Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Around Tweseldown With Brynley Powell - My Self Improvement Training Continues

Despite horrendous weather which brought rain, hail storm, more rain and more rain water everywhere I've had a super day. Since I decided that this year will be very much about watching higher level trainers/coaches and learning as much as I can I am trying to go by that aim.
It's not always easy to swap a day of teaching (and earning) for a day of some unpaid training education but if I didn't try to get better I wouldn't see much point in doing my job.

Today I had a chance to zoom around Tweseldown racecourse and British Eventing XC venue ( with its manager and an international three day event rider-trainer, Brynley Powell. Bryn took two riders XC schooling on their Novice/Intermediate level horses to sort out some xc technique issues and boost rider's confidence.

Pic. Statue at Tweseldown

We drove around in a car equipped with heated seats while the riders took the soaking ;) Well, actually I took the soaking too as I tried to film as much as I could both for my own reference but also for riders to be able to have a look afterwards.
I've never been to Tweseldown before but I must say the ground is keeping well considering how many buckets of water per square meter had already gone into the soil!
I will be grooming there for a friend and her horse at a Pre-Novice event on the 18th of April so it was good to be able to have a look around. I hope the weather is better for her (and me!) on the day!
This morning on the course was all about confidence and technique that allows the rider to feel the horse, that doesn't disturb or worries the horse and that allow riders to ride a flowing round. The objectives were certainly achieved!
The other thing worth noting was how the positive comments were mixed with constructive help. There was no negative coaching there at all. There are trainers out there who, although might be good riders themselves and have knowledge to offer, the way they pass it on can destroy a lot of trust and confidence in the rider...and the horse.
As one of the riders said today: 'If you have a relatively good rider who wants to improve more you can't just strip them off everything in one go. Even if what they do isn't ideal, it might suit that horse, that combination. If you take their skill and confidence away there is not much left to run on...'.
As Bryn later added, if you want to teach a rider something new, something better, you must first make sure it doesn't take their confidence away. This is because jumping and XC are 90% confidence.

Some coaching techniques are really mind boggling to me and I wonder whether some trainers just try to cover up for own inadequacies by bringing their riders down.

Then off to watch Bryn teaching two show-jumping lessons to two very different combinations with different problems to solve. I liked the way he chose jumping exercises to help with particular issues rather than throwing plenty of tasks at both horse and rider.
I volunteered to drag the poles and jump wings around so I could get the feel for what he was setting up and what distances he was using.

I've invited Bryn to get involved in Eventing side of coaching within the Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy project and he kindly agreed!!! I have this idea that is part of Academy project but I can't really talk about fully yet. However, it looks like it might be very real :) Let's not rush though.

I then fit in some riding in the rain and lunged Kingsley (in freezing cold, my hands almost froze to the lunge line, not impressed). He's now been on Bute for a week and had new egg bar shoes put on yesterday. Amazingly, he looked way more level AND his canter was 3 beat! I wouldn't go as far as to say he looked sound but the improvement is encouraging. I will lunge him again on Friday and post both videos together.

Well deserved rest now!

Monday, 29 March 2010

Equine Body Work For Mr. Trouble

Kingsley enjoyed his massage by Susanna Malkakorpi. Tomorrow, the egg-bar shoes are going on, then after Easter he will get navicular bursa injections and whole lot of other drugs to slow down the degeneration process and improve circulation.


He has tight muscles areas where he compensates for front feet lameness. It seems that the left side of his body is affected much more than the right, which could mean his right fore giving him more pain?

Here is the drawing explanation with tight areas marked in red:

Susanna will do him again next week to observe whether the Bute, shoes and today's session are having any positive results. Interestingly, one of the papers I read about signs of navicular syndrome pointed to loss of suppleness as one of the indicators. Well, let me tell you, that certainly applies to Kingsley as he can barely offer any bend on the right rein.
His SI region on the left is also rather tight so who knows, he may have some mild SI problems after all due to Navicular.
I am looking forward to seeing the effect of the drugs in the next few months and I am hoping something will work and help him. He is adorable.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

No Foot No Horse - What's In Store For Kingsley In The Coming Months

Pic.left and below: Kingsley's feet today, prior to remedial shoeing.

