Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Sound horse, lame rider

A day late but here's yesterday's installment:

For some reason the cycle out was killer, I had to stop a lot. It was rather sunny and hellish windy, so hard work all round! I didn't actually take much longer, but I walked all the way up the hill to the yard. I had a palpitation earlier in the morning, which makes all my limbs heavy and sore anyway, so I can only imagine it must have been that causing me to feel so tired. I was very lucky in that my support crew (my Dad!) came to pick me up because I finished so late :) Hopefully next run out will be less of a struggle.

I started off by riding, because the physio wasn't coming till later. Fin was great. Me...not so much! As soon as I got on he did the same as another friend's very well schooled horse...half pass left. I think my left seatbone is locked in, it would make sense as both horses are trying to move under the side I am weighting. I also found anything on the left rein hard work, my left arm is pretty useless and uncoordinated, so asking for inside bend is crude and muddled. Same goes for my left leg really. In fact, my left side has no business being on a horse. The right side is ok, but sadly I can't split the two so the left side has to tag along as well. He was lovely and patient with me, although not without tension. Tension caused by my shouting seat!

I despaired of myself a little more post-ride. I need to get out and walking in straight lines and thinking about the swing in my back and also trying to find a little more freedom in my hips. I don't allow any movement from the horse, I brace against it. Of course, I'd rather not ride at all, I don't like subjecting horses to my riding!

And so to Twitchy. Still twitching. Still stamping and swishing. To pass the time before the physio, I jabbed him with his second-last dose of Cartrophen. I enlisted the help of another livery as Chief Horse Holder and Feeder Of Treats. And she's a nurse so helped me with the scary bit, the needle and the jabbing! After several false-starts I managed. One grumpy but patient horse! HIs skin was little bumps where I'd attempted to slide the needle through his skin and failed. No matter, I did it and he's still speaking to me. And only one more dose to go!

The physio arrived and saw him walk and trot up. This was a little to my disgust, as I almost passed out on the second run. Not as fit as I'd like to be! I didn't trot so much as gallumph!

He was straight and sound, which is great news. We headed back to his stable for some more poking and prodding. He has great range of movement through his forelegs, neck and poll. And she said his back is looking better, even from the last time she saw him. Still a bit of stiffness through his back, on the left right next to the spine, but reduced from last time.

Sadly this doesn't shed any light on this twitch. I've spoken to the vet and he said if he's still doing it next week he'll come out. He said it won't be a trapped nerve, those are painful and he'd let us know about it. The only thing that it might be is a psychosomatic reaction to the injections. The area that is twitching is the area the nurses down south were injecting into. I am injecting further up the neck but perhaps my lack of skill as a horsey nurse is making him twitch! Watch this space I guess.

We went on to pole work. Working on a fan of poles on the lunge. I have never been so rubbish at lunging, I even got the line under his legs at one point! Coordination and forward planning are two of many aspects I have to work on!

When Quadi goes over the poles, I have to activate his side with the end of the whip. Actually, the handle end, he's not especially switched on at the moment! And raise the inside of the middle two poles to really bring under his hind led. All of this should engage his abdominal muscles.

He was rather lazy, and in my enthusiastic endeavours to ask for more forwards, I have been pushing him flat and with his hind legs trailing. So really what I ought to try is moving the tempo up and down within the pace. He did show signs of lifting his back, but also had moments of hollow, hind-legs trailing, star-gazing motor-biking. Thankfully the good moments are ever-increasing and the bad moments are less with every session.

I think I will try some in-hand work before I lunge him tomorrow to increase his attentiveness. I live in hope!

And fingers crossed I am fit for the trek tomorrow!


  1. sounds like you need phsyio as well,.....i wouldn't be cycling that, i have to say!

  2. I do, I've asked for a deep tissue massage for my birthday, will have to think specifically about physio too. I really ought to get stuck into pilates. So many good intentions!

    I either cycle to see my horse or I don't cycle and don't see him. When there's a horse at the end of the road it doesn't seem like quite such a chore ;)