Thursday, 22 December 2016

Lesson with Jessica Wade

So noticeable improvement.

I am still struggling physically to keep a grip on the left rein, some of it is neurological and some is habit.

He went noticeably better from the get go :-) so chuffed with that.

Will keep on keeping on

If he leans and buggers off then *do something* , do a circle get control back and resume exercise don't just sit and hope that somehow divine intervention will work ...

So today's schooling patterns

SI -> 10m circle to restore forwardness - > SI

On a 20m circle

1/4 circle travers -> straight 1/4 circle -> 1/4 circle travers -> straight 1/4 circle

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Lesson with Jessica Wade 20th December

So today I concentrated on keeping my left rein a set length.

If he shortens his neck send him to the contact, if he leans activate the hind leg.

Was difficult at first as Chorrie wasn't settled but by keeping the rein length and not fiddling we got a good contact and a much better trot left rein.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Back on the blog

So following the terrible loss on the 16th July (RIP darling Oliver Beagle) Chorrie was pretty much unridden for a week as I was barely keeping my head above water emotionally.

How do you cope when someone that has shared your life and been loved by you for sixteen year dies? Well I guess I didn't truth be told.

Anyway I got back on board on the 24th and it was pretty obvious that a week of not much work wasn't good for the pony.

Had a second lesson with Jess today and things are back on track.

However I need to work on having him even in both reins as he hangs on the left so need to fill the empty right rein.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The week that was and a lesson in the sunshine

It's been a difficult few days, on Friday 8th April Chorrie spooked coming out of the barn lost his back end and got away from me.

Turned him out as no physical marks and went to Hartpury for the Winters to cheer lead Jess on her up and coming young horse Empire H. Jess rode a fabulous test, and I had a lovely day with Trudi and John. Got back to yard and pony trotted up sound

Saturday 9th rode pony in large outdoor and he wasn't right behind. Sunday rode with Jess and he was improved on Saturday but stiff right hind , a bit better again come Monday but still NQR

Physio out on Thursday , to her it felt like he cork screwed as he fell , disappointingly there was a lot for her to do and he needs an easy week

Matt from Grant Chanter out on Friday, front lower right premolar wobbly, a few chips bit otherwise as you would expect, next visit in six months.

Then out to lunch at Witney Lakes which was lovely

Huge disappointment only part of my order from Horse Health arrived and not the saddle cloths and ears I was looking forward to

Saturday did a bit of walk work and spent time descabbing the mud fever scabs with Sudocrem and cling film !!!

Sunday lesson

So biggest take home was if he is leaning on right rein, ask him to bend left and use right leg.  Use twice as much leg as hand otherwise you are just wagging his head ( my words ) and not being clear you want him to keep moving.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Transitions on a Tuesday

So today's learning was in plain English get the pony off his head aka front legs and more towards being on his hind legs.

He likes to use my hand as a fifth leg, fair enough I like a decent contact but there is a difference between a contact and pony leaning and balancing on my hand .

So lots of transitions that are more seat than hand and it does help, he seems to particularly lean post lateral work (tiredness?)

I still need to place the shoulders then ask the hind quarters in half pass especially trot half pass.

Tomorrow will be walk/trot/walk transitions

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Saturday's learnings

Pony seems to very much enjoy his lateral work, he gets very jolly post lateral work and lots of transitions were needed to get some semblance of control back

Half pass in trot need to ensure he doesn't go deep, also be more consistent in shoulders first 

Leg yield need to go forwards and over not just over

Carrying a whip does help

Need to be stricter with myself by door I need to

A) Not look out
B) Ride normally 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Physio Report Thursday 11th February

Previous history

Ridden work progressing, trot work established, working up to 45 minutes 5 days a week. CL remains stable and non reactive.


Seen in walk and trot on the straight and circles; gait characteristics remain largely static; good in trot on small circles with a good degree of elevation and suspension phase is well marked even on small circles.

On palpation there is a good improvement with the epaxial muscles of the back although showing a degree of hypertonicity shows resumption of a more normal tonicity in particular the lumbar region is much soft and good flexibility in the lumbar sacral regions. The pelvic muscles show moderate degrees of  shortened tightened muscle but once again this is an improvement  with correct tone in the hamstrings.

The base of the neck palpates with a degree of hypertonicity but responds well to myofascial techniques. Range of motion techniques show a correct degree of  flexibility in the main junctions of the spine and the RF shows a correct posture; the tendency to stand over this limb is not apparent today.