No Foot No Horse is one of those things you will always hear around horses. Not without reason. Kingsley is no exception.
When we blocked his heels individually to get rid of the heel pain the improvement was enormous and he moved quite normally rather than like a pantomime horse! So we xrayed his feet from every possible angle and the xrays clearly showed a spur on the top of one navicular bone and an extra piece of bone forming along the underside of the other - so a definite diagnosis of navicular disease rather than the vague 'navicular syndrome' aka undiagnosed foot pain.
We also re-xrayed his poll again and couldn't find a bone chip anywhere. Carsten, the Vet No.6 and the orthopaedic specialist, went through his back and thinks that the reaction being shown is learnt behaviour rather than a reaction to pain as when he continued to examine his sacroiliac region Kingsley softened and put up no resistance at all and when viewed from behind he was completely symmetrical.

Have a look at Foot Anatomy:


front view

rear view

right front

left front


(box rest is not good for navicular disease as the circulation needs to be kept up and movement promotes this)
Bute for two weeks - both to stop the pain in his feet and to act as an anti-inflammatory and settle any other sore areas caused through compensating for the fore limb issues. Inflammation can also cause more damage in the hoof and we certainly got enough of that.
Remedial farriery - eggbar shoes will go on him on Tuesday and the Farrier will shorten his toes and correct a balance issue in his nearside forefoot that cropped up in the xrays - the outer wall is about 1/8" longer than the inside.

And then, there are Drugs...Not sure when we will start with these and which one first yet but here is what is in store for Kingsley:

*corticosteroids injections into the bursea with the X ray guidance to verify correct needle placement
*isoxsuprine - a vasodilator and is meant to increase circulation to the navicular structures
* Tildren - via IV is also an option (Tildren is used IV to decrease bone resorption to maintain normal navicular bone density)
* Steroids injections into coffin joint

He can be lunged daily for 20mins in a chambon to get him to use his back end again and then will be re-examined in a fortnight. I will start lungeing him on Wednesday once the egg-bar shoes are on. He will also have regular sports massage treatments, first one on Monday, to help with muscular pain/tightness due to compensation.
Definitely no need for injections into the sacroiliac or poll as there actually appears to be nothing wrong with them once the forefoot pain is removed.

Another less well known saying goes: "Every horse, at least once in it's life, deserves to be loved by a little girl". We might not be little girls anymore but horses do bring out that spontaneous, emotional side of you, the side that believes many things are possible. This is why Kingsley is having all these chances...

However, we also need another horse. I want Pauline to be able to progress in her training, and as for me, I need something to compete. Hence, while Kingsley is trying to recover, we will try to implement a Plan B...Stay tuned.

Look Who Can Now See Out

Pearl Jam by Utah Van Erpekom. Born 4th March 2010.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Looks Like Someone Finally Found Out What's Wrong With Kinglsey Boy...

"Most likely no condition of the horse's limbs is as feared by horse owners as is navicular syndrome. Probably no condition is as frequently suspected as a cause of lameness in the horse as disease of the horse's navicular bone. Certainly, few conditions that cause lameness in the horse are as frequently diagnosed as is navicular syndrome." Dr. David W Ramey

After feet X-rays and nerve blocking Kingsley was diagnosed with Navicular Syndrome in both front feet. It looks like this is the primary problem as once nerve blocked he trotted up sound, both on hard surface and arena surface.

So yay! for diagnosis as we can now target the treatment properly but a grand neigh! to the nature of it! I "lost" my very first horse to this disease as he had to be retired from riding. I think I was hoping today's lameness work up reveals some miraculously small problem...

I will post a proper update when we get a formal vet report so I can be accurate. Kingsley will be pleased to know he can go out in the field again from tomorrow as there is no point to box rest him. Poor little man, if they could only talk we would have known this 6 months ago.
I am glad we finally came across a vet who knew how to approach Kingsley's problems and found the root cause.
We have to wait and see if the SI pain was just a secondary, temporary pain or something that is more chronic and also needs an ongoing treatment.
He will get a massage lady to play with his muscles on Monday but we won't be following with the cortisone injections into the poll and SI for the moment.

In Few Words

The wind and the rain are not making it easy to stay free from sore throat and tiredness. My waterproof gear isn't working and my voice is gradually getting more painful to produce.
On a good note I finally finished the site map for the Academy - exciting! :)
Kingsley is getting bored on his box rest and his back legs have started to fill in again. To make his boredom well known he promptly tore one of his rugs but thankfully we are able to keep him amused by giving him a rubber ball toy. He plays football/netball/goal keeping with it and I am sure he will find more usages very soon!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Nineteen days and counting - catch up with the busy week

To my amazement my good old self keeps going quite fine on my new regime. It's my nineteen day of work on the trot with no day off and I am not horizontal as yet ;)
There is a special thank you involved here to the person who took the trouble to dig out, package and sell genuine dead sea muscles are very much eternally grateful. You know when they say regarding training science that you've got to destroy muscle tissue to build a new, stronger one...Well, my muscle fibres are feeling like the living proof of that, tearing process in full swing ;) I'm not complaining by the way, I wanted to get fitter so all is good.

