October 18, 2011 4 Comments
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Derby is suffering some latent stiffness and muscle pain stemming from both the abscess and the fact that he really needs more conditioning, especially with respect to his hind end and his top line. At the moment, some muscles in his hind end are quite tense and tight, causing him to move stiffly, starting from his hips, and evidenced by shorter strides, and a back that doesn’t swing. He’s particularly reluctant to move out on his right hind, and Dr. Nicky said she suspects that he’s still off from using his hind limbs asymmetrically when he had the abscess. She prescribed Robaxin along with a program of longing and riding with the specific aim of stretching and strengthening those muscles. So, even though he’s not moving perfectly, I need to get on and really ride.
The imperative from the vet and the lingering effects of the Dover clinic have galanized me, and Christy, who is no longer inclined to cut me any slack. The lesson tonight worked a lot on leg yield and canter transtions, which were especially sticky to the right, requiring me to sit up, ride and require equine compliance and cooperation.
Overall, I’m happy with our work tonight. The trot is more reliably round and forward. I’m getting better contact, though I may have to give some credit to a softer bit – Derby went very nicely in a fat KK, switching out from the thinner Myler comfort snaffle. And after a few attempts, I got a nice, immediate upward transition going right. That took some doing – that’s the lead we’ve been having difficulty with, most likely due to the abovementioned lameness and conditioning woes. We had no such issues going left – Derb picks that lead up right away.
And the trot is better, though in this video, you can see in Derby’s tail carriage (tense, held out) that he’s a bit uncomfortable. I hate that he is, but am determined to minimize this uncomfortable period by rigorously following the vet’s instructions, (and feeding lots of carrots and cookies to make up for it in the meantime.)