Monday, 18 January 2010

Kingsley's Rehab Week 10: Physio Re-assessment

Today we were at 17 minutes walking under the saddle and second Physio re-assessment since sacroiliac injections.

Overall impression

I was told he looked much better within himself, more coordinated and happier to move.


Less sacroiliac sensitivity. Still some reaction.

Walk & Trot Up in-hand

Looks like little man is getting a little bit stronger. His front legs moved very wide at first assessment but he is now using them much better. He also placed his right hind leg straighter and used it better.

Ridden Assessment

Before I got on Anna placed a Proprioceptive tape on Kingsley's hind quarters as shown on the photo above. It was tried on him in the past but the tape just kept dropping off the moment he moved so I wasn't really expecting anything beneficial from this. Big mistake!
The tape Anna used stayed on him very well for a starter. The moment I got on and started walking I could tell something was different. He was even in my both reins and actually taking the contact which he avoided so far. At first I thought it was because he was getting stronger in general and as he had been ridden in rounder frame for the last 7 sessions and he was getting the idea.
However, the moment we took the tape off he immediately felt more wobbly and less coordinated, light (behind the bit) in the hand and harder to keep straight.
The difference was so pronounced I am converted to using it.
The idea behind it is that it stimulates the neuro perception and it makes the horse more aware of his muscles. In effect he is using them properly which in turn helps him move straighter.
I found this article on the use of taping in human rehabilitation and think it explains it very well: Neuro-Proprioceptive Taping for Rehabilitation, Pain Relief and Injury Prevention

In today's session Anna showed me what to work on further and we tried to improve Kingsley's use of hind legs.
The video below shows me trying to make the walk more active without speeding up (as he tends to the moment he looses balance which is often). He is above the bit here and the plan now is to help him stay active, over the back AND on the bit. He goes round, long - low fairly easily now but is not using himself well enough to strengthen the correct muscles and to step up and under with his right hind.

And here is how it looks when he goes crooked and quickens his steps when he looses balance:

He was very happy to move forwards and Anna said he is ready to start a bit of transition work towards the end of each session. After about 15 minutes of walking I asked for a trot. It felt really bad to start with but then he didn't trot under the saddle since early September last year! She wants him to step up into trot actively then come down to walk with his right hind leg active. We didn't continue trotting as such, just several strides, then back to walk. We repeated 2-3 times on each rein. I could feel improvement in the last transitions.

Rehab Plan for the next 37 days (next re-assessment 15th February):

Build up the walk under the saddle to 45 minutes (increasing 1 minute a day from today's 17 minutes).
Start asking for Walk to Halt transitions paying attention to hind legs' activity in both downwards and upwards transitions.
Introduce a few trot transitions per session, not the actual trot so only stay in trot for several strides.
Continue the stretches.
Continue with physio exercises. Here is a video of the one we need to add. It's very dark but towards the end I managed to position the camera at a better angle and you can see a bit more!
Anna gave me a running commentary describing the exercise so even if you can't see much you will be able to hear:

I really need a good HD camera. Wonder if my brother would like to get me one for my birthday next month...:)
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