July was an improvement over June!
I never did get around to setting goals. It was a month of putting one foot in front of the other and just getting through.
- We entered and completed Fireworks 25 midway through the month. Aside from the whole forgetting-girth part, it was awesome. Confetti did brilliantly. I could not have asked for a better, more confidence-building ride.
- Confetti is not lame.
That about covers all of the hopes at the beginning of the month!
She does have hives. I'm confident the cause is a different type of wood pellets I tried, as the hives showed up within days of adding them and she's never had allergic reactions to anything before. The hives are focused mainly on her left hindquarters/leg, with some on her belly: right where she lies down. I started her on Benadryl yesterday after a week of no visible changes. They're not getting any worse since I stripped the stall, but they're also not getting any better. She's itchy, and actively trying to scratch there when no one is looking. She's cranky towards her neighbors because she itches (and has a few scrapes to show for it. Mares!). I am comfortable riding her and she's happy to get out.. so that's something.
July was a higher-mileage month than usual. I think this can partly be attributed to the numbers being too high - our 18 mile ride yesterday showed up as 22, and I know it's not that far. Our total comes to something around 120 miles, including our 25. If you consider that the 18 was mostly walking and only qualifies as work due to the time spent.. that puts us right about 100.
- 15+ mile rides once or twice during the month
- Get rid of hives
- Continue speed work approx. once weekly
- Continue heat work (as much for me as for her)
- Rebuild trail confidence; eliminate backing up as an evasion again.
Aside from the whole hives thing, I'm really happy with where we are right now and don't feel anything but her confidence needs much work. (I am so done with the whole 'back up because I'm terrified' 'make the other horse go first' nonsense. So done. It's occasionally valid, but currently 95% an act.) Overtraining is going to be more of a concern than under-conditioning. We've logged the miles and now I need to trust my horse.