Monday, 29 April 2013

Arrgghhh spring grass has arrived

Grass dramas

Remi looked amazing on the lunge on Thursday night. However, he was increasingly footy to hack Friday and Saturday.

Early Saturday morning, I hacked Rem and drove to collect pole basher and horse hay hutch.  Just as well I did – see later!
 hay hutch
I lunged and did raised poles Saturday afternoon (trying to do my homework) and he was quite stiff, and whilst he improved, never looked as good as Thursday.
I was thinking the issue was the rain, the soft ground in field – soft feet / sore frogs / thrush in his deep heel cracks / frog cracks etc.

Nic and others pointed out Saturday night, that we had had sunshine and warm, and rain repeatedly and the grass was growing madly. My husband also pointed out that our home lawn had grown massively. Hmmm thinks Pip.
Sunday morning, up early and Remi still footy and has a faint heel pulse (worst in wonkiest foot). Faint but discernible. Nice other livery (who had an EMS horse) shows me how to feel pulse and informs me that even a very faint pulse is a sign of problems. Just as well she told me, I would have thought a faint pulse is a sign of being alive! Yard owner gives me permission to build an electric paddock in winter field.

I hacked Remi carefully, he was a bit footy on stones but okay on soft, and I think movement helpful.

I left Remi in stable with haylage (til 6pm). Scramble emergency plans build electric paddock. I fortunately picked up some posts and loads of second hand tape up from Chobham last weekend, bought from Ebay.

Rachel came to my rescue, and we spent the day, buying supplies, finding fence posts, and building fencing.

We paddocked across top of winter field finishing near water trough (so can tip buckets from it). I can also drive to top of field to bring hay and feed (no exit but can climb fence here).

I have only given them access initially to half the paddock (dividing fence).

I have sorted tyres for feed buckets to sit in (minus the handles). So I can leave feeds with minerals added in field all day for them to slowly eat.

We set up my "new" horse hay hutch with adlib hay for two to stay dry and out of reach for soiling on it.
We sorted two dustbins for water.
I bought a big leisure battery, and a fence tester.

Mac's ex-owner had kindly given me the energiser a while back.

We used fence tester and were thrilled when all of our fence showed to be live and working

A massively productive day, hugely grateful for Rachel’s help, and motivation. We achieved a lot in one day!

We also did most of the posts in the summer field (as other paddock needs to be up, so other horses can start eating it down for me once they are allowed in summer field).
Remi's pulses were down by time turned out at 6pm. But he did have faint pulse this morning when hacked. Very faint, and he was willing to hack, but still quite footy. I am monitoring and crossing fingers. Hopefully will both horses will soon finish grass in hill top paddock, and mostly be eating haylage, and larger feeds. I can now leave feeds in field for them to pick over all day.
Remi seems happy with the paddock. Mac likes the haylage supply but is less convinced by paddock.
Fingers crossed we caught Remi's grass sugar sensitivity early and this setup will work. I lose my borrowed stable some point this week, and I worry that Remi seems to stops drinking when stabled. And I don’t really want Remi stabled. But we will have to see how he does over next few days 

PS I have killed my I-Phone by leaving it in Mac's feed bucket (of soaked feed) so no current pictures of new set up.



Friday, 26 April 2013

Remi body / posture comparisons

Photos taken thursday 28th March (after home for 4 days) and Saturday 20th April (after home 27 days)

March on left, April on right

Barefoot steps in the right direction

Barefoot steps in the right direction

Monday – hacked after work, alone. Equissaged. 

Tuesday – hacked before work alone

Wednesday – day off

Thursday – lunged - Remi looked best yet on lunge tonight. Moving over his back, stretching down with bend, soft eye, tracking up and totally sound. Lots of snorting and he looked very pleased with himself.

Friday hacking in the rain alone. Remi wasn’t entirely convinced this was a good idea. I didn’t entirely disagree, it wasn’t very pleasant, my bed would have been better! Slightly footier. But trotted out well on roads. Was driving wind and rain and not much fun.

Have lost my mobile phone, in yard indoor barn somewhere. Am VERY cross about this.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Remi posture / muscle

Remi weight / posture / muscle development record 20th April - after home 27 days

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Saturday 20th April - body work report and video

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Remi notes 20th April 2013

Lunge session:

Pre massage assessment – Remi had taken a step back from the improvements he had shown last time but was still much improved on original assessment. He was back to leaning heavily on left shoulder and unwilling to go forwards. Remi had a few days off due to sore feet/reaction to products and had a few days stable rest. He was not stepping through with left fore and appeared braced.

Palpation and massage: (see diagram)

Still straighter through spine – see photo attached taken post massage.


Considering his way if going on lunge he had not regressed too much physically. Some tightness in front of shoulder – serratus ventralis c., left back good, right back reactive. Ridden assessment showed saddle/Pip have a tendency to slip right and on right rein Remi dips quarters a lot to the right.

Left glutes and right hip area sensitive, some tightness right poll area – rectus capitis.


