Holy cremoly. I think pasture life agrees with Miss Mocha. Granted, we’ve got brisk weather but even so…she was more energetic when I brought her in than she has been for AGES. Years, even. Since before the white line stuff started. Hacked her in the field and while living in the field has revealed Scary Horse-Eating Stuff (she was tracking the flight of a ring-neck pheasant as I mounted and was on the muscle as we rode by where he went to ground in a fence row; I know where she saw elk as well; neighbor horses came thundering up which set her off), she still had a lot of energy. We jogged a lot of the distance, working in small serpentines so that she didn’t decide to take off with the neighbor horses. When we were done, she wasn’t winded, either. Crossed the ditch with water–she sucked back once, then went ahead as I pushed her on. I needed to *ride* today which we’ve not had for a while.
However. I think she’s definitely arena sour. I took her to the arena and the same mare who was full of energy? While she walked better than she has before in the arena, all of the energy went away. She did not want to go faster than a slow, careful walk that could win a WP class. Ride her down the alleyway, which has big rocky sections? More energy. Ride her in the county right-of-way (there’s a big triangle patch created when the road was straightened)? More energy. She had more energy on the lead outside of the arena as well. I suspect this is the consequence of that fall in the show, and right now is probably not a good time to deal with it. We’ll do other stuff besides riding and cool her off there. We’ll see what she’s like in the springtime. There’s a lot of little stuff we can do in an arena that isn’t riding, and that may help her rebuild confidence in arena footing.
Overall, she just looks better. Her front end is filling up and looking like it should be. Her hind end is muscling up as well. Mentally, her affect is bright and a wee bit hard-headed with wanting to GO. Yeah, she’s rough and hairy. Her mane’s a bit sun-bleached. She’s got a few marks where she’s been negotiating herd position. She does not look like a pretty and shiny show horse any more. She looks like a ranch horse.
But when I turned her loose, instead of trying to follow me back to the gate or wander over to the barnyard to issue plaintative nickers begging for hay, she ambled off to join one of the other horses and fell to grazing. YAY. And the only place she gimped under the saddle was in the arena. I think we’ve finally made the transition.