Potentially the most boring title ever, but it’s Monday and my caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet. Judge away.
I tried the new Weatherbeeta blanket on Foster Friday evening, and while the body of the blanket fits him rather well, the neck attachment is a bit big, and bunches around his withers. I guess he has the body of a 78″ horse, but not the neck? Nonetheless, we’re keeping it- I don’t think the extra fabric will rub him (since it bunches over the blanket underneath, not directly on his neck).
Unfortunately I can’t say the same for the sweet deal on the leather halter. This full sized halter can barely be buckled at the throatlatch, even with the crown piece at its longest. Sad face- but I guess not everything works out.
In other news, it was actually super nice weather this weekend (even if it was on the cold side), and yesterday we made it out to the jump arena. The jumps were already set up between 3′ and 3’3″, so I decided to give it a whirl- with all the rain coming with week, it’s best to make the most of the outdoor while I can.
Foster was an absolute star, especially since he hasn’t schooled this height since the XC schooling a month ago. The course wasn’t complex, two 4 stride lines and some singles, but it was nice to feel competent again over this size fences. For his part, Foster also was feeling good, and definitely felt more up than he has in a while thanks to bigger fences. With the exception of the pink oxer in one corner that I absolutely despise, we got all of our distances and left all the poles up. I did ride with my dressage whip expecting him to be a little lazy, and in the beginning while we were warming up it was definitely handy. Might be trying to incorporate that at shows too, before switching to my bat before going in the arena. Just things to ponder- in any case, the ride left me super excited for the season!
In other news, this weekend marked one month of Foster being on Ultium– looking forward to comparing images of his
best back side tomorrow!
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
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!
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.
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
Posting Foster’s ‘Before’ photos as a reference, since at the end of this week he’ll be switched over to Purina Ultium and I should be able to start tracking his progress.
Though the vet thought he was underweight, this photo was taken 2 days after the appointment, and I think while his topline and rear could be a little more buff, his weight looks fine. I think maybe he was just drawn up from the cold that day- it was 20 degrees colder than the day before. I’m not sure how much chunkier I really would want him to get.
Here’s the photo that is most interesting to me. The two rectangles are the exact same size, centered according to the point of his croup. Looking at this, it’s obvious that Foster’s left side really is less developed than his right. So even though that left hind is stronger than it was a year ago, there is obviously a lot of room for improvement in the muscle tone there. If the theory holds from this diet experiment – better nutrition/vitamins > more muscle development > stronger left side > straighter traveling horse > no more haunches falling to the right.
Will be repeating this process in a couple weeks to see where we are!