Very, very good ride last night. We were both tired at the end, in a good way, and Tris is getting more and more responsive to the aids, more willingly forward, and more engaged through his hind end inch by inch. I focused last night in particular on making sure that he himself reached out to the bridle, rather than me stuffing him into it. The trot was particularly good, and there was one glorious stride in the canter when I felt his inside hind reeeeeach, and then we lost it again. Good news also in the canter is that he is picking up his leads waaaaay more consistently than he did before his time off. Not sure if my riding has changed/improved or if his soreness was throwing him off. We had a terrible time picking up the correct lead, particularly left, last year.
I also seem to have unlocked a key, rather embarrassing, problem with my position that R. targeted right away in our last lesson. My hands were moving far too much when I posted, and it was annoying him. Since then, I've been concentrating very hard on getting movement in my elbows and keeping my hands steady and it has paid off with a horse that is dramatically steadier in the contact. Funny how that works!
Finally, so far the Tums regimen seems to be correlated with positive rides, and he is showing zero effect from being pulled off the Previcoxx. I'm cautiously pleased enough to have stepped down his joint supplements to a multivitamin for the fall and we'll keep an eye.
He's chipped his hind foot much further and it looks godawful, though at least it's not hurting him in any way. Oh, pony.
I struggled all day with whether I would go to the barn last night, even after three days away for work out of state, and I was just so tired and burned out I couldn't face doing things any more. I got home, made bread, set it to rise, and during the machine kneading and first rising I had a cookie and glass of milk and read a few pages of my current book and by the end of it I was ready to head back out. I'm glad I did, but I hate not wanting to.
As I mentioned, massively stressed out, tired, burned out, you name it. I've had a headache for several days, I'm not sleeping terribly well, and even when I do get sleep it doesn't put a dent in my overall sluggishness. My left eyelid is twitching almost constantly.
So last night I groomed, tacked up, got on, rode my warmup, and while cantering about thought, hmmmmm, why are my bangs flopping against my forehead like that? That's really annoying.
Then realization dawned: oh, shit, I'm not wearing my helmet.
Literally the first time in who knows how many years of riding that I have not worn my helmet on a horse. The first time. EVER. I was not one of those daredevil kids who jumped on bareback and galloped away. I had one of the original ugly white bucket helmets with the snap on visors. (God, that thing was awful.)
Needless to say, I pulled him up immediately and marched us back to the barn aisle to get my helmet. Goooood grief.