Yesterday was farrier day. Will, (my sweet farrier who makes a seven hour round trip to see our horses), showed up early, just when I was mounting up for a quick ride. He took a break in the shade and watched us work for a bit.
Usually having someone watch me ride makes me (ridiculously) nervous. I guess I feel like my riding will be judged - or maybe I become too critical about myself - in either case I often become stiff zombie girl in the saddle - but I know and trust Will, so I was able to summon up some calmness.
We warmed up on the buckle, took up some contact and moved into trot work. I focused on staying even in the saddle - equal weight in the stirrups - to address our tendency to lug in the corners, and on parts of our circles. I'm pretty sure I tend to weight my inside stirrup more on the right rein, which pushes him out. And - if my outside rein contact isn't there as well - our figures fall apart. We achieved some reasonable transitions, circles and figure eights. I felt good about my posting, my changes of rein and whip transfers weren't too dorky, so we called it a day. It was sunny and humid - both Val and I were hot messes. ;)
It was a happy accident that Will arrived in time to observe Val's movement while we worked. Val lands heel first, which I was happy to hear. Will pointed out that while Val toes in with his right front, it appears this is compensation for his leg conformation - twisting to the outside slightly. His foot has a bit more more sole on the outside half, and tends to flare on the outside as well - all related to how he loads his foot, also compensation. Despite these conformational issues, he doesn't paddle.
It's amazing how our horses feet / legs will deal with their issues pretty well, if we don't interfere with constrictive shoeing. I know everyone can't make the barefoot transition, but it has been so good for us. Val's feet look amazing right now.
While working on our horses, Will mentioned that one of the clients was expecting him to shoe her horse with nowhere to tie, and no one to hold him. I offered to help, because the horse lives right around the corner, I love learning more about trimming, and I want Will to continue to be our farrier, despite the sometimes rude treatment he gets from some of his clients.
This horse belongs to my longtime frenemy G. (cue dreadful music) There is an excellent chance that there will be fallout from me daring to enter G's barn and touch her sainted horse, should word get around to her. (it will) I suppose this means it's time to tell the story about how we went from friends to frenemies. I'm off to ride, because this is all the drama I can handle for one day.