I'm involved in teaching University of Reading Riding Club and on Wednesday we had the Inter Uni Riding Clubs Competition. University of Reading (which has it's Riding Club base at Hall-Place Equestrian Centre) competes in Friendly League which is just a bit of competitive fun. Four teams: Reading, Exeter, Southampton and Guildford tried their skills in dressage and show-jumping in a series of shows throughout the term.
Reading Riding Club came second, Exeter taking first. Our riders did win a couple of matches in the series though.
As part of the event we had to show the horses to the riders first, then each Team took turns to draw the horses they would be riding. All good fun.

Below: getting ready to show off some of the horses for the Dressage part. This is Brandy, a super pony, about 14.1hh but moves like a horse ;) He was on fire during the presentation and made me laugh a lot. Plenty of power in his little legs.

And below is Brie, about 15hh showing off his aptitude for jumping. He has a bit of a funny side and can stop at fillers so I gave him a rather unnecessarily strong ride - he didn't put a foot wrong!

His face is saying: "Erhm, common women, it's 0.60cm not 1.30m, no need to fold like that ;) "

And here are some photos of Reading Team riders: Lucy, Jen, Amy and Jenny.




These super horses belong to Hall-Place Equestrian Centre (BHS Where To Train Centre) which is going to be one of the venues involved in my coaching project: Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy.
I think I should re-name it and call it The Night Time Project as that's when I write all the training programmes and website content! I really hope it will be a success and despite the tiredness I am still mega excited about the launch in May.
The list of people who declared the will to be involved is growing and I can tell you now that whoever decides to learn to ride and/or improve their skills via the Academy by buying a Training Programme will be in very capable hands. I have invited variety of instructors and trainers to join the team either as venue based or freelance. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher and rider I am making sure other people involved can offer different teaching styles, more advanced skills/knowledge/experience. Hopefully in this way the Academy can cater for variety of riders at all levels.
My aim is to provide the aspiring riders with a wide spread support in various areas of training - something I wanted to find for myself when I was 16 and dreamt big riding dreams. We shall see how it works :)

Kingsley seems to be coping with his lack of tun out quite well. He rests a lot during a day having little naps in between generous helpings of hay. He is still tender in the poll area but as much as on Monday. I did all the "carrot" stretches with him, 5 neck to the withers, 5 neck to the hip, 5 down in between the front legs, same on the other side. I bet one day he will just wrap himself around to touch the hip on the other side ;) He is Mr Flexibility!
Nerve blocks are arranged for next week when Kingsley will meet yet another vet - 5th I think!

On a good note I am having more horses to ride so hopefully might start thinking more seriously about taking next exam...

It's not all work and riding. Somewhere in my 8 day week I am trying to fit a non-horsey time with my dear man. Courtesy of spring weather visiting on Tuesday we had our breakfast by the lake, nice walk in The Gardens and a little wonder around new exhibition in Serpentine Gallery.

Running another Training Day tomorrow, hope it stays drier than today ;)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Some More Photos From Yesterday

Below: Lameness work up on hard surface. I'm leaning back so much as he was pulling me out on a big circle.

Below: Anna with Kingsley

Below: Vet palpating the neck. Note Kingsley's worried look :(

And on a more cheerful note, the foal by Utah Van Erpekom is growing fast and healthy. Here he is yesterday, 10 days old. His mum is now less bothered and very easy to handle, she dragged me around a fair bit a week ago:


Monday, 15 March 2010

Kingsley: Vet + Physio Reassessment. The First Day Of The Last Go...

Above: Kingsley, still looking sleepy after sedation, in a pulsed electromagnetic rug

It's not good news for the little man. It looks like the rearing wasn't just him being naughty...He is in a lot of pain along entire topline, poll, neck, back and sacroiliac area. His back muscles are in spasms and he reacted badly to palpation. All this after basically being in the field for 3 weeks - I sat on him once on Friday for a short walk.
He is is bilaterally lame behind still and unlevel in front with some inconsistent near fore lameness. I had to ride him for the vet and physio in walk/trot/short canter and it felt awful.