Treatment and plan

Manual therapy including massage, myofascial release and trigger point techniques with emphasis to the regions highlighted combined with active stretches and mobilisation to the neck, back.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Sofa covers

am blogging this so I remember as I seem to forget every second time w change the covers

Put the back cover on , put one arm on and then put the other arm on

Back first then arms

Friday, 22 January 2016

Lessons with JRW

I think I can honestly say that the help and lessons I've had from JRW have been pony life changing, JRW's mother was a pillar of support through the alt vet debacle

Anyway I'm out the other side, pony is going well, we're trotting and just about to consider adding in leg yield in trot

Physiotherapist recommended order of introduction in trot

  1. Leg yield
  2. Shoulder in
  3. Travers
  4. Half pass
This morning was all about contact good article on Eurodressage here about it. 

I have a tendency to not give enough and take too much, I need the reins short enough to help him but  with elasticity within that contact so he can travel forwards. 

I'm also not using my elbows to maintain the contact I can hear SFO banging her head on the stable wall from here, sometimes it feels I get on my pony out my hat on and take my brain out.

Anyway JRW was really helpful this morning working on the contact with me must do elbows homework tomorrow

Pony was on good form we even had a few strides of unasked for canter when there was pony squealing outside.

Pony saw the physiotherapist ND yesterday who was pleased with foot picking up improvement, general pony appearance, trotting on tiny circle, explained I was suspicious of RH and he wasn't as easy flexing on left rein, some tightness on right side which fitted but ND felt was training response.

So we're good to go, hence introducing lateral work in trot so because we are upping the work have brought the next ND visit forward, 


Seen in walk and trot on the straight and circles; gait characteristics remain largely static; good in trot on small circles but does show more caution moving around the RF when turning to but also noted similar caution on the left rein but this could be influenced by the rotation in this fetlock. To the left he does swing the RH a little wide and puts the quarters to the right. 

On palpation the right mid to caudal thoracic back shows regions of shortened muscle fibres with some ridging in the area behind the saddle and trigger point tenderness. The left side being the 
better side this time. The right base of neck palpates with better tone this time and the left neck is a little more hypertonic but more to the dorsal region. The left poll region to C2/3 junction was also addressed. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

How to waste money and make yourself sad

So the boy fell over in the field was seen to go straight down landing heavily on his side, this caused him to struggle to lift his front limbs and he was biting at his shoulder.

A much loved and respected friend had had good results with RJ a vet with a different take on stuff, my vet Liz was happy for Chorrie to see RJ but didn't think he'd be able to do much and how right she turned out to be. If only I'd listened so RJ came and saw and failed to listen to me and told me Chorrie had significant pain on flexion of fetlock joints.

So of course I went into headless chicken mode, believing I'd let Chorrie down, so I had Liz out to do a clinical exam and Chorrie trotted at the end of the lead rope so well under a 10m circle on the hard both ways and was SOUND as Liz said not many horses can pass that test and even fewer at 23.

The effusion is better than you'd expect for a 23yo, we imaged the neck and there is some arthritis but again nothing remarkable for a 23yo

So lesson is trust the team you've assembled there isn't always a fix, however time has helped and we're back to normal with picking feet up


Long-standing reluctance to pick up front limbs; recently deteriorating and farrier finding it increasingly difficult to shoe in front – that said, much of the reluctance to lift limb can seemingly be overcome by  protracting the limb to lift it, rather than simply “picking it up”. When front limbs can be elevated, horse shows an (involuntary?) muscle shudder through the ipsilateral shoulder, a marked head and neck lift of approximately 50cm with opening of the oral lips, and he will then typically turn to bite at  (particularly right, which seems to be worst affected side) shoulder region.

Appears happy to lift both hind limbs normally. He adopts a slightly over-at-the-knee stance. No digital pulses were palpable (although a  previous supporting limb laminitis had been reported in association with a recent check-ligament sprain.)

Problems are reportedly worse in cold, wet weather; 1g of oral phenyl-butazone daily has allegedly made no difference to any of his conditions.

Initial led walk away from stable produces noticeable base-wide action in all limbs, reminiscent of some cases of inco-ordination, paresis or reduced proprioception; however, the base-wide movement is not sustained and more normal action is displayed within minutes of commencing led walking exercise. Lateral sway tests negative, horse reins-back well and a jumbled grid of trotting poles at different angles, some on the ground, some elevated at one end was negotiated with ease and good foot placement from all limbs.

