Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Remi 7th bodywork session post Rockley

Email: elaine@orchardfarmequitherapy.co.uk
Mob:07815 310568

Remi notes 20th July 2013

Lunge session:

Pre massage assessment – Remi had been footsore earlier in the week.

On the lunge he looked as good as he ever has pre-massage. Barely falling to left shoulder , upright and relatively straight by comparison. No sign of being footsore.


Remi had been ridden in a lesson earlier that morning and had gone well in the lesson too – suspect lesson also loosened him and straightened him up.


Palpation and massage:


Palpation showed nothing out of the ordinary – some tension in left shoulder, base of neck (serratus v.c.) and tightness in glutes both sides but nothing unexpected in a working horse.


We didn’t lunge a second time but he walked out happily to the field.




What ever you are doing is working – keep at it!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Good weekend

Saturday - lesson with Mac 8.30am. Mac feeling well.

Remi lesson with sharer. Back on form. Looking good. Instructor said best seen him move. Said free-est seen through shoulders. Ran through N22 (shared hoping to take him to do some unaff dressage late august). Remi loved practising a test - he puffed himself up and showed off (flying changes in counter canter not required :biglaughA:

Is lovely watching sharer ride him. They are good together.

Elaine to do body work. Remi looked okay on lunge. And didnt have too much to treat. Said was as good as has seen him. He has clearly bounced back!! Still not sure what was the issue / what has changed. :scratchchin:

Mac was good to treat. Said his back and muscles good. Mac is a happy pony and loving life at the moment.

I have let both horses them out into main field (the one paddock is in). It has been topped and is pretty dry and dusty. With three other horses they know. Fingers crossed Remi doesnt go footy. 


Sunday  - Friston Endurance ride with Mac near Eastbourne



I had grass and haylage sugars tested on last wednesday . After about 2.5 weeks of constant sunshine and no rain. Grass looks like hay in the fields.


Haylage 10% sugar
grass 9% sugar

Interesting as grass in same field was 11.5 % sugar in February. I imagine it was 15-25% in spring / early summer flush.

This does fit with how other horses on yard are fine unmuzzled at the moment. And how my horses strongly prefer the haylage over all grass, even fresh grass when I move fence.



Not much point feeding haylage!

Remi was pretty good to hack on Friday morning, much happier on stones and rough bits. He was good in lesson saturday, and got a report as good as has been from instructor and Elaine.

No logic to why he was footy for about 10 days and now isnt. Nothing has changed, if anything grass should be more stressed. No logic. But he is not footy and happy again.

I have decided to try both in main field overnight, from saturday night. It is v dry and has been topped. Is about 5 acres, with three other horses who have been living out in it for a while. Is part of the same field my paddock is in, and part of the grass I did sugar testing on.

Will see how they go.

Would mean less poo picking, water bucketing, and haylage carting, if Remi can manage in big field for a bit. Is is also so much nicer for them in a large, interesting space with others, and with lots of shade.

No pulses sunday or monday morning, and walking up track from field as normal (can see if footy). But he normally takes 3 days to react, and a week to recover. So all crossed for him staying okay. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Remi has been intermittently footy for last 10 days :-(

Initially I thought it was from boxing out to do a longer hack a few weeks ago.

Had trimmer on Monday, and he was footy on gravel and slow on concrete, and flatter landing in front. And short all four legs in school and tight through shoulders.

Not really sure why he is footy. He was fairly footy to hack Friday and Saturday. He has enough foot not to be expected to be sore due to wear on hard ground, has sufficient sole and hoof wall.

Ground is hard, but not rock hard in field. He hasn’t done that much hacking. No reaction to hoof testers, no pulses. Was short generally on lunge, and looked tight in front, and through shoulder, especially on left rein. Standing a bit funny, neck looks a bit inverted. We think is footsore in all four feet. Possible we have had a few sweeter haylage bales? Smells and tastes very sweet, and they are eating the haylage very quickly in preference to the grass. Unsure. Grass we think is drying up and losing sugar content. Haylage is also going off in heat. Bit of a nightmare.

