I wasn't sure if I was going to get to ride yesterday or not, but fortunately it worked out just fine so that I could.
While saddling up, I noticed in her right "armpit" that all the hair was missing. Uh oh! It's so deep into the folds of the skin, that I have a difficult time believing it is from the girth. But it might be. It also might be the strap from the breastcollar that goes between her legs to the girth. Either way, I was very careful with where I put the tack, both girth and breastcollar, and I didn't notice it getting any worse after the ride. I hope the adjustment I made fixed the problem. I may have to find some sheepskin to cover things up. Other solutions? I think it's strange that it's only on the right side.
Matt and his dad and uncle were hauling manure (cleaning out the calves' stables and spreading it on fields to be disked in as fertilizer this spring before planting) so since those machines were clattering around I chose to stay in the same ol' pasture we'd been riding in.
We started off w/ a walking warmup, circling, turning, flexing, then took to trotting. I'm forced to do a lot of trot/walk transitions, since I don't like to trot downhill at this point in her conditioning (maybe after a couple of seasons of endurance training/competition she'll have the strength to do that sometimes...but I don't feel she's up to it yet).
She was much better about not pulling on the reins and keeping a good speed at the trot, which was pleasing. However, she kept wanting to break into a canter (Jacke, are you sure you want to take my advice? ;-). I decided it may have been that the tack was rubbing her arm pit at the trot, so gave it a rest and we did a lot of hill-walking. Up, down, sideways, over big logs, through the mucky creek, along the creek. It was tough for me to force myself into a whole hour of that (kind of boring, really) but I figure at least I was working on getting her legged up, even though not working on her aerobic fitness as much. I hope that I can get to what's causing this rubbing and eliminate it so she doesn't actually get sore.
Cougar Wrangler: Put That on My Resume
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