Northwood Horsemanship Challenge: Weeks Five, Six, and Seven

Where the heck have I been?!?!?!?

Well, while I’ve been busy, busy, there wasn’t much to report about my specific challenge horse so I figured I’d condense the past few weeks into a single post.

Week five was very little horsemanship, and only one ride. BUT, I did finally find an equine chiropractor I LOVE. I had her out Monday of that week and she did some major readjustment on my horse. Last summer he had managed to get his head caught in a stock feeder and do quite a number on his whole body. It took six weeks of turn out and minimal handling to heal up the nerve damage, but I knew there had to be some major issues with his poll and hips that needed to be dealt with before I could really ask him to perform at his best.

Well, I had Dr. Diane Hall out and the work she did made a huge difference. Of course it was a 48 hour period before I could work him again so those two days he only got groomed. On Thursday of that week I did a bit of lunging and riding to feel out what I had brace-wise compared to before his adjustment. He didn’t drop his right shoulder into the circle near as much and I had much more reach with his hind end so I was VERY happy.

However, I had to put the challenge on pause for the next week because I headed to Molena, Georgia to study with Kathleen Lindley Beckham. There will be a whole other blog specifically about that week, but suffice to say, it was mind blowing, as always! I came home with even more to study and work on during the challenge.

Monday of last week we did some ground work in the round pen working on transitions. Tuesday I wondered down to the creek for a trail ride, concentrating on my homework….hand position. Wednesday we headed up the mountain for a good, long trail ride, again, focusing on hand position (this is going to be a reoccurring theme!). We saw some cows and made plenty of stops for water.  In another month or so, it will probably be too hot to even head that way, so I’m trying to get the miles in while I can.

Wednesday afternoon we had another visit from Dr. Diane. The good news is Limbo held all of his previous adjustments which means that most everything that was out of whack was most likely from his feeder wreck as opposed to lameness issue or rider error. The bad news is my horse is rapidly getting a severe phobia of rubber mallets!!!!

After the chiropractor came out it was another mandatory two days off, followed by several days of cold wind and rain. So, he lucked out, until today.

Today we worked on the half circle exercise in the round pen and then in the arena. It was the first time we had ever given that one a go so even though it wasn’t perfect, I was really happy with where we ended and will go back to it again. I also managed a quick ride in the arena working on hand position while asking for the hind end. Nothing fancy, but enough to keep me and my horse busy.

During all of this I am waiting very impatiently for my new saddle to arrive. I ordered it the day before I went to Georgia and knew it would be at least a month’s wait, but still… I know this saddle will fit my horse way better than anything else I have at my disposal. It’s also pretty and the first brand new saddle I’ve ever had. So it needs to get here NOW!!!!!!

Most of the rest of this week is pretty busy and there is another storm coming this weekend so I don’t know how much we’ll get accomplished, but next week should settle down and I should be able to go back to riding a bunch bareback, and getting some quality work done.

Congratulations to everyone who has already finished!!!!! The rest of us will keep plugging along as life permits. The time has flown, and I can feel the deadline creeping up.

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