Stressful times have meant we've not been doing much recently. Work has been hectic, and has been putting me in a very low place at times. Unfortunately these lower points have carried over after leaving the office at the end of the day, and caused me to avoid riding as I didn't feel up for it. Add to that the headache caused by said stress and Rio is now getting a little bit round!
We had the vet out today as I found a lump under Rio's jaw late on Monday night. He's on antibiotics for 7 days which he will be having in his breakfast, and started it today after the vet left. We think it is a lymph node that has swollen whilst fighting off an infection of some sort, he is still eating and drinking but it is a little sore. We have a week of monitoring it but I've been told only to squish and poke it every other day otherwise it is difficult to tell!
We schooled this evening, and despite it being a little breezy when I brought him up, I got his tack out immediately and then groomed so that I couldn't talk myself out of it. I walked him in hand around the school a couple of times (more to put me at ease than him I think!) and then I hopped on. I was especially pleased with how he settled, we didn't walk a single circuit around the outside edge of the school whilst warming up. I was very focussed on changing the direction and keeping him guessing, and we managed some nice work on the bit too.
Sarah sat in and reminded me to use transitions as well as shapes, and admittedly I did a couple and then forgot, so we played with trot poles instead. We did a LOT of trotting. By the end I was feeling it, but it felt great. We played with three trot poles on the ground, a "double" consisting of an "upright" one tyre high and a cross pole, and an "upright" two tyres high. We did lots of attempts in trot, and Rio was being super lazy. Three pony kicks later and we were going much more forward. No more falling over his feet, and we even cantered both "uprights". I know that two tyres isn't much, but it's a big deal for us! Woohoo!
Ride / play safe x