Coping With Setbacks

A brief entry this week whilst I am writing a rather longer and more detailed one; it will be a dose of anatomy education and I am taking my time over it.

In the meantime, I thought it would be good to give a quick reminder of how it is important to take stock when things aren’t going as planned, and try to find something positive to work on.

For me this time, the setback has been that Lizzie has been a bit footsore. Well at least we think and hope (and pray!) that it is nothing more than this. It has come about because she is barefoot, and at the previous trimming session – now 7 weeks ago – our farrier felt there wasn’t enough to trim. She then grew an enormous amount, probably due to the spring grass etc, and he thinks the extra length on her toes put excess weight on her heels, which in turn has made her a little sore. It seems to make sense, and she is already pretty much back to normal. All that I could detect was a slight ‘hop’ in the contact when trotting on a circle, and not all the time.

The farrier was happy for me to keep riding, on the moor as much as possible, and I have been taking her onto our school as test of her progress. Today she felt back to herself which is a huge relief. We are going to shorten the time between farrier visits to 4 weeks now, so that if he really thinks she doesn’t need a trim one time, it will only be 8 weeks between trims.

So I have had to really refocus over the 10 days. The little sessions we have done on the school have been in walk, with just a trial of trot, and some transitions. The plus side of this is that I have almost completely focussed on myself. Normally, and I think I am probably not alone here, despite the best will in the world, I usually end up focussed more on the horse than me. This last 10 days I have worked on me and it has been excellent. I have worked on my posture, my aids, my seat – everything really.

I think I should try and ‘book’ time like this on a more regular basis, regardless of how the horse is going. Maybe this is something you could consider doing too. And remember that even if there is a setback, there is almost always something you can work on.