So I must report that Miss Moneypenny is feeling quite good. So good that I got bucked off! I totally set myself up for it and knew it was coming, but I let it happen anyway. MP is not spring chicken, but she sure feels like one. Lets not forget that she is on the "Olympic athlete in training program." In addition to all of the hay she can eat, she gets Adequan and Legend monthly, 2 lbs of LMF performance with electrolytes and e-biotic in the am and 2 lbs of LMF senior with fish oil and oral HA at night. Plus grass turnout everyday.
My plan was to start her on a cross training program two days per week where we go out and "hack" (horsey work for trot & gallop) up and down the rolling hills at Somerset Farm. So I decide Saturday was they day to start this program. Had she been out on trail at Somerset before? No. Did I take her out with another horse? No. Did I stay close to home so she could see all of her horse friends? No. Did I ride her down a bit to make sure she was relaxed before she went out? No. From the moment I got on her at the barn I knew she was full of it, but I convinced myself that I'd be able to stay on her if she gave me a little ride. She has bucked before when riding her in the arena so I though I knew what would be coming.
About half way through our trail ride, just when we were furthest away from home and just as the barn was out of sight, the rodeo began. First with a bolt and recovery then with four bucks in a row. I sort of flopped off on the fourth buck, landing in the soft thigh-high grass. The only thing is that I landed on my head (yes I was wearing my super duper noggin protector) so I had a mild concussion. I know this because I've had them before, this wasn't my first rodeo! MP stopped right away and just stood there looking down at me for a minute. Then she started to eat the thigh-high grass. How convenient for her.
I tried to get back on, but it looked as though she was still quite energized, so we walked back to the barn for an arena session. I got back on at the barn, and she bolted and bucked again (this time I stayed on). I got the message loud and clear, so I untacked her, turned her out in the outdoor fenced arena and let her run. Man did she run! And buck, and then run some more. She was quite the wild woman. And after about ten minutes of running and playing, she trotted over and gave a big sigh of relief. I tacked her back up and we had a great ride followed up with a short hack a little closer to home.
To be honest, I love the fact that she's feeling this good. And I'm a ding dong for not making sure she gets to blow off excess steam when needed. Sure she has the space to run around if she wanted to. But it is my responsibility to make sure she releases that energy for her well being and mine. Moral of the story: 1) Listen to my gut; 2) Add managed turnout/bucking to MP's exercise program; 3) Don't just "do", prepare for trail rides or anything else I'm doing with horses.
BTW - I have whiplash, so I'll be walking in the parade this weekend, not riding. That girl can get her hind feet above her head!