Looking shiny this fall
In the beginning of September, we finally did a jump chute lesson with Mae.  I’ll apologize in advance that I don’t have any pictures because I was TOO BUSY CHASING THE MARE around to get any.  If that gives you any indication of how the lesson went.

On a relatively quiet afternoon at the barn, trainer and I set up the jump chute in the smallest of our arenas.  I lunged Mae for 15 minutes, after having to catch her when she slipped her halter and went gallivanting across the arena and running full steam into the corners.  The first few times we tried sending Mae through the chute with trot poles on the ground and then slightly raised poles, she didn’t quite get it.  When she wasn’t trying to spin a 180 and avoid the chute altogether, she kept trying to stop and look at each pole before she jumped it, which was particularly difficult with the bounce we added at the end. 

We had jump boots on her for the first half of the lesson but took them off toward the end when she started trampling through the chute, poles bouncing all over.  Trainer said she needed to understand / respect the poles and learn to be more careful about where she puts her feet.  Even at the end of the lesson with the jumps set at over a meter, out of anxiety / inexperience, she tried to rush through them as quickly as possible, barely lifting her chest like a hurdler. 

Both trainer and I chalk it up to Mae’s inexperience.  Her body’s spent at least a third of this year recovering from ulcers, so we took her jump training at a slower pace until she was physically healthy enough for strenuous exercise.  However by this past weekend, she has been more confidently and consistently going over low, single jumps with lovely, calm flat work both before and after the fence.  My trainer put one of our little girls on Mae over a grid yesterday while I was at work, and she did fantastic (her words, not mine!).  I’m proud of how nicely she’s booping over those little fences (see below).


During September, we put pads on her front feet, and they look decidedly better.  Within the span of a few weeks, she had pulled five shoes (one shoe three times) so we’ve decided to leave her shoeless in the back.  Her soles are very thin, so I bought some Keratex and am applying that regularly (heads up it’s cheaper on Amazon than on SmartPak).  She hasn’t been/acted lame once since we’ve made her shoeing adjustments.  The farrier comes back out this week and I can’t wait to hear what he says about her progress.

Her October goals are pretty simple, given her improvement over the last month.  She’s been on SmartGut for the last four months and I’m going to give TractGard a shot to see if it’s any better:

Try alternate ulcer maintenance supplement

Continued hoof maintenance

Continued progress over jumps