Trot-Up/Lunge Assessment

He moved very short both front and behind on the hard surface on a circle. I asked the vet to test him for neurological deficit so we did but he didn't exhibit any behaviour that would suggest there is something neurologically wrong. Apparently, the level of pain present in his back, neck and SI causes the movement to be as it is and point towards neurological problem.
As the relapse in his progress started after the incident with the gate (in Feb he jumped over a 5 bar metal gate getting stuck on it, possibly also falling over) it seems he re-injured the SI that was in the process of healing.

What Now?

The question is, where do we go from here...we stood by him on the courtyard and believe me it is so hard to say 'that's it, let's just call it a day and put him down'...No matter how clear it is in your head when you think about it cold, it's not the same when the horse nuzzles you gently and cuddles his head under your arm.
Vet's opinion is that the only thing we haven't yet tried is injecting the poll (he looked at the X-rays again to re-assess the chipped bone that was spotted initially and decided it might be beneficial to inject the area with Cortisone to settle any possible inflammation).
As the injury seems to be chronic and present for a long time the prognosis is "guarded". What this means is that basically IF he gets "better" he will always be a high-maintenance horse needing physio and possibly regular injections. He MIGHT make a happy hacker. If we are lucky.

So where do we go from here...the vet and physio, although agreeing as to the complicated and basically no-go case of Kingsley are also keen on trying some aggressive therapy and see how it goes. It's understandable really and the final decision isn't really their responsibility.

Bone scan is an option but we are advised that all it will show is the areas of pain. This actually isn't that much of a secret with Kingsley as you can easily detect these via palpation.
We could send him to Liphook or Newmarket or Willesly clinics for tests but many thousands pounds later we might still be without answers.

The Vet says that his ridden behaviour and movement pattern is indicative of a classic, chronic sacro-iliac disease that hasn't been treated when necessary and developed into array of muscular and skeletal issues.

Next Steps

Considering there is a few option we haven't yet tried, after a rather depressing discussion, we decided to give him a last chance with an aggressive treatment plan and further investigation.
He is booked for nerve blocks to determine where is the primary source of pain. We know what's hurting but we don't know the root of the problem. He will see a specialist vet for that, a vet whose major interest lies in orthopedic problems in sports horses.
He will be given daily pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (via special rug - see photo above of Kingsley in his rug; he is still sleepy after sedation for physio treatment) to help with the healing process. More info:
We will use TENS machine again to relieve muscle spasms and to help promote correct usage of the muscles.
He will have weekly physio sessions to stay on top of any muscle pain.
Here are a few photos from today's physio session under sedation to relieve poll and back pain.

Pauline and another physio pulling on the tail to stop Kingsley from falling over and to help with correct tucking in of the pelvis.

Anna manipulating the head and neck to help with poll, neck and back pain:

So this is it. We are giving this treatment/investigation plan up to 3 months to show SIGNIFICANT improvement. By that I mean we need to see if the improvement shown will give any hope of Kingsley ever being able to withstand ridden work of moderate intensity.

The detailed plan of action for the first month is as follows.


Pulsed Magnetic Rug: Set 5; 30 minutes
Walk in hand with tapes over SI: 30 minutes
Nerve Blocks and specialist vet assessment
Poll and SI Injections with rest afterwards

Pulsed Magnetic Rug: Set 5; 30 minutes
Walk in hand and ridden (hacking in walk) once given all clear after injections (with tapes over SI): 30 minutes

Anna back to review and treat
TENS machine
30-60 minutes walking on hacks (tape on)

TENS machine
30-60 minutes walking on hacks (tape on)

I must say that if he shows proper improvement in those 3 months I will be amazed. I don't have much belief left in him becoming sound, it seems almost impossible with all the problems he's got. But hey, if there is a chance to give him a happy, pain free life then this is the last go he deserves.

Lindsey's Leaving Do

All the best to Lindsey on her Travel Adventure :)
From left: Kylie, Lindsey and Me having a bit of fun at Lindsey's Leaving Do.

Lindsey: 'I decided. I'm going to be a Holiday Destination...!!'


