Riding 29 year old Sandy in 1997

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cantering old Dottie

It's been nearly three years since the time I cantered Dottie under a rider and it felt like she was bucking.  I tried again bareback in case the saddle was the problem, and when the problem persisted I decided her arthritis was too bad for her to canter any more.  So she was put on walk-trot only.  She was sent to Oregon after that, where her arthritis worsened and she was retired from work there.

I brought her home this past October and she was introduced to the miraculous HA shot that eased her arthritis and restored her usefulness.  Several weeks ago I rode her again, and have had her out on the trails about three times before today, but only at a walk and the occasional spontaneous trot.

Today I took her out and we rode all the way to the wash and for the first time since 2009 . . . we cantered.

She fell in and out of it a few times but she actually cantered without any stiffness or hopping for quite a ways, then pranced all the way home.  She's feeling great and I couldn't be happier for her.

She's so much spunkier than either of her daughters, yet completely controllable, stopping and standing any time I asked her to, but ready to move right out at the slightest touch.

I think I may offer her to my dressage trainer for their summer kids' program, I think she'd enjoy that.  But it's clear to me that this horse is a lot happier being used than retired.

And that's the latest from the Ranch.

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