Friday, 27 December 2013

Warm glow

 Took pictures of the boys in the winter sunshine


Hacked Remi in the sunshine. Cant remember when I last solo hacked him. Been hacking with one sharer or other for a while. Despite lots to see and storm after effects he was golden. He was wearing reindeer ears and tinsel. He got much admiration, and 5 people asked to stop and take his picture. He loved it. Lots of lovely comments, and people wishing us Happy Christmas. Everyone was out walking in the Boxing Day sunshine :-)

So pleased with him. He was so lovely to hack, it was a lovely sunny day,. He was my lovely chilled hacking horse. But with some v bouncy canters. Love him. :inlove::wub::wub: 

He is turning into my comfy pair of slippers horse. Not something I would have said about him two years ago. He is good in wind / rain / dark and turning into an all round star!! 

I said to him in May 2012:

"Remi, if you arent going to be a competition dressage pony anymore, and you want a future, you had better get to grips with hacking nicely!!"  

Clearly he was listening. Though it wasn't like we didn't try hard to make him a hacking pony 2009-2012! :biglaughA::biglaughA::biglaughA:


As for Mr. Mackingtosh - he didnt want to be caught - didnt go too far away and was running rings round me - looking v cheeky. Mac's version of tag!! Almost nudging me, then pirouetting away. Laughing at him. Brought him in and he was v wound up. Didnt like the debris, the bits of roof missing, the gap or the changes on the yard, didnt think there should be strange horses in the school. For a brave horse, he was v wound up, liquid poo etc. He grew a hand when I got on and went rigid. Did discover the has a hidden piaffe.  Did calm and settle and snort and was almost lazy. Then woke up to do some pronking in canter. Some better work and a bit more pronking. Some stretching and snorting. I was thinking had worked him through it. And led him down ramp outside school and he was back to eyes on stalks! Hmmm


They are stripping the fallen oak tree in the field. Mac especially. Did read the bark has sap in in that is high sugar. Maybe a link to my hysterical horse!!
Thankful for my sane and cuddly Remi. Though Mac was cuddly too. And Mac rolled and rolled and rolled when back in field. 


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Ride!

Went for a lovely sunny Christmas ride, all suitably attired.

Remi and Rupert :-)

Love him.
Our local pub - they brought carrots out for ponies :-) and mulled wine for us :-)

Mac and Remi :-)

The two big bay rehab horses :-)

Remi :-)

Rupert, Mac and Remi :-)

Rupert, Mac and Remi :-)

Next year's Christmas card photo :-)

My lovely Reindeer!

Was a glorious oasis of sunshine before last night's wind and rain storm!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Remi video timeline - last 2 years

Remi movement timeline

In full work - does show some compromise

January 2012

Turned away
This is after a few weeks off, when at the beginning of six months field rest, for lameness in all four legs (need side to side nerve blocks to best show) 
June 2012
September 2012 Barefoot and out of work for 3 months
October 2012 Barefoot and out of work for 4 months

Rockley Dec 2012- March 2013
unfortunately Nic missed filming him on lunge when he arrived

10th February 2013

17th February 2013

17th February 2013
24th March 2013 -
24th March 2013

Home from Rockley

Going well

Suspected SI injury 

Shoes back on and rehabbing from SI injury

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Timeline last 18 months

Timeline last 18 months

 ·        June 2012 - Remi was turned away  (not obviously lame, until blocked different legs, then showed pain in multiple places. Alerted by loss of movement, and muscle and appetite.) Shoes off.
·        December 2012 – Remi to Rockley to come back into work and strengthen feet

·        25th March 2013 - back from Rockley, stronger feet, better angles, very crooked, very tight left shoulder, fairly footy, significant deviation on right front foot. He was lame on left fore the weekend we collected him – not sure if these linked to the spasmed left shoulder or the holes in his frogs. He came with back with deep holes (could get whole hoof pick end in) in both hind frogs, these closed over next 6 weeks.

·        April to September - Progressive improvement with lots of bodywork, hacking, gymnastic work April to August.  Progressively releasing his left shoulder, and working on straightness really improved his movement.  Battling paddocking, not wanting to be stabled and grass sensitivity.  Discovering the joys of solo hacking.  