Friday, 12 March 2010


Tiredness has this annoying talent of bringing the worse worries out of deep corners. I still feel totally optimistic but when I am tired I question this attitude wondering whether it's a sign of madness or quiet confidence. Somewhere in between most likely.
Some colleagues at work were discussing pension planning recently and I thought, damn, I barely plan my next month's earnings, my pension is as abstract a subject to me as is anything beyond immediate future. This is not necessarily by choice, more by necessity.
I do worry about sustainability of my job. I love doing what I am doing and I would never want to do anything much different. Office work would kill my joy for life and I can say this confidently as have experienced the feeling before.
However, the amount of taxes I have to pay as a self-employed riding instructor makes me question the long term future of my job as it is.
I would actually love to do it all voluntarily or for some sort of sport charity.

I also worry about Kingsley. Rode him today and he actually felt quite good, much straighter and happy to go forwards. This is not to say he was fine. He 'left' right hind leg behind a couple of times and is still very crooked when asked for a bend (either way really).
I am not sure if to be happy the rest makes him feel better as that's what happened before: he was off work, then back into it relatively well, we got to 35 minutes walk work and he started going downhill and eventually couldn't cope.
So I worry about Monday and what the Vet and Physio have to say.

However, on top of all these worries, I also feel very optimistic and somewhat happy for what I do have. Sustainable happiness always seems to come from not material but emotional security.

P.S. If you have an hour to spare have a look at this documentary about an Irish Race horse trainer and his horses:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

I'm going to Work Over The Back Myself Soon!

All is going really well at the moment, I am developing fabulous back muscles and core muscles from constant shivering in the cold! A little bit more of the chill and I will be able to work over the back myself.
Lots of layers and my super heated jacket are keeping me sane, that and looking at exotic photographs ;)

Aspire Equestrian project is moving forwards step by step each day. I had a chat with another centre today which is located in Berkshire and will be one of the main venues; all is looking very exciting. There is still a lot to do and sometimes I would just want to go to sleep and have it all done and ready. On the other hand it's rewarding to go through it and tick each step off. When it gets tough I just look at each day as it goes and try not to think about the amount of issues still left to be sorted out.

Meeting all the various riding centres and yards made me more aware of the variety of obstacles we might have to deal with. Academy is very much focused on quality and it might go against the grain at places that are specifically "commercially" minded. I had to give up on a very interesting yard after a meeting with the manager as although our main goals were similar, agreeing to the yard's policies would mean compromising on many core philosophies the Academy carries.

Thankfully, there are some lovely venues taking part and I just can't wait to show the finished product to you all :)

Kingsley had new set of front shoes put on yesterday. I will sit on him on Friday to see how he feels, then a big day on Monday the 15th with vet and physio reassessing his future...

Monday, 8 March 2010

Getting Ready For Kent

The Academy saga continues. Two months until the launch and it's starting to get busier. Spent morning today mentally making hundreds of notes for tomorrow's meeting. I am also having the other instructor involved in the Academy meeting a chiropractor lady who will work on rider's performance side of things so hope they can find common ground as it's always easier to work with people who get on with each other.

I am waiting for Vista Print to have free offer on a product I am interested in using for promotional materials and once it's on I will order the first lot.
Keep your fingers crossed for some exciting outcome in Kent. Morning there, then back to London to teach till late evening.

More Venues To Teach At

The lovely yard where Kingsley moved to is happy for me to teach there so I need to arrange for some ways of making the most of this opportunity.
Here it is: CANE END STUD; if you would like lessons with me there on your own horse please contact me via here or email ridinginstructor at gmail dot com.


I should really go to bed now but we have 3 new episodes of Lost ready to watch so.....

Friday, 5 March 2010

Spring Means Time For More Fittening Work...for Me!

This gorgeous little fellow popped out into the world yesterday. His mum competed Grand Prix Dressage and his dad is a well known show-jumping stallion Utah Van Erpekom, also skewbald. Kingsley and all other horses were transfixed on little man walking across the yard. As the mare was over two weeks overdue I hope she has some super body clock that told her, "you can have him now, it's Spring time, warmth time, no more freeze!".
Took one of the horses for a hack today and spotted some snow drops! Another Spring sign ;)
Happy rays make me more energetic too and I might have a go at some fittening work...
After being totally worn out on my training on Thursday I realised how bad my fitness really is. Reduced riding certainly has its part in this. Now, how do I introduce some exercise regime into my hectic lifestyle...??? It's not such an easy task as I am normally rather tired after work and taking up additional physical exercise makes me want to kill that person in me who wants to do it in the first place ;)
I love the way Pilates makes me feel - so flexible, body aware and supple but I've been lazy this winter and haven't done much of it.
I need more cardiovascular exercise and my good old Pilates back. Problem with cardio is it's blooming exhausting and I still need energy for all my several hours of daily commuting, days of teaching, riding etc
On a good note, my new job addition includes decent amount of yard work and grooming some giant horses certainly raises your blood pressure!

