Monday, December 19, 2011

Another "clean up" day

"i made a friend. he is small and spotted."
Only today was more of a clean up on his trotting and evaluating our old nemesis: the canter.

waiting patiently for me to get my shit together.

We went straight to work without the longe, practicing leg yields (at which Bobby is quite good) both to right and left at the walk. We also focused on getting a real twenty meter circle at the walk instead of falling off the track. At the trot, he was really good to the right. A little strong, but he tired out pretty quickly and started focusing on what I was asking instead of just rushing forward. More leg yields and more circles to the right, then pretty much nonstop leg yield to the left just to keep him straight. He gets SO counter bent to the left because of his oooold neck injury that unfortunately is really deep muscle and is going to take a long time for it to be comfortable for him.

At the canter, he was ok to the right. Nothing fabulous, but we got two decent twenty meter circles at each end of the arena and one full lap without any serious issues. To the left, it was a HOT. MESS. We couldn't even make it down a long side without falling apart. I didn't want to shake his confidence, because he was trying, so I did two more twenty meter circles to the right at the canter, then jumped off and put him on the longe.

 You can see why he's such a mess. He's so off-balanced from being so counter bent that with a rider on him, he just falls all over the place. After I shot this video, I hooked the line directly to the left side of his bit and tugged his head in a little to keep him bent the right direction. He did three more laps at the canter bent correctly before I let him quit and walked him out. I think I'm actually going to stick to the routine--canter to the right, then finish up with cantering to the left on the line until he gets stronger and I've been able to work on his neck for awhile.

After he was nice and cool and cleaned up, I went to work on the problem spot with the curry. He was loving it.

I snuggled him into his blanket then started working on his legs again. I got quite a bit more mud off his left front and right hind  and a little more off the left hind. His right front, the worst, still wasn't loosening up as much as I would like, but I got a little more off before a few tiny spots started to bleed so I stopped.

i shaved the hair off--it didn't fall off or anything gruesome.
Once more, when I put him back out, he got lost in the paddock and stood there screaming for his friends. Sorry, Bobby. I'm not taking you up every day. It's time to put your thinking cap on!

"where is everyone?"


  1. Sounds like you're both doing pretty well, all things considered.

    I'm sure you already know this, but bend has less to do with where his head is, and more to do with how his body is carrying itself. Once the body is right, the head will generally fix itself.

  2. you can't really see it in the video, but when you're on his back and looking down, the problem starts at his shoulder. the injury is actually right in that little nook where his neck meets his shoulder. he's discombabulated enough as it is, so when he tries to get his long legs moving and the front end can't move properly, is when the whole picture turns into a hot mess.

    one step at a time. i'll be happy if he can canter a straight line in a couple of months!


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