were unable to lunge due to foul weather . Trot up revealed a little stiffness
but nothing obvious to see.
massage: (see diagram)
palpated stiff and sensitive both shoulders. He was very reactive over left
wither between scapula and spinous processes, left base of neck, pectorals/abs
region and right shoulder, lumbar/gluteals. Suspected that he has slipped in the field, as it has been very wet.
freed off well during massage in spite of some grumpy faces among the many
finished the session with the Physiopod followed by Photonic Torch, which he
very clearly enjoyed!
was having the following day off and then back to usual routine.
Remi wasn't right last tuesday for his
sharer – offering right canter on both reins. I did think he was underpowered
on left rein last week, but he was very chirpy to hack at the weekend.
I had a lesson on Remi on last wednesday morning. He wasn't right. His legs had
really filled over night. He seems to have done something to his left shoulder.
Think probably a slip in the field. Been reluctant on left rein in school a few
days. I was hoping he'd work through it as he was so bright hacking at weekend.
However I also struggled to get left canter, and had some wrong strike offs. He
did loosen up, but there was a strong difference between his movement on left
and right rein. He is good behind though, think hind legs and SI and weight all
Fridaylunchtime - E to do rescue treatment for
Remi. In torrential rain! He was very sore over withers and base neck. Think
slipped in field (wet, and on a steep hill – and they gallop down it :-(.
Was too wet to assess his movement
on lunge before / after as normally do. Responded well to lots of treatment. Remi
was hilarious getting really into his treatment.
We looked at saddle and not quite right - think needs more padding in middle.
The hair rub on his back suddenly much worse – was growing out, and is now
bigger. Mac's saddle is a better fit (same model same width, slightly different
balance). So will use that short term. Saddler booked 15th March.
Mac was sore too (right back of saddle), and I had bodywork too and was also sore and tight. So none of us are fairing too well with slogging through the mud and water!
Saturday, 5 of us divided Mac and Remi's field in half with electric fencing
and built a corral at bottom. As 4 horses need to move into a drier field. It was sunny for fencing! The sun makes everything feel so much more optomistic. Also I hear about horse's that have had no turnout since Christmas, and realise we are lucky in the grand scheme of things (then there are those whose houses and farms are seriously flooded).
Nice hack with K, late Sunday afternoon. Quick spin in school afterwards, and he felt okay on both reins. And was still light to turn them back
out at 6pm!! And dry! :-)) Hope new horses don't charge up and down hill too much when turned out for first time this morning. All horses know field, and each other and used to electric so hopefully not too bad. Fingers crossed as hill is fairly wet.
Think the sunshine we had today has gone to Remi's head. He was seen playing, spinning, leaping and cavorting in the field today. All by himself, when there was no wind. Leap, jump, spin etc. etc.
He is full of himself and determined to express his opinions and grow
old disgracefully. He is also verging on fat! This has never happened before - fat
Remi in February! Today he tried to drag me into someone
else's stable, and he is expressing his views determinedly on whether he wants to be in field or stable. I seem to be creating an opinionated monster!!
He was cheerful on his hack today. Enjoying the sunshine. Keen to canter, and making his own entertainment by manufacturing spooking.
"Remi - it is a car, we are on a road, you might expect to see a car . . ."
"Remi - those roadworks were there last weekend . . ."
"Remi - that stream is always there . . ."
"Remi - that person with a shovel is harmless . . ."
"Remi - that lady dog walker isnt scary . . ."
"Remi - that drain cover has been there the last four years . . ."
All done with very mischievous sparkling bright eyes and no malice.
I'd like to say he needs more work, but he has worked 7 of the last 8 days.
Hmmmm I might need to stop feeding him so much?!? I have been feeding him nearly three time as much feed soaked feed
in the last month. I have long worked on a feed Remi
what he will eat principle. And he is now eating and demanding
He looked more working hunter than TB this morning. This is Remi though, he can drop nearly 100kg in a few days, so he may be back to TB looking next week.
He has also been on tumeric, and ground pepper for a fortnight, so maybe that is making a difference? Or maybe he is just so pleased it has stopped raining.
He wasn't at all pleased to be turned back out again tonight, he has decided he is an indoor horse at the moment. The field is relatively dry, and he has a large feed and adlib haylage in the field. Mac on the other hand still doesn't like his stable, and wants to be an outdoor horse
I had Remi's
shoes put back on in late October. He hadn't been right since early September.
And his feet went v soft and sore in October. He wasn't comfortable in field
and his SI area kept getting v sore as was holding himself. He wouldn't settle or
eat / drink in the stable to come in. He dropped weight and muscle and was sore
in his SI.
Initial plan was shoes whilst we ran updated forage analysis (thought haylage
sugars??) and a range of blood tests looking for a metabolic issue. And treated
his SI problems.
However no forage or metabolic explanation was found. And he was so happy in
his shoes. Mac’s sharer kept joking that someone had been feeding Remi happy
pills?! His eyes gleamed and he became more playful in field. I am under no illusions that there must be something not quite right in his lifestyle or underlying health to make his feet sensitive, and happier shod.
His next bodywork treatment on his SI held. My vet (also a physio) came and
pronounced him sound and SI fine but needing to build up and strengthen.
Remi has rubber plastic EPONAs in front. These provide frog stimulation and
will allow foot to flex and deform and reform as move. And normal shoes behind.
We love the EPONAs! My farrier loves them too, and ironically dislikes metal
shoes (though a lot of his business is using them).
Remi is better through his body since being re-shod. Interestingly now he is
less tight through his shoulders he is much happier to be stabled. Which
ironically now gives me more management options. He has gone from refusing to
settle in stable to demanding to be in when weather is terrible. We think that
sore front feet meant he was holding his shoulders, which meant they were
tight, which meant he struggled with being stabled without being sore.
He is also now eating and eating. Which is rare and great. Remi has long been a
finicky eater when in discomfort.
It hasn't been a winter without various hiccups and I have struggled with him
living out a on hill in rain. Never going to be easy with a big, long horse
with a weak SI over winter. Now he will eat in stable, I am able to bring him
in a lot more, but he is best out, in all but heavy rain, as moving is better
for his joints. He has become a bit of a DIVA – he likes to be out, except when
it is v wet, then he wants to be IN!
I am watching his feet and taking each week as it comes. I think being barefoot
has massively helped his feet condition and shape. And being shod when was
sore, has massively helped his body. Currently his feet look quite good. His
landings and his plaiting behind is as good shod as they have been in 19 months
he was barefoot.
It may well be his feet / movement deteriorates longer term in shoes and I have
to rethink. Or it maybe that different issue catches up with him. At the
moment, I cannot look my horse in the eye, and justify taking his shoes off.
Nor can I improve his management beyond what it is (and I am already pretty
damned OCD about his lifestyle!!!). Nor can I find what his footiness triggers
are. Nor can I risk him being sore and re-injuring his SI from holding himself.
I am very
interested in barefoot, as feet health, foot balance etc remain critical to
Remi, and I want to stay as educated as possible, and to keep an open mind for