Kingsley is moulting properly now shedding carpet of hair with each thorough groom. As I can't be certain if he's in pain or not I decided not to ride him at least until his new shoes are on and he moves with more ease. In the end of the day, if his rehab is meant to last 2 years then 2 weeks will not make such a massive difference. He goes out in regular times every day and is looking well and happy. All the horses are in similar routine and this seems to have a very good effect on him. Being a fairly hyper, sharp-ish horse he seems calmer and less anxious in a very positive way. Farrier is coming on Tuesday with a made to measure set of shoes so I will be interested to see if it has made any difference to his way of going. His frogs in front feet could be bigger so I am guessing he isn't getting enough blood supply to his feet and they don't function as well as they could.
On a good note, his legs are in an excellent condition. Very tight, all tendons visible and cold.
He is still in a separate paddock but will be meeting the boys over the weekend and moving into main barn by Monday.

In case I am too busy to catch up in the next few days here is what awaits me. Interesting weekend ahead. Seeing Kingsley tomorrow early morning then running Training Day for P. who is having an Outside-Rein-Boot camp -Month ;) We need to get that sorted as it stops her from progressing further. I gave her an extensive homework to read/watch everyday and I'm hoping she has been a good pupil and studied everything for hours ;))
Sunday will be Sunny And Hot, that's an order! We will be practicing in the saddles what we did off horses last week i.e. consistency of contact, understanding supporting and acting role of reins. Some riders will ride bareback as part of their balance training but they do love it really.
Then on Tuesday I am off to Kent for a meeting with an owner of an equestrian centre I would like to invite as an Academy venue. This means preparing some written materials so office time on Monday morning for me.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Spring is here! Colour Green Didin't Extinct!

Even if it's just for today! Plus 10C, wonderful sunshine, green grass and a happy horse = lovely day. Kingsley was allowed out in a separate paddock today which was great considering the day was so beautiful. There were horses in adjacent fields so he still had company and he seemed happy about it. The fields at the new yard are in great form considering the weather and the green grass starts to show up, it's like a treat to the eyes after watching a never ending greyness everywhere. I am hoping Spring is here to stay, can't bear the return of cold again. This winter has had a big impact on the enjoyment of my job, not only the severity of it but also the worrying decrease in income. That green grass is making me feel optimistic again :)

I am pleased to say Kingsley decided to keep all his four legs on the floor today. I rode him for 20 minutes only though as he really did not feel right. The Yard Manager asked me if we wanted the farrier soon as he was due to come and as Kingsley is due on the 5th I asked for him to be done. This feet talk made me have a good look at his hooves and shoes. The YM asked how long he has had his front shoes for and that has really got me thinking. That's because his front shoes look as if he was doing heavy roadwork everyday (the only road work he has been doing is walking to his field and that's about 3 minutes each way so 6min daily). This abnormal wear on the shoes reflects the way he goes - heavy forehand and slight slide of the front foot just before it hits the ground. The best similarity I can think of is when you see a child in heavy ski boots...
I wonder if it might be a good idea to keep his feet shorter and shoe him more often than every 6 weeks.
The farrier will see him tomorrow to measure his feet and make some observations. His new shoes will be made to measure and hopefully help to balance his feet better.
Maybe the growth of his feet has negative influence on his already poor coordination? As condition of the feet, their shape and mechanics have such a big influence on horse's general way of going, the problems there would be immediately reflected in posture, wouldn't they?
Another problem is neck pain (could it be from poor front legs mechanics too?) and I'm pretty sure the physio will have a bit of work to do. He was definitely resistant through the neck today but did try his best little creature.

He seems to be settling in well but is still quite hyperactive and reacts nervously to new noises and unknown commotion. I worried that he would decide to go up mostly due to excitement but although he was quite tense and anxious under the saddle he did relax towards the end. Riding and grooming chilled him out. We finished the day on lots of stretches to non-existent treats (I gave him one and then he just goes to your hand like a magnet even if there is nothing in it), another good groom and lots of cuddles and neck scratches.

VERY chilled pony having a nap while I work hard scratching his neck ;)

© Riding Instructor's Diary | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig