Tuesday, 5 October 2010

There's The Tell

After much fumbling with poles covered in slugs, and through long grass, I had managed to set up some poles for physio work. On reflection I ought to have set it up in an area already grazed as the grass is rather long and thick, but I can move it tomorrow :)

I did get rather caught up in trimming Quadi's feet so didn't spend as much time on the polework as I had planned. But before that I did manage to do rather a good stretching session. I had two pockets full of treats and suddenly a very keen horse! It did make me wonder if I ought to properly study clicker work since it so obviously motivates him.

One thing I did notice is that when we did one particular stretch, where he has to reach down and round to his hind foot, he struggled with this on the right side. Nothing obvious, but on the left side he can reach right around almost whereas on the right he stepped and moved with his feet to catch that pesky treat! We do this stretch as opposed to just reaching to his hip as he was hollowing his back, which he cannot do if he's trying to touch a hindfoot.

Also, when I was stretching out his hindlegs he was a little more reluctant with the near hind, but was fine after a couple of goes. At his age, with his history, I expect a few creaks so not sure if this is something or nothing. We'll repeat these stretches every day and see if there's an improvement by the end of the week.

We briefly went through the poles I'd set up. I'd placed a few in a row on the ground, not particularly carefully spaced out as I believe this makes him work harder as to where his feet are. Some were flat, some had one end raised, and one or two were just off the ground.

First time he clattered them all :) I walked with him and he was cool about it, so it was just carelessness. In fact, we both were. My Muck Boots combined with the long grass made me catch my toes several times, so I guess it was good practice for me too! We repeated a few times on both reins and he did rattle them a few times. I'll not read too much into this and move the poles to a clearer space before I think any more about this.

I also set up two poles end-to-end and raised the ends that met, the idea is that we can constantly circle over them, if that makes sense? He stopped a couple of times on the left rein doing this, which I was surprised at, but he tried hard. Ideally doing this exercise I'd stay almost still in the middle and activate his side with my hand (where my leg would be) as he's stepping over, in order that he fully engages his abdomen.

I will, before the end of the week, try Jean's idea of giving him a painkiller to see if the ridden work improves. It won't hurt him and it's not like I'm medicating him where otherwise he could not be ridden.

Interesting today but I'd no idea how to interpret what I observed...

I changed the routine yesterday, bringing the boys in at teatime and turning them out before I went to bed. So overall they're out longer, and I don't have to be greeted by knees on stables doors every morning. Last night was pretty windy but in double figures and dry. When I went out to check them they were all sleeping, it must have been a tiring night in the wind, but they seemed content to be out. I managed to catch The Baby doing his best Dying Fly:

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a plan, I love the stretches but not tried the low one to the hind...I'll try that one.