Sunday, January 19, 2014

Born Crooked

I finally made it out to see Comrade today. Unfortunately, being sick has sapped my energy. I knew he would be frisky after not working for over two weeks. So I decided to work him on the line. As I was brushing him, Peggy told me he got a chiropractic visit. The vet said his left side was not too bad, but his right was locked up almost the whole length. She said as drastic as the differences in his sides was, he probably was born with the issues. It is amazing how much he has given us over the years despite his body. I think he will respond well to the chiropractic treatments considering the changes we have seen since finding his uneven back muscles.
He has another appointment on Friday. Then we will see how long the treatment lasts to see how often he will need further treatments. What will be really cool is that another vet has an app that will take video/pictures of Comrade at his different gaits. Then it can slow it down to show when he moves unevenly and where. Peggy needs some good weather to get this done, but it will be worth it.
I took the wild boy to the arena and did a little Clinton Anderson exercises. His lunging manners are basically nonexistent, so this all went toward a common goal. First I worked on him yielding his hind end. Left side he crossed over nicely without me having to make contact with the whip. The right side he did need the whip to encourage crossover. When he responded quickly to my cues, I moved him out on a circle. He of course picked up a trot and took off. I let him go a few times around before asking him to yield his hind quarters. Shorten the line, step toward the horse, look at the hip then swing whip towards hind end. I tend to make a whistling sound to help my timing, plus the horse hears and knows what is coming. This exercise made me wish for a rope halter to help stop his front end. I had to tug the lead line a bit more than normal, but he did have some really nice yields. He is nowhere near ready to do the rollbacks that Roscoe and Rosemary do to change direction. They have more time with the method.
In typical smart horse fashion, Comrade started anticipating my directives. He would change direction when I was going to stay in the same direction. I had to think fast and get him thinking. So I did a "C" pattern where I stayed in one place and when he passed me, I asked him to yield, then change direction and repeat the other way. He did really well with that exercise only going too far a few times. When he settled and did what I asked promptly, I ended the work. He was not sweaty, but he was huffing.
I decided to desensitise him. My guys fall asleep during this exercise, so I figured it would be good for him. Well, lets just say the reactive pony took over. I had to let him run off because when I get sick I get a rash on my hands which is painful at times. He cob trotted away basically flipping me off. Undeterred, I walked over to him and started over. I made sure I was placed correctly to allow him to move around me and I focused on my rhythm flipping the lead. It took a few minutes of him moving before he realized I was not stopping. Then he stood while I was able to flip the lead over his back and butt. We repeated the process on his other side.
He was definitely more frisky then I expected, but I was happy with the work he did. We ended taking the dogs for a walk in the woods. Hopefully I will feel up to riding tomorrow.
Also today is Griffyn's 5th Birthday :)
Birthday Boy

1 comment:

  1. Itd be interesting to see how the chiropractic treatments work.
    Clinton Andersons methods are very good for getting respect from your horses.