Deviation on right foot increased, before eventually starting to break off and split in late June.  Interestingly it didn’t come back and his feet started to look more normal with mostly self trimming. Some glimmers of good movement, but also lots of intermittent footyness. August included successful dressage outing and endurance ride.  

September was spectacularly downhill – weight and muscle loss despite adlib haylage, and nothing in the grass, and nothing showing on blood tests. Initially I thought bruised feet from more hacking in August, but didn’t seem to be.  He had something fairly wrong behind from early September including a loss of power.  I think possibly he slipped several times in the field and sore feet, and sore muscles.  Loss of power behind.  And consistently sore SI area that didn’t hold after bodywork.

·        28th September – saddler makes saddle narrower as has lost muscle :-( He is generally miserable, agitated to handle, unsettled in stable.
·        3rd October Vet – physio on SI and back – v sore, vet said he lacked weight and muscle (despite having adlib haylage and regular work) and was damned sore on his feet (idea being that shoes would take feet pain out of equation and investigate SI area).

·        7th October - shoes on (Epona’s in front), instantly much brighter and happier, but little improvement in power behind.

·        23rd October - bodywork, and little obvious improvement from previous visits.

·        Ride / lunge – still lacking power behind

·        29th October– vet booked for nerve blocks, and to investigate SI area – Remi trots and canters on lunge looking very sound (think delayed impact of body work – held this time now feet not sore)– vet says no SI pain, stifles, hocks, suspensories look good. Given the ALL CLEAR, just weak and lacking muscle. Agree 2 steroid injections to support building muscle

·        Returns to being happy to be stabled, and lying down in the stable (having not settled in stable July to October)

·        2nd and 18th November– steroid injections

·        16th November   second shoeing – Eponas in front again, as still bruising coming out of right front foot

·        23rd November  – thermal imaging – all clear on back and SI :-)

·        30th November– body work, and much improved, looking sound and moving well (but lazy), SI good, left quarter and left shoulder tight

·        30th November  – video of landing shoes landing outside first in front, and really plaiting behind, and landing flat in front, heel first behind (similar to last barefoot landings)

·        10th December– six weeks from ALL CLEAR and he is a good weight, happy and relaxed in himself, SI not sore, and good muscle over SI, have put saddle back to the original width (medium). He is a bit stuffy and does takes sometime to warm up. But I am reminding myself it is only six weeks that his SI area has stopped being sore for, and it is December, and I know he has some multi-joint arthritis and lots of wear and tear.

Now looking to see where 6 weeks of hacking, hillwork, polework, schooling work gets us, and see where his comfort level of work is. Fingers crossed.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Misty mornings and field living


Misty morning view from the top of the boys field.

Ponies heading up for breakfast :-)

Sharing the same  bucket (even though they have a bucket each).

Posing ponies :-)


You looking at me?



Monday, 9 December 2013

Glorious sunny winter hacking

Saturday we took both ponies to the gallops. Remi did two laps of trot and canter and was then tiring. Remi seems to be slowly building fitness - I could really feel him tire up the hills / start to try and lean on me.

Mac did more in proper gallop, and then the both did a lap to cool down. Remi did offer an amazing extended trot as part of our cool down.

Sunday we had a sunny, relaxed hack. It was one of those glorious, cold, dry, sunny days for hacking. Ground is really good at the moment. Ponies were on good form.


Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Remi 12th bodywork session post Rockley

Email:                                                                       Mob:07815 310568
Remi notes 30th November ‘13

Lunge session:

Remi looked really good. He was longer in frame and more relaxed through his muscles than previous visit. He was a bit reluctant and not willingly forward but even so he looked more balanced, even on left rein and generally more comfortable. Muscles were moving well.

Palpation and massage:

He palpated sore left shoulder region – both in front of and behind scapula – subclavius and latissimus dorsi – sore left quarters especially glutes (dorsal region) and origin of hamstrings (left).

Hamstrings tight left and right.

Back muscles felt soft and released apart from small area right lumbar region.

All released off well.

2nd lunge session post massage

Looked really good – looked to have put on weight! – due to releasing and relaxing muscles.


Continue with what ever you are doing – it’s working!

Video here:

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Remi profile pictures

These pictures represent progress in him building up muscle over his loins / SI area, from whatever injury he did to this area in September / October. I hope that he will keep building up more muscle, but am pleased he seems to be going in the right direction and getting stronger, and is generally back to being relaxed and happy.


