Remi had a wobble at the electric gate out hacking on thursday night. We stopped to open it, and he thought that was a good reason to go home. However Mac came past and I kicked Remi into trot back past him, and we recovered. Today we approached gate boldly, and went through it and up drive in search of Blarney. So pleased with that, we are managing to get further off yard before meet people to hack with. Remi is mostly boldly striding out in front of his hacking companions, ears pricked and looking happy to be hacking. Long may it continue. I think it is mostly confidence with him. Bringing him in from field, there was someone moving a fallen tree, Remi promptly hid behind me, pretending he is an 11hh pony. I have tried explaining as clear boss of the field he should be braver, but he doesn’t see this.
Hack was good. We did more trotting. Still a bit off if any stones on track in trot. But sound on road and mud and sand. And keen and cheerful. I ask for trot and leave him to it, and he trots along merrily. If it is stony he does about three strides, if it is good going / tarmac he trots off and has to be suggested that we stop. I was naughty and ventured about 4 strides of canter up little hill near home. He was keen. I could just feel the canter was there. It was lovely, and I had to actively pull him up (for tree roots ahead) :-)
Poor Jo with us, I just cantered off without warning from trot, but I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, and could feel the canter was an option.
Did yard jobs and then Elaine came back to do body work with Remi and Mac. We looked at Remi on the lunge. He looked nearly as good as where he finished post massage ten days ago. He looked much freer on lunge than he did on Wednesday night.
Elaine treated him. Key points that his left shoulder was nowhere near as bad. I think this is encouraging, as I thought the front feet and shoulder were locked into a cycle, and Elaine was going to need to keep coming back to unlock his left shoulder. His left shoulder was barely a problem. Some other areas of soreness (Elaine’s report to come) and he had soreness in his hind quarters. He is being a bit snatchy about his hind feet (not normal). I think the holes and the frog / heel cracks have been quite sore. And he has made his quarters sore. Hopefully encouraging that he has changed so much in ten days.
I managed a reasonable stab at sheath cleaning whilst he was distracted -YUCK - really needed doing.
We lunged him again (video to follow) and he looked better and better. More like a “normal horse” that moved through his whole body. Could see the muscles rippling along his back. Still landing very asymmetrically in front, but so much better, freer, moving through his whole body. Also straighter, carrying himself more upright and left tilted. Less crooked, more genuinely bent on left in direction of circle.
I suggested a canter on the lunge. Right rein not too bad. Left rein harder. But they are both there, and not horrendous.
He is falling on his left shoulder to avoid loading right leg, need to try and address this. Tried some work in hand, asking him to look to inside, and move inside shoulder and ribs over to outside. Quite hard.
Elaine showed us how to do gyra voltes – like full pass on a circle. Hind legs cross, front legs cross. Going to try this, starting with quarter circles, and try some in hand work. He wasn’t ready for shoulder in in hand, need to get some in hand basics sorted, if I can. Need to establish working on straight and circles, neck to inside, bend through body, but travelling forwards. Feels hard! Homework.
I am a bit worried about his hind feet - both have significant deep concealed holes in the frogs. Think must have been there a while. Waiting for white lightning / clean trax to arrive and will put that in the holes and cross fingers.
Mac also had bodywork, and had some minor bits and pieces done. Both very sleepy ponies, lying in the sun in the field. I managed a lying down cuddle, and some mutual sunbathing. Very cute. Havent managed to cuddle them lying down, and lie down with them both before. Sadly couldnt take a picture of me cuddling them at same time.
Finished at yard 4.45pm, having loaded lorry for Mac's EGB ride tomorrow, made nets, made feeds, and tidied up.
Went and finished birthday shopping for husband and supermarket shopping. All presents wrapped and now exhausted.
Still smiling though. A very good day. :-) Am sure there will be another down in the rounds, and that progress wont be linear. But today was a real glimmer of hope.
And I am feeling encouraged that I have a network of lovely people that are helping me with Remi.