A Blog About My Journey Riding and Training Sora, My Soulmate

Monday, January 30, 2012

And Again

This will be a fairly short post because I don't have too much to update but I did really want to post this picture of Sora since I think it's been a year or more since I shared one.

It's not a great picture, :/, but what can I say. She was hungry and it was getting dark out.

This was after we had another really nice walk. We are still working on her comfort while walking away from her friend and hopefully tomorrow when it is awesomely warm out we can go a bit further. I just really don't want to push it and make her use her leg in a way that makes her uncomfy.

I was very happy to see that she actually seemed less sore today which is making me think that the walking and stretching it out is helping :D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amazing Day

Amazing first because this is my second post in two days :P

But also because I got to play with my girl. I just can't even explain how full my heart is right now.

It started with me going out to take care of chores this morning because Ellie got back from a week long cruise at 1:00am and I didn't want her to have to wake up and do chores. I'm sad to admit that this last week while I've been taking care of chores is the first time in too long that I've actually seen Sora every day. Mainly it's because it's been winter and it gets dark too quickly but it's still been hard on me. At any rate, I finished up chores and went home but returned later once it had warmed up.

During the week I've been taking Sora on nice long walks where she basically gets to decide where we go. She has been choosing to walk out along the road but I've normally cut it fairly short so we don't get too far from her friend. Today though I let her go further and she was just so calm and happy it was hard to believe this is the same horse I started with. It was one of those moments in time that you find yourself looking back to the beginning and wondering how you were lucky enough to end up here.

I did finally decide it was time to turn around and head back but when we got back to the tack shed Sora was NOT interested in being done. I would have loved to do more with her but my legs were so tired from tramping through snow at horse speed that I threw precaution in the air and climbed up onto a nearby "mounting block" just to see what would happen. Only partially to my surprise Sora marched up to it and parked herself like she was wondering why I hadn't thought of it sooner :>)

I climbed on ready to jump off at the first sign of discomfort but she just turned and walked us back towards the road. I sort of drew the line at riding a horse with just a leadrope, not even fastened at both ends, bareback and without a helmet (yes I'm sorry) along even a quiet road so I draped the leadrope back around her neck like a cordeo and using my seat, legs and cordeo cues asked her for a nice turn and she gave it. The best part though was that while she would stop for treats when she had done something nice, she also had forward movement the entire time. We never got stuck and even when I decided I should climb off she didn't want me to and tried to keep going. It's awesome when your horse has connected standing perfectly still to mounting and dismounting so strongly that they think you won't be able to figure out how to dismount if they just keep walking lol!

I was just so happy to get to spend the wonderful, warm, sunny day with my horse in such complete harmony. I just don't know what I would be found if I hadn't found AND and so completely changed my riding and training style.

I should mention, so that no one thinks I'm an abusive horse owner, that much of Sora's discomfort seems to stiffness and that after our trail walk, for example, she was walking like normal even when bending or backing. It was because of this and the fact that at even a hint of a limp I would have been off that I risked our short 10 minute ride. So no worries, Sora and her health mean WAY more to me than one short, wonderful ride :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Double Move

So much has changed since my last post that it is hard to know where to begin!

First, I ended up moving Sora and I think it was one of the best things I ever did. My friend who owns a single mare named Sky had offered a few months ago to let me keep Sora there for free, or almost free, but I turned her down because at the time I was really content at RnR and felt that I couldn't deal without the arenas, plus since my rent was tied to my board I didn't want to upset anything and end up without a place to live. However, after I returned from seminars I found out that I was going to have to be out of the place I was renting by March.

I was both happy and sad because it freed me up to move Sora but it also meant that I would probably end up paying about twice what I had been paying for rent which would have dramatically strained my already tight budget.

To make a long story short I moved Sora and while borrowing the trailer from a neighbor woman named Lisa I found out that she was looking for a roommate! The rent would be cheaper, Riley would have other dogs to play with and I would be 2 minutes from Sora instead of 15. I moved on January 1st and I am really liking it there. There has been some adjustment to living with someone else again but mainly it has been good and between paying less for board and paying less for rent I have a little extra which is, of course :), getting spent on Sora and it means I can save up for my saddle faster!

That's the good news, the bad news is that Sora hurt herself.

I got the call from Ellie, the woman I'm boarding Sora with, that Sora had fallen and wasn't happy about walking. Ellie is fairly green with horses so I was picturing a small limp but when I showed up after work, at 10:00pm, she was standing in the shed without ANY weight on her leg. Ellie was panicking but I've dealt with so many injuries in the past that I just checked Sora all over and with the absence of any swelling or sensitive spots I opted to give her a small amount of bute, put hay within easy reach and see what she was like in the morning.

Luckily in the morning she was walking on it and after calling a friend and knowing where to poke and prod we discovered that she probably tore a ligament in her stifle. Luckily as well it is probably the best, bad injury she could have and she is now walking almost completely normally on a straight line but gimping fairly badly on curves or when backing. Stifle recoveries can take as long as 6 months so we have a long road ahead of us.

The thing that has amazed me the most in all of this is how utterly miserable I was at RnR without even knowing it! The people there were nice but in a, rude behind your back because you obviously have NO idea what you are doing, sort of way :-/ They would tell me Sora was nice, or that I should come riding with them but try to give me advice about how I should have started riding her at two and since I hadn't I had ruined her and should try to sell her.

I should have seen how miserable Sora was as well but it was truly brought home when she basically pulled me into the trailer, and this is only the second time I've ever trailered her, even with the scary tractor cleaning out the pen next to us.

The scary tractor by the way waited until I decided to load her to move to the pen that was right next to us.