Beautiful boy :-)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ponies, lessons, haylage . . .


farrier for both


Normal shoes not eponas in front as needs better grip in mud. Hinds back on as wearing them wonky (hinds high inside wearing outside). Farrier said strong feet - coping barefoot, but the wonkiness is a problem so needs shoes back on. Now I know I could get boots, boot him to reduce wear, etc, and keep trying, but with the winter sporadic hacking, etc. I chose not to.


Eponas back on (I wanted normal shoes as better grip in mud - but he has bruising still coming out of right fore) and eponas will protect him. Normal behind as before. Said has grown lots of foot. Said is growing inside foot but not outside foot. Says has slightly over corrected this by trimming more so is more normal over course next 5 weeks. Was a bit - how does that fit with vet saying do bare minimum and leave alone, but equally can see farriers logic in the balancing he is doing. I dont have the brain power . . .

Had nice long sunny hack with new sharer N who seems very nice. Had too laugh, she sat very nicely on Remi - but didnt seem very in charge of him (Remi has slightly learnt that I let him go when his feet feel good and when he wants to go). He is very stoppable but does try his luck occasionally which is my fault really for teaching him this. I have had to say to both sharers - only let him canter WHEN you tell him. TELL him no. And he is then fine. :biggrin: :biggrin: My fault for hacking him alone lots and being a speed freak!

Back and N helped me move lots of pallets for hay delivery.

Made hay bags, tidied up stables, put up water bucket holders, manger holder, rug rack, plaque outside Mac's stable :biggrin:


Good lessons

Me on Mac. Working on M61 - sitting trot - dont grip with legs Mac hates it. And the trot IS more forward than I think it is. Insist on right bend but dont hang on to rein, ask release, repeat. Need outside left to stop him falling. Soften my right shoulder - sink it to seatbone (both reins, makes big difference). Carry hands and imagine balancing drinks in them.

Funny bit - on circle preparing for canter HP in corner. Trainer says more jump, more canter, imagine you are building canter to go over big fence. Mac leapt in the air, shook his head between his knees and did a series of plunges with very expressive front leg flinging. Me shouting at him "MACKINGTOSH - BEHAVE" and he subsides. Horse lunging leaps too, and Jo stops warming Remi up. Jn stiches as she says she thinks he refused the fence. I pick canter back up and carry on. Not entirely sure what that was about - me driving too hard and asking for more. Something he saw? Joys of winter? He did a funny warming up - he tripped and used it as an excuse to speed off. He mostly worked really well and tried really hard, so bit out of the blue. He carried on, did another right canter half pass, three on the left and finished, quite happy.

We are still a long way off being credible at M61, however when is good, is really good. Just such a lot to remember and it comes up fast. However, it will be good for us, and give us new challenges.

J had her first lesson Remi. She is crooked opposite way to me - which is fab :biggrin: She and Remi are generally a good pari. They had fun, more lessons planned, all good. I came in at end and Remi was all inflated in a good way, and looking very pleased with himself. So fab :biggrin:

Remi had second (final) steriod injection. Who knew his skin and muscle was so tough and the needle was so thick. However we achieved it, and he was angelic. Mac got schooled.

Tuesday morning, I put extra liners on ponies and gave them an extra large breakfast. Then scrubbed out water trough in winter field. Day off for both horses.

Have 30 small haylage bales stacked on pallets at top new winter field. Have agreed to buy a small daily amount from yard big bale for stabling / travelling. So hopefully no more battling with wheelbarrowing hay through mud.

new small bale haylage is:

8.9% protein (compared to 5-7% old stuff)
5.7% sugar (compared to 7-8-9%)
dry matter 65% (compared to 60%)
DE 9.1 (compared to 8.3)

Made from meadow grass (not rye which other was based on)

So hopefully will be better value, easier to handle, Remi wont be a bit runny behind, and I wont need to supplement as much extra protein in their diet.

Fingers firmly crossed.Will see how new haylage goes, how long 30 bales last. Am thinking I need to get it analysed from a point of view of copper / zinc / selenium, but will see if can make it last long enough to be cost effective.

Click to follow blog in Google Plus

Enter your email to follow by Email