Just Breathe

Because you certainly haven't had enough pictures of my pony's gross leg:

As you can see, we have some really nice healing going on! It's a little more "shocking" looking than it was when it was scabby, but the pink skin is so soft and healthy, and Dino already has some peach fuzz growing back in on the lower patch near his hoof. The swelling's also gone down significantly, and I'm really pleased with how everything is clearing up. This is honestly the worst case of scratches I've ever seen in my life, and I'm amazed at how quickly it spiraled out of control. I'm also extremely thankful that I had the presence of mind to call the vet when I did, and that it didn't progress to cellulitis or lameness. 

I also actually got to ride yesterday, and we had a really productive school. It was warm and sunny, but super windy, which was challenging. I had grand plans of jumping a little bounce to help Dino build up his hind end and stifles, but with the wind and the pony having had yet another week off, we kept it simple. He also hates working in the wind, so there's that. 

We did most of our work at the walk and trot, concentrating on getting some really quality movement. I practiced going from a stretch to a working frame and back again without changing the rhythm of the gait, and actively asking for correct bend instead of just letting Dino go around however he felt like it because we were having an "easy day". The result was some really AWESOME working and free walk. We're talking back up and swinging, hind legs reaching as far as they could, lots of schwung! There were some good moments in the trot too, but not quite as awesome as the walk. 

One thing that became apparent to me during the ride was that I have a terrible habit of going straight to the strongest aid I've got when asking Dino to go forward. I'm SO quick to go right to a big squeeze or my spur, when really the forward aid begins with something much more simple - BREATHING. 

Breathe to walk on, breathe to halt, breathe to trot, breathe to extend. If I forget to breathe, our transitions suck. If I use a breathing half-halt, they are fantastic. Additionally, my pony can feel me breathe. There is no need to get crazy with the spurs! While they are necessary sometimes to get him to move his ribcage or really encourage him to lift his abs, I definitely don't need them as much as I use them. 

The theme of our rides needs to be lightness: a light rider makes a light pony. If I ride heavy, I train Dino to be heavy. Lightness, and breathing, is the name of the game. 


  1. Wow it does look worse but I know it's better :)

    1. It does look pretty horrific! I looked at the pictures like "Wow... that looks bad. But it's good?!" Hopefully he's got some hair before I need to take him out in public anywhere, haha. But seeing that healthy pink skin emerge makes me happy!

  2. I'm glad I was done eating when I saw that!

    1. SORRY! I like gross things. Sometimes I don't think about the fact that other people find them gross.


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