I'm happy to say that today, Laz and I had a very nice arena ride. In fact a wonderful ride knowing full well, what happened a year ago. A lot of luck and fighting has kept him alive and happy, and rides like today makes me feel so blessed.
We are still riding in the Nurtural Bitless and it seems to be going a little better. With the much needed help from Sydney over at Bitless Horse Blog, she's been giving me great suggestions for fitting the bridle to Laz. He's picky about where he likes the noseband but when I pull it up higher, it leaves little slack for the reinstraps, so I've yet to find the perfect medium, but we are getting closer and he's responding well to it so far. I just know it's not a perfect fit yet...we will find it hopefully.
Weather wise, it was sunny and a little cool but the sun was really warm. Laz's winter coat is swiftly coming in which makes him so rich in chocolate brown and more teddy bear like. I walked to his stall door where he knickered at me and I decided to just get on him and ride after a quick groom. He seemed steady enough to not have to hand walk him. I did notice he may be a bit sore in his back because the last couple times at the mounting block (my 3 step..do they make a 4?!) he starts to back up like "Don't get on me." I rubbed his back and saw his little mouth tense up so something is definitely up. I think I've been hopping up too harshly? So today, I rubbed him and had him step up. He stepped back. I rubbed him and his back and had him step up. He stood. I slowly mounted up and he was OK. There was a major tail swish so another sign of discomfort. I walked him around the round pen and he was ears perked and moving out nicely so I went with it. We worked in the arena, light trotting (again no signs of discomfort) and walking. He was concerned with the road more so today but I am happy to say no spooking. I just kept the reins and my body loose (so hard sometimes when you think you are going to anticipate a BIG spook) and he was great. I ended it by hand walking him around the outside of the arena and rewarding with carrots to reassure that no lions hid in the pine trees. He was very tense but didn't spook and gulped his carrot nibs down, and as we turned away from the trees let out a huge sigh. Poor baby! I really want this horse to trust me and not be so fearful but it may just be him. He has come a long way since I've gotten him, but there is still a long long way to go.
Feet are still looking nice. His heel on his right rear looks really low to me, so I'm watching it for any sores. So far, it's ok. I did hand walk him over the driveway gravel and no limping! :) The pea gravel in his paddock seems to feel so nice to him and I think it's a great foot stimulation. Laz is also now taking his Holistic meds much better, not spitting them out (I think he wasn't liking the salt or kelp but now he's ok with it) and hopefully they are working some internal magic on him.
I'm so proud of Laz and his want to live and he really tries to be a good horse, and a good partner that I want to make his own Blue ribbon for him; Blue ribbon for heart! :)
October so far, it's been a beautiful Fall...I'm looking forward to enjoying it with Laz and keep riding.