Results are In

Pony was a happy pony!

However, he looked NQR on his right hind. I was warned that he might look a little stiff, and for the moment I’ll put it down to her pelvis adjustment, though I do think hock injections are in his near future. I lunged him for 10 minutes before hopping on and doing another 20 minutes of mostly walking, but a little trot and stretchy canter to get his back moving. She also adjusted his right TMJ during the appointment, which I thought was interesting- he foams up on the left side of his mouth to the point of drooling, after just 10 minutes of work, but the right is almost always dry. Last night after his adjustment, with just minimal riding on the bit, I could already see some of that cherished green lipstick. Foster got some bute mixed in with his alfalfa mash and tucked away for the night.

Warning: Crazy horse lunging here

Warning: Crazy horse lunging here

In other news, I’m tinkering around with the blog. I added 2 new pages under the About section, one with our goals that I hope to mark progress with and another with our competition record. Unfortunately I never did a season recap for 2013 and some of my show recaps from the year are incomplete, but I still feel that it’s helpful in following our progress.

Tonight, more light work and tomorrow, hopefully back to a regular dressage schooling. Then Mr. Fancypants gets a massage on Saturday- the things we do for our horses!

Ultium Update and Another Chiropractic Visit

As I mentioned before, Foster has officially been on his new diet for a month. In that month, he has been sound but back sore, and hasn’t noticeably increased weight or muscle. If anything, he started looking a bit gangly again, and myself and others suspected a possible growth spurt. Luckily the vet/chiropractor had a measuring stick and we were able to confirm- Foster has grown to 16.2h this year (he was last measured a year ago at a hair under 16.1h). So, the Ultium could be doing its job, but my warmblood baby (who turns 8 next month, ah!) used those extra nutrients to sprout upwards rather than out.

In the interest of consistency, I still took pictures of his backside. Boy, equestrians are weird- I’m pretty sure dog people don’t do this shit.

Foster_JanuaryAnd from the side…

Foster_January_side

To me, there’s no noticeable difference, except that he’s standing somehwat hollow backed in the second picture. The only thing this picture proves to me at the moment is that I need to shave off those little feathers; the way they collect dirt is driving me nuts.

In any case, we’re sticking with the Ultium and Performance Supplements, and hopefully it will start to make a difference in some months.

Otherwise, the chiropractor (slash vet) and I discussed at length why he may have gotten back sore and why he is not straight. There are some guesses out there, with treatments that include hock injections and possibly scoping for ulcers. For now, we’re going to see what happens with this second adjustment (many of the same adjustments made), and I’m desperately hoping it doesn’t come to anything more. We hand walked for 20 minutes after his adjustment last night, tonight he gets light work, and tomorrow back to a regular routine.

So what will it be? A happy pony tonight, or a grumpy sore one?

 

Soreness and a Surprise

Unfortunately, Foster was just as bad yesterday- in fact, I didn’t even get on. I decided to lunge and see what I was dealing with, and the answer to that question was a very stiff, sore pony whose lower back and pelvis was obviously hurting. Poor guy’s back was simply not moving, and he held his tail way down and against his body, even at the walk. [insert angry face here] I am hoping a few days off and some arnica gel, and hopefully a borrowed Back On Track blanket will allow everything to settle into place.

photo (15)

In other news, I received a ribbon in the mail the other day, completely unexpected. Apparently our few ribbons this season counted towards a series, and my points earned me 7th place. Since it’s been some years since I last received a big ribbon, I’ll take it. Thank you ribbon fairies of the NCDCTA Timex Series!

Chiropractic Results

Foster had his chiro appointment Monday, and the results were both encouraging and somewhat as expected. He was a bit back sore, so the vet examined the saddle fit and found that the soreness is due to his pelvis being out-of-whack rather than due to tack. Always great to hear, because I’m not quite ready for another saddle flocking.

No new photos, so here are screenshots from the lesson

No new photos, so here are screenshots from the lesson

Other than a small adjustment around his withers, all of Foster’s issues seems to revolve around his hips and pelvis. She noted that his pelvis was particularly wonky, and I should expect him to travel straighter as a result of her adjustments. After getting the day off yesterday, today will be a return to work and it would be great to see some improvement as a result of the chiro session, which did not come cheap, sadly. A possible recheck in 2 – 4 weeks may happen as well.

Learning self carriage- better hind end muscling will only help!

Learning self carriage- better hind end muscling will only help!

Both vets have wanted to start introduce exercises into Foster’s regimen that will help him develop his hind end. Essentially, hills or cavaletti work. Since I am both adverse to trail riding and not familiar with where the hill in my area is (not to mention not having daylight during the week to get outside the arenas), I’ll be looking into incorporating cavaletti into our schoolings. Also, I need to get him to lift his back as we groom, working up to lifting his back 5 times for 5 seconds each, in order to strengthen his back muscles as well.

cavaletti-training-for-horses-o

Can anyone out there point me to a good resource for cavaletti and pole exercises? Of course we will still be jumping occasionally, but other recommendations for hind-end exercises would be great!

Foster may look like a body builder by the end of the year with all this muscle growing! Now I just need to hit the gym to keep up!

Bodybuilding meme that comes to mind every time

Bodybuilding meme that comes to mind every time