I went to the barn this morning. Finn was supposed to be turned out with other horses. Him and Jake were getting way too herd bound. I found him in his stall, pacing back and forth, with no water. I asked the barn worker why he was in, and I guess barn owner never told him to turn Finn out. So, because I didn't go up to the barn yesterday he's been in since Monday. Not having water is completely unacceptable. And to me, the owner of a Thoroughbred, who NEEDS to be turned out or he's CRAZY, not being turned out is unacceptable too. Especially when I'm paying a pretty penny for full board. This barn has absolutely zero communication and I don't really feel like my horse is safe there yet without me checking on him every day, which is something I can't do. At my last barn, I was completely confident leaving my horse for a week and knowing I'd get a text message or a call the second anything seemed off. Barn worker turned him out with his new boys, three other geldings, and he was great with them. On another positive note, Finn is 100% from what I saw of him prancing and galloping around the indoor. I don't know how he could go from being SO lame, to being 100% in 3 days?
I talked to one of the girls that I used to board with (Amanda). Amanda and Michelle moved their horses a few towns over from where Finn is now to a rough board barn and they're very happy there. Amanda said that if I did need to move him I could move him there, Michelle could ride him when I couldn't, and we could work out a barn work schedule. At 1/3 of the cost I'm paying now, and more personalized care, I'm going to go look, even though it's further. There's no indoor, but at least I'd know my horse is safe with my friends.
On the riding front, I haven't been due to Finn's weird lameness. I'm hoping to get a ride in tomorrow night if the barn's not too busy.
Although I haven't had much time to really sit down and read Inside Your Ride, I have read a few pages. One of the major points I've taken away so far is to have goals before your ride, visualize those goals, and make them happen. Whenever I go up to the barn I'm always like hmmmmm what will we work on today....and then we do nothing. Tomorrow I want to:
-Work with trot poles and cavaletti. I used to work a lot with trot poles/cavaletti and they helped Finn loosen so much through his back (he's been very stiff and unfocused since the move). I will set up 3 trot poles on the ground, off the rail, down one long side. And 3 cavaletti, on lowest setting, off the rail, down the other long side. These will help him get focused, pay attention, and use his body correctly.
~During this exercise I need to keep him forward through the exercise, using himself correctly, and don't let him get heavy on his forehand.
My biggest challenge will be: looking down at his ears or the poles. I always look down at his ears to see what he's doing with his head. I need to be able to feel his correctness, rather than see it.
I will be telling myself: FORWARD, CHIN UP, EYES UP.
I will warm up walk (with leg yields), trot, canter, work with poles at the trot, canter a bit more (I should notice how much looser he is at the canter after poles), and then get some stretchy trot, and call it a night.