in of her own accord. Excellent mare.
From the top of the AquaTread, you also get a very interesting and clear view of your horse's back:
No glaring abnormalities here! Sometimes you can really see when a horse is out of alignment chiropractically. She could use an adjustment (and will receive one shortly), but she doesn't have anything serious going on. Gogo, on the other hand, was ridiculously crooked and it was glaringly obvious when she was in the pool.
However, she wasn't completely perfect for this entire AquaTread ordeal. In fact, things took quite a turn for the worse afterwards..... but you'll have to wait for Part II to find out why!