Corny has been doing pretty well with his new weight loss/fitness routine (all four days of it). Most of his work is without a rider -- walk, trot and a little canter while circling me on the lunge line, plus brisk walks for both of us around the pond. Because he's so heavy and out of balance, his center of gravity has shifted far forward and he's very clumsy on his feet and easily trips. So I'm gradually building his stamina up and he'll eventually start to move in a more upright posture as he loses weight and gains strength. Of course, this is all in conjunction with smaller flakes of hay at mealtime (poor Corny!).
I have ridden him twice this week and it sure was nice to look out (and down) at the world from the back of a horse again. We kept our pace mostly at a walk with a gentle trot from time to time.
|Corny looking out at the pond|
|Chance getting a drink at the lower water trough|
Back up at the house, I can hardly wait to get the riding helmet off my head and peel out of my boots and jeans.
Not to be outdone, Corny is dramatically wilting under his saddle and wool pad.
The poor guy can't even hold his head up as long as that damn saddle's on his back. He's a bit of a drama queen sometimes. Before he completely collapsed, I got him untacked and that big body was hosed off with lots of nice cool water.
Now we get to the part about Corny's prayers being answered. Usually he's very good about dropping his head and opening his mouth so I can slide the bit in, but when tacking him up at the beginning of yesterday's ride, he refused to take the bit in his mouth. His head went up, his teeth clenched shut and when I did get the bit in, he spit it out again. I grumbled about this new bad habit and worked with him until he grudgingly took the bit with a minimum of temper.
It wasn't until after I'd put him away for the day with a flake of hay that it occurred to me that Corny's behavior might be due to how the bit was feeling in his mouth. I bridled him again right there in his pen and, sure enough, the rings of the bit were pinching the edges of his lips: his mouth had grown. No wonder he fought having that that thing in his mouth...and such a patient boy to put up with it when I insisted. I feel like a bad horse mommy, but at least I figured it out.
So a new bit (a size 7" -- that's big) has been ordered, and Corny will not be under saddle again until it arrives. Corny is hoping that it's being shipped by very slow camel.