Sorry there are no pictures today. I forgot to take my phone with me. I was alone today (hubby at work) so I just rode bareback.... in the pasture! I was nervous about riding in the pasture bareback (because that's where I was when I fell off) and it didn't help that he was being passive aggressively... uhh gate sour... See he isn't barn sour because he doesn't want to go to the barn. He wants to go to the gate to get out of the pasture. He hates riding out in the pasture. So I guess my horse is the opposite of barn/pasture sour. Regardless it meant he was drifting, trying to turn, balking, etc. but it was at the walk only and fairly mild. When I told him to quit he would... until the next time lol.
The ride was only fifteen minutes because something felt weird to me. It was only when walking on a very slight downhill that was muddy. He wasn't limping, but something just felt weird. So when the goat started harassing us again (oh and riding in the pasture is a pain because none of the others will leave me alone... so annoying) I jumped off of Chrome's back and chased after the goat yelling at him (I must look crazy). The funny thing is Chrome didn't move from where I left him (not even to go to the gate). He just watched me and stood politely when I walked back up to him. Good boy!
I undid one rein and longed him at the length of both reins. At the walk his stifles looked... loose. That's the only way I can think to describe it. Not wobbly, but just loose. It's hard to describe and most people probably wouldn't notice it. I did because I know him so well. At the trot he looked fine. I rubbed and poked and prodded both stifles and he watched me, but he didn't pin his ears, shift his feet or swish his tail, so I'm guessing they don't hurt. They are just really loose and weak. I have got to stop letting him get so out of shape in the winter. All of the standing around the hay bale for hours on end every day is so bad for him!!
So it was only fifteen minutes, but since we worked on lateral flexion, backing and weaving in and out of the barn poles I still consider it an actual ride. I only rode right up around the front of the pasture because I'm too chicken to take him too far when he's wanting to spin and go back to the gate. He wasn't excitable or explosive or anything, but he was very "light". If I asked him to turn with a mere whisper of a rein cue he wanted to spin all the way around. Make sense? It made me a little nervous. I had to keep the reins short and balance the cues with the outside rein so he wouldn't over turn, instead of riding him on the buckle.
Anyway enough about the ride. There's two things I want to tell you guys about. One happened today and one was yesterday that I forgot to tell you about.
Yesterday I had Chrome tied up and was grooming him. He started rubbing his head on the tree (which he does all the time and I scold him for it), but I was brushing his back legs so I didn't see him do it. The next thing I know he almost sat on me, which scared me to death. I jumped out of the way and saw that Chrome had gotten his head under the rope so it was behind his poll and he was pulling back with all of his strength (which he doesn't normally do). It finally popped over the top of his head, but instead of stopping he kept pulling until he broke his halter.... my favorite halter.... the one I had searched for ages for.... luckily it's only the throat snap so I can replace it. He didn't get loose from the tree, but just decided to stop pulling and stood there. Maybe my yelling finally sank into his little pea brain. It took me ages to untie him (I had a quick release, but I put the tail through the loop because he likes to untie himself and it tightened up when he pulled) and then I tied him back up and we carried on like nothing happened (with his plain blue halter, not his pretty one).
Today when I lined Chrome up alongside the round pen panel so I could get on out in the pasture he stepped away. He has done that before, but he normally only does it once and it's only maybe 2% of the time. When I reset him he will stand still. So I circled him around, lining him back up. He did it again!! It was a very deliberate step sideways, just far enough so I couldn't get on. He was doing it as soon as I started to climb the fence. I jumped down and smacked him (with a flat palm) on the butt and made him do two tight circles. Then I lined him back up and he didn't move again. I was able to climb up the fence and slide onto his back. The little brat is testing me I think. I can tell I haven't done much with him for five months... bad me!
So Chrome isn't perfect (not that I ever said he was... okay maybe I did...). He has his moments. I still love him though. He really is a sweet horse and not a difficult horse at all. I'm sad his stifles are giving him problems, but I shouldn't be surprised. This happens every spring after a winter off. Now I just have to figure out how much is enough exercise and how much is too much. I really wanted to start riding him more than one day in a row instead of always every other day. I thought at his age that it wouldn't be a big deal, but I guess I had forgotten about his stifles. I'm going to give him the rest of today off and then tomorrow bring him out on the driveway to watch him walk and trot. The mud is hard on his stifles because the weak muscles are the ones that pull the hind leg up and forward. I think it's the equivalent of the quads on humans. If he's walking fine on hard ground tomorrow I'll go ahead and ride him. I'll just avoid the mud.
Anyway sorry for the rambling. I just need to get this down so I remember it. Also I did the math (scary I know) and I have to ride at least ten days a month to complete the challenge in December lol. I don't know if I'll manage that! At times like now, when the weather is nice it's one thing, but there are times in the summer where it's downright dangerous to ride in the heat and humidity. We shall see. The stifles complicate things too. If we can't do it, it's no big deal. It's still a motivation to get out there and ride. :) Thanks for listening guys!