Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Three doughnuts and counting!

A quick update on me before I write about Quadrado.

I went to the gym last night, I only did about 35 minutes again, but better than nothing. The boat was rolling something chronic, I had to work hard to stay in the saddle! And also I was very aware of my seatbones, perhaps the saddle is not as comfy as I first thought! I have quite enough natural padding so I wonder why it hurts? I was also aware that my silly knee, the left one, is obviously suffering from lack of strength through exercise because as I pedalled it wasn't running true, sort of bending in and out again. I have an exercise to strengthen the correct muscles I can do at my desk, so no excuses not to sort that out.

Sadly I've had about three doughnuts today. Not that reaching for sugary treats is an appropriate response to workplace stresses :s But I ate them all, including the fat-free middle bit *lol*

And onto Himself:

All reports are great. He needs a fairly thorough warm-up (although any horse should get a sympathetic warm-up of course!) to get the best out of him, but he's 12 now so I'd expect him, with all his issues, to need a while to feel limber.

He is now executing canter in the school under saddle. Nice big easy shapes just now, luckily the school at the yard is nice and big to do canter circuits, just need to find somewhere to open him up sensibly on a hack. Clever boy is also getting into his school movements and lateral work in walk and trot. Donward transitions are better still, albeit occassionally sticky early on in the session. I guess this means he needs lateral walk work in an easy outline before moving up a pace, or lunging/in-hand before riding. Things for me to remember when I'm home. Kate's doing such a fabulous job in my absence, I hope I don't come home and unpick all her lovely knitting!

He has been a little head-tossy/twitchy sometimes. It's lesser than when he arrived, so is it flies or pain/irritation/habit? He's also finding it hard to just loosen off his shoulders, this is a definite block to working properly for him.

With all that in mind, his massage on Saturday couldn't have been better timed!

The therapist found lots of general tightness and once told his history, she decided it was more appropriate to just give him a general treatment to make him feel better. Particular tension was found in his lumbar area and back end, as well as his shoulders. No surprises there, it's consistent with what both of us have found in his training, although I am sad he's still holding himself together :( He wouldn't really 'give' into the massage and guarded himself. I felt the same the first time I had a massage, so hopefully he'll get better with each treatment. And, he has been a cheerful chap since the massage so he is benefitting from it. Everyone's in agreement that the absolute key to him working his back is releasing his shoulders.

Since the work he hasn't been flicking his head/nose so who knows if it is the flies or something that was hurting? Time will tell. We will explore the avenue of physical pain/impairment and continue to monitor the fly situation. I am toying with getting him a nosenet for ridden work and then once he is out of the habit, remove it and see what happens. A nosenet isn't invasive :)

The equine massage lady (I can't remember exactly what her title is, will put up her site once I find it!) suggested pole work, which our physio already has us doing and it's very much in keeping with what both Kate and I have experienced through different avenues of treatment in the past. Quadi needs to figure out where his feet are, and his farrier work is helping immensely with that. I think I need to invest in one of the TTT books, I remember reading a lot about in in horsey mags years ago to teach body awareness. It'll be good ground work and bonding for us I think.

To be honest, I felt just awful to hear that he was still tight and sore. I'll admit to being disappointed, but it's really pleasing that he already feels better and his demeanour is so much improved, the phrase 'at ease with himself' was used and I think that's fantastic!

I really can't wait to get home and see him. Kate thinks I'll see a difference, he's losing the bulge to his braciocephalic muscle, so the pieces of this extraordinary little puzzle are coming together.


  1. Hi, I think this is something that my interest you for your horse's nose flicking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40WzB00NhF8
    It's video on saddle fit, but it shows a reflex part on the back, that when pressed, causes reaction. Don't know if it's a factor for your horse or not, but I thought I'd share the info with you.

  2. Head flipping can be due to all sorts of things - the rider's hands - if they move around too much the horse has trouble finding the contact, a bit problem, soreness elsewhere, etc. Good luck figuring it out!

  3. Sounds like good progress with Q considering his initial diagnosis! TT is good stuff. I got masses free on the net - try googling it!
    Great that you've got study buddy Kate to help you work out how best to help Q.