2nd lunge session post massage

Although still not freely moving, he was much more forward and less braced post massage. Improvements were especially obvious on his left rein (his worst rein).


Pip to get back into routine of regular hacking and add in a couple of 10 minute straightening sessions in the school, either under saddle or on lunge, time permitting.

Bodywork - 3rd session post Rockley

Elaine's 3rd home visit. Fortnight after last one. 

Not been a very good fortnight. Battling thrush / deep heel and frog cracks and then flared up cracked heels and massive allergic skin reaction on heel. I have been busy firefighting and causing as many problems as I solve!

Fingered crossed all back under control now. Still have few heel scabs and feet still have frog cracks but think all calmed down and improving. 

So whilst managed an average of four road hacks / week in the fortnight, I managed non of the gymnastic schooling and supplying homework. Non of the lunging / in hand / walk polework exercises  :-(( I prioritised hacking for feet. Remi also had wed and Thursday in stable with heels bandaged.

Initial lunge assessment showed Remi had gone back a bit compared to a fortnight ago. Returned to being more crooked and over loading left shoulder whilst being in right bend. Less free moving, more stilted and less keen to stretch down. Less skin and muscle flow over back.

Treatment found some tightness in left shoulder, under back saddle and in quarters. Left shoulder not as bad as first home visit.

Walked up to assess landings after. Seem much same. Hinds heel first. Fronts intermittent. Probably averaging flat? Views? Filming skills improving - I had poor Elaine lying on floor half in a stable

Lunge after massage. Initially a but sluggish. Remi generally sleepy :-) loosened off to show best movement on left (bad ) rein yet. See last 30 seconds of video.

It seems that Remi can move straighter willingly (shown by the releases and snorts and movement he shows when I improve his alignment), and I need to do more straightening work with him to build on this, and get it to be more established. 

We did ten minutes under saddle in school, at my request, to take advantage of having Elaine's experienced eyes on the ground. 

I hadn't sat on him in school since 28th March for sadder. Right rein walking 20-30 metre oval. Doesn't feel too bad at all. Left rein trying to get neck bend to inside and keep straight and get weight off left shoulder to level him. Generally trying to get weight off left shoulder and more weight over to right shoulder. Also need to increase neck bend to inside as is too plank like through body. Want straightness through bend, not plank like straightness through stiffness. I think I have more instinctive influence over him under saddle than working from the ground. And whilst I am not that good at addressing as subtle crookedness (and have my own default crookedness), unsubtle crookedness is easier to spot and correct under saddle.

Played with exercise in halt to move weight from one shoulder to other and back. Like first step turn on haunches.

Need to guard and correct that Remi throws me and saddle over to right which is where I like to be. Need to stay central .

Trot left working on alignment but okay. Trot right, all drops off to right, quarters come in. Is correctable (but agricultural to correct). Hard work for both of us, and hard to maintain. Did manage to straighten and rewarded with snorts and releasing. Suggested pulsing my weight left in rhythm to stay left.

Didn't do much. But enough to help give me confidence that I have the tools to benefit him with low key school work. Need to guard that I dont do or ask for too much in school under saddle. Plan is to lunge / do some in hand stuff first. Get him warmed up and loosened up and then do 10-15 minutes ridden work on big shapes, focusing on bend, alignment, shoulders and quarters and where weight is. After fitting in hacking wont be more than 1-2 sessions a week in school.

I am hugely grateful to Elaine for her treatment, guidance and support, and her generosity with her time and effort. I am building a team of people who are helping and supporting me with Remi, and it is much appreciated.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sunny Sunday morning :-)

Early morning before day warmed up

Sunny sunday morning hacking with Remi

Naked ponies enjoying the sun on their backs :-)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Mileage and progress

On Sunday 21st Remi had been home 28 days / four weeks.

We have picked one mostly roads and hard tracks loop that is 3.34 miles and repeated it regularly to build confidence and to discourage any napping. And Remi has been a star, going round with his big ears keenly pricked.

We have managed to hack 14 out of 28 days which isnt bad. First two weeks three times a week, second two weeks four times a week :-)

We have even progressed to two successful solo hacks (of which I am very proud).

We have clocked up 47 miles so far, and lots more miles to come.

I was very worried about getting the hacking in, and solo hacking and making it happen. A fair bit of bloodymindedness, and determination and lots of help from friends and it is happening.

I am doing my bit to help him build his better feet - the roadwork hacking, the minerals, the low sugar diet, the movement, the bodywork and straightening work.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Feet photos 20th April

Photos of Remi's feet 27 days after coming home from Rockley

front feet 20th April
Front right 20th April

Hind heel bulbs 20th April
Hind heel bulbs 20th April
Fronts 20th April

Fronts 20th April
hind heel bulbs 20th April
left front 20th April
left front 20th April
right front sole 20th April
right front sole 20th April

left hind 20th April
left hind sole 20th April

left hind 20th April
right front heel 20th April
right front heel 20th April
right front 20th April
right front 20th April
right front 20th April
right front 20th April
right front 20th April

right front 20th April
right front 20th April
right hind 20th April
right hind 20th April

right front 20th April

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