Remi looks a bit off. Feet are flaking. Eyes slightly runny, slight heat rash. Though looks a good weight, tending to slightly too well covered (not that Remi has ever been actually fat).

Mac on the other hand looks a bit like a bullock (though not in a laminitic way). Coat bright, feet shiny, attitude bouncy, schooling nicely.

They don’t look like are on same minerals and diet and routine.

Not really sure why Remi is footy. Ground is hard. But we are sandy soil, and paddock has some grass cover. It isn’t v v hard. And he isn’t doing a lot of hacking to merit sore feet (far less than has been as is foot sore).

Remi was a bit better this morning. So will see. Lam app is confusing me. It has been green or yellow until Tuesday morning but is now off the scale red yesterday and today. Big swing.

Grass is v dry, and going brown and turning to hay. Think grass may have less sugar in it at the moment, and may be LOWER risk.

My haylage has been sweating in wrap, and seems to be a very sweet wet batch of haylage. Chewing the knots in the stems, and smelling it seems very very sweet.

I have sent some grass and some haylage off for rapid sugar testing. So see will what sugars are like. In short term I have halved their haylage, and am hoping they will eat more grass (is stalky grass in field where I am pushing fence line back, that they have not yet eaten).

If haylage is currently higher sugar than grass, I may halve again the haylage I feed, and speed up the increase their access to long grass by pushing paddock up fence line faster. But the lam app would seem to disagree with this.

I am pondering opening my whole strip up if the grass comes back lower than the haylage. Or looking for lower sugar haylage (next bales might be fine) and keeping them in grazed part if both come back high.

Bit stumped, he had been going so well after last trim, and been enjoying hacking and schooling.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Remi update

Remi update

Remi is generally good.

We did a short hack Sunday and he was a bit footy, which I think was a combination of the ground going hard so quickly and doing a longer hack Thursday and Saturday.

Monday evening he was still footy outside the school. Inside the school he was good, and we had a good lesson together.

Tuesday his sharer rode him and he was good in the school and they are building a partnership.

He had Wednesday off and his sharer schooled him Thursday. He has stopped being footy walking to and from the field. We hacked both this morning, and Remi was a little footy on stones again. But looking amazing trotting on grass – power trotting through long grass! Really picking up behind.

I think that the ground is much harder and he is self trimming in field, and probably doesn’t need to do much hacking at the moment. Will see what trimmer says on Monday. His feet do look fairly short. We have shelved plans for a long hack tomorrow, and will go for a shorter, softer ground hack. The laminitis app is back in the red as of this morning too, though I think this is secondary.

On the plus side, he is continuing to build up from the school work.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Longer hacks

We have been slowly upping Remi's workload. We have been generally doing longer routes and doing them a bit faster. Though the harder ground does limit speed in places.

On thursday evening he did a long hack, nearly twice as long as normal, with lots of trotting. I was very pleased that he was looking spritely the next morning in the school with my sharer. Some nice swing in his trot and canter, and he looked happy.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early. Boxed both ponies to local hacking - Godstone sandtracks early this morning -  it was blissfull

Glorious hack. Remi led most of the way and Mac practiced his manners at trotting and cantering behind. Was early enough to be sunny but not too hot. Mac was bouncy with the odd leap and bounce but was mostly very good. We did let him lead a little in the second lap, then took Remi past him in canter, and he coped. Long ride for Remi - 11km at 8km an hour. Was mostly walking or cantering as stony tracks / roads and sand canter tracks. :banana:

Was lovely to take both ponies out, and they are so lovely together.

Had to borrow water of the nice people opposite car park (is a residential centre). As it was a line in the water container, not water! Ponies sponged off. And back home. Fairly hot now. Ponies came off lorry sweating. I put stuff away whilst sharer bathed both ponies and combed out both tails :inlove:

Ponies in field, with fly rugs and spray. We moved fencing back again, cleared long grass off fence, cleaned out and filled waters, took hay up, fed ponies, did all poo picking, and collected all poo to take down to muck heap.

By 1.15pm all jobs done and lorry loaded for EGB ride tomorrow. And we were in the pub, having Pimms and lunch!

