To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Notes from Friday

In quick, get-it-down form, here are Suzan's comments:

From the ground:
Mike Corcoran Marvel saddle, M tree: way too small
Black Country Eloquence saddle, M/W tree: too tight in the front
Wintec: fits well in the front; narrow in the back

Lance palpated ouchy on either side of the base of his withers, at the back of the saddle (particularly on the left, there was a very tight structure there; on the left there was a calcification), and around his S/I (especially on right; he nearly dropped when she probed that). His hindquarter muscles were very tight; so were the muscles at the top of the neck (the head-release muscles).

Under saddle:
Felt like he was ouch in his front feet, particularly right front, particularly heel. She pointed out that that heel is collapsed a bit, and his toe is long. Lance toes out a bit anyway; need to have the farrier out more often to keep it in line.

The left hind also felt uncomfortable to her. Lance did not want to use his hindquarters, but when she asked for a better effort at the walk he lifted his back, used his hindquarters, and his walk and contact improved greatly. As soon as she asked for trot he flattened out, however. At the canter, he gave her some decent work when she asked for a bigger canter with more back/hindquarter engagement, but when she asked for the trot after that he throttled back quickly rather than benefitting from the correct work. That points to the front feet.

Sore front feet could cause the back/hindquarter soreness as he would brace back there to take some of the pressure off his feet. Back/hindquarter soreness would put more pressure on his lower leg structures, which could have caused the right rear suspensory injury.


Laura said...

It's always nice to see your own horse under saddle (I particularly like it when someone else is in the saddle...). Lance looks heavy on the forehand in some of the pictures, which could be part of why his front feet hurt. If you could figure out what needs to be done to correct his heel (probably both will need work to allow for compensation), you can do it with a rasp yourself (like you have the time...), but it's cheaper. Small, regular (weekly) adjustments make for quicker response. My arab had a clubby front foot (grass foot). I did most of my own work on him because I could keep it level and balanced, without him getting trimmed every 4-6 weeks. I know this is very frustrating - there is an answer, but it might take some doing to find it! You might also look into having someone do a deep tissue massage on Lance. It might help some of the tightness to relax.

Michelle said...

Yes, he's heavy on the forehand; being built a bit downhill (at least right now) doesn't help. But I hate to ask him to load too much when his hindquarters are sore and his right hind suspensories were recently injured! I am going to try my "Magic Hands" massager on his hindquarters to see if he'll tolerate it; it should be more effective than my hands.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there are obviously some issues to deal with, but over all he looks so much fitter than when you first got him! He is growing into a fine young man, and hopefully you will get all the bugs worked out of his systems soon so you can relax and enjoy your pony!