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Wizard Ride 314: Tonight, Tonight, Tonight

November 21, 2011

Wizard parted his forelock to the side to show off his double star

Sunday, 11/20/11

Sometimes, I really love riding at night.

After work, I headed to the barn. Before our ride, I turned Wizard loose in the outdoor arena and snapped a few photos while he pranced and played. The footing was too sticky for a ride, so we rode indoors. Wizard was less fussy about being saddled, and stood really quietly when I got into the saddle (I was less than graceful the day before and he was very forgiving).

The beginning of the ride was once again the onset of his ear pinning and tail swishing, but it extinguished itself for the most part. We rode in the arena with Pilgrim, another Thoroughbred, and his owner. We walked and warmed up with some simple trot work. After a few laps, he began to settle onto the bit. He was actually LEANING on the bit for a little while- it was such a different sensation for him, since he tends to duck behind the bit. We did circles in each corner in each direction, with a leg yield on the long sides. We worked on walk to trot transitions, and then he got tense and did the ear pinning thing a few times. After a walk break, we worked on a little shoulder in, followed by “stretchy circles”. The stretchy circles were a total mess- he was speeding up and not stretching onto the bit at all. Once I got a decent stretch in each direction, I called it a day. Wizard did much better than he did in the past, and I’m curious to see if the ear pinning extinguishes itself entirely like it did in the past.

The saddle seems to be working well for him. I did, though, have a little freakout when I was grooming him. I noticed two parallel lines of white hairs on the right side of his withers. The first thing I thought was that the saddle was causing pressure/trauma and it caused the white hairs. I frantically looked over the saddle for any parts that might be digging into him. I could not find a match, but then a light bulb went off in my head. I’ve been putting his Back on Track mesh sheet on him at night, so I pulled the sheet out and placed it on his back. Yup… the nylon strap that goes around his belly is digging into his withers when he lies down at night, and he usually rests on his right side. Grrrr. I guess he can’t wear it overnight anymore. It was digging into his poor withers.

The night air was a little damp- three days of rain are predicted. I hope Wizard doesn’t mind a few more nights indoors.

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