I have been upping and upping the size of the paddock whilst upping Remi's workload. So far so good, no sign of grass problems or weight problems. Have started moving fence back twice a week. Am keeping a sharp eye. Am hoping now he is fitter and stronger and doing more, he can cope with more grass. Will see. I would like to get paddock up the hill and to the shade, but this is still a long way off.

At the moment they still get as much haylage as they can eat (normally 2 large bale slices a day). And they are still eating this. But it is a challenge as the bales are not keeping as long in this warmer weather.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Remi bodywork 6th session post Rockley

Email: elaine@orchardfarmequitherapy.co.uk                                    
Mob:07815 310568

Remi notes 30th June 2013

Lunge session:

Pre massage assessment – Remi had been lame on Friday – stiff but sounder on Saturday and today he presented stiff, leaning on his left shoulder – his default crookedness - and stepping short in front, especially left fore.
He was braced through his body and generally lacking in enthusiasm to go forward.

Palpation and massage: (see diagram)

Palpation showed soreness in left shoulder, especially deltoid which was very tight and rope-like, right base of neck (serratus and subclavius), tight through withers.

He released off well during massage.

2nd lunge session post massage

Moving better – less braced and leaning but not as much improvement as expected.

Pip had lesson booked for her sharer later and we decided it was a good idea for Remi to do some straightening work etc. with her instructor.

Pip later reported instructor had seen gradual improvement throughout the lesson and ended up with him moving the best she had seen – so it was a good decision to go ahead.


Massage booked for 20th July.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

"Faulty" horses

I don't think I have "proper" horses. I think mine are faulty!

Sharer found back line of electric fence had come down but Mac and Remi were in the starvation grazed down side. And no sign of having gone through the fencing.

Tonight I moved the fence back to give them more grass. Did they notice - no. They just kept on eating haylage. 

They do enjoy the fresh grass but they eat in rotation - short grass, haylage, long grass. 

Strange creatures.

There are three mares in field next door. All madly in season. Mac and Remi seem fairly oblivious whilst the mares want to come through fence and join them. Don't think Mac and Remi see the point of girls!

Monday, 1 July 2013

All Go - Lots Done :-)

 Friday – Remi was unlevel left fore and didn’t get worked. Nothing to see. Bang / bruise / strain? Unsure?

Saturday - Windsor EGB for Mac. Mac was lively to put it mildly, it was a bit too exciting. Glorious day, great going. It was either hot and muggy or hot and sunny. I was shattered by the time we got back. Cold hosed Mac. Lunged Remi who looked much better and more crooked than lame. Cold hosed Remi. Cleared lorry out. Poo picked field. Massive sun headache. Dashed home for bath and house tidy. Friend round for Chinese takeaway, general catch up, and girls night in.

Sunday - slept in. Slow to get going. V slow to wake up. Ponies in for bodywork with Elaine. Mac okay and didnt need treating. He thought he missed out though. Remi was rather crooked and tight through shoulder on lunge. Released off well, and improved a bit on lunge, but not as good as previously seen him move. Remi loved the treatment was less convinced about the merits of lunging in the hot sun. Elaine happy for him to do lesson late afternoon, focused on straightening and aligning him. Remi had lesson 4pm with sharer.

Before lesson we poo picked, cleaned trough topped up water bins, cleared poo back down to muck heap, moved fence back to extend paddock and give a fresh strip of grass and went to pub for quick Pimms :-)

Back to cold hose Remi and quickly tack him up for lesson. Remi got better and better through lesson, and instructor thought best seen him move. Instructor suggested Remi had spent afternoon processing his bodywork.

After more tiding up, hay down to field. We cleared ragwort from new field strip, cleared grass off outside electric fence (big job), changed energiser batteries, moved energiser (dug hole in hard ground for earth), cleared out hay containers of skanky hay. Scrubbed feed buckets and cleaned out feed tyres, fed ponies.

Home to ice lolly, pizza, cold beer and bath. This morning had a lovely early morning hack, both ponies on good from and glorious early morning sunshine.

Planning a lorry trip out for hacking in different surrounds for both horses Saturday. :-)

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