This time I caught myself and realized that I was feeling bad based on this article.
I've always been careful to give Katai lots of breaks. I've also read a lot of Jec Aristotle Ballou and she is an expert on muscles, muscle recovery, and how to properly condition your horse. However, it's been making me doubt myself and question everything I do.
It's also been giving me the odd thought that maybe this isn't good for Katai or maybe she's struggling when actually it's pretty clear to me that she's doing amazing and continuing to get stronger and fitter. She's maintained soundness, other than a hoof trimming thing, and her musculature is even, soft, and she's been healthy.
|Yep, always with the tongue|
Katai has been flexing her new muscles a little and has started kicking out (or bucking) when she disagrees with what I'm asking her to do but I don't think that it's anything out of line for an opinionated red head, who now has the strength to be athletic like that. Of course I wish that she were bopping around with perky ears but Katai isn't and won't ever be that horse. She's tricky, opinionated, a pony, and my perfect partner in so many ways.
The positive part of this is that it's been another good reminder to alternate dressage rides with other rides. I've been using the drill team rides for this but now I've also added cavaletti days, lunging days, and outdoor days (which ends up being on Saturday normally since that's the only time I can ride outside in the daylight).