Wednesday, 24 April 2013

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.

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