Blinfolded tests were not performed but genuine ataxia did not appear to be present.

Led trot was unremarkable. Hind limb crossing action on tight circles was unusual in that the inside leg on each rein executed a smooth protraction-adduction movement with each stride over a good range of movement, but the outside limb on both reins stumbled consistently with each protraction-abduction stride.

On palpation, bilateral stiffness was found in the lower (C4-C5-C6) cervical vertebrae with no appreciable lateral movement through this area; marked bilateral triceps muscle spasm was evident (but minimal hypersensitivity around withers); bilateral longissimus lumborum tension – possibly mildly spasming – and small amount of increased tension in both middle gluteal muscles (possibly slightly more noticeable on right side).

These findings were discussed with the horse's owner. Because of the unknown nature of the lower cervical  vertebral blockade and the mixed bag of clinical signs (some possibly suggestive of neural component, others simply not) it was mutually agreed that primary mobilisation of the lower cervical region would not be attempted prior to further diagnostic work being conducted on the area. Efforts were therefore focused on relieving the tension in the lumbar and caudal shoulder regions, as follows:

Firstly, the lumbar area was successfully manipulated and mobilised, resulting in an immediate relaxation of the tight longissimus and gluteal muscle groups. Repeated led walk and trot exercise demonstrated a significant elevation in hind limb movement, with increased axial rotation around the sacrum and lateral excursion of the tubera coxae.

Secondly, the shoulder regions were successfully manipulated and mobilised, resulting in an immediate relaxation in both triceps muscles and a cessation of the mild hypersensitivity previously seen at the withers. During mobilisation, the dorso-palmar range of movement in the proximal forelimbs was shown to not be unduly restricted; similarly, there was no evidence of pain or abnormal physical restriction to passive movement of the proximal limbs in any other plane. Full extension of the carpi appeared to be physically restricted, although no pain was elicited in the attempt; passive carpal movement in all other planes appeared normal for the horse's age. Bilateral effusions were noted in the proximal fetlock joint capsules, and a degree of puffiness was noted around all four distal limbs. The horse very much resented fetlock flexion, to the point of reproducing the previously witnessed head and neck lift with mouth opening each time either front fetlock was flexed; this could be reproduced with the proximal limb flexed, neutral or extended, suggesting that the pain was entirely focused on the fetlocks themselves. Interestingly, Chorister appeared entirely comfortable and relaxed with each fore limb lifted in full extension (notwithstanding the restriction in his carpi); it was decided to perform gentle lateral excursions of the head and neck whilst each forelimb was held in full extension; these manoevres can be performed by the horse without having to recruit painful of physically restricted vertebral segments, but Chorister did perform lateral bending of the neck from C1 to C5, and the C4-C5 segment was noticeably more relaxed afterwards.

Repeat led walk and trot showed improvements in proximal forelimb suspension and freedom of movement. On tight circles on both reins, the inside limb movement was still good and there was a noticeable improvement in the action of the outside limbs, with less stumbling movement. Crucially, Chorister appeared a little more content to lift his fore limbs; even with a conventional lift-retraction approach. When elevated there was less proximal musculature shuddering evident, and he did not turn around to bite at his shoulder. It is not known if this apparent benefit will be sustained for any length of time.

The effusion in, and the significant pain on passive flexion of, the front fetlock joints is considered worthy of further investigation. It is unknown what part this discomfort might be contributing to his reluctance to pick up his feet (or, indeed, if it plays any part at all) but they would appear to be the anatomical areas that are causing him the most trouble at this moment. An apparent lack of response to 1g of phenylbutazone is probably insufficient to rule-out pain and inflammation in a horse of his size.

In addition, diagnostic imaging could be considered for the neck region (and particularly of C5-C6) since an absence of imageable pathology in this area might increase confidence in attempting primary manipulation and mobilisation of this area, although  the relevance of stiffness in this area is not obvious.

All change

Gosh it's been a long time since I posted on here

So lost my riding mojo due to a combination of work stress, an alternative vet getting it wrong but causing me to be very worried and just stop riding I then restarted but became a bit rudderless without regular lessons.

Whilst TG comes regularly to the yard work is such that I am struggling to make the lesson times. I'm better with regular lessons that's how I roll

So I sat down and did some thinking I can't keep dipping Chorrie in and out of work, either I get him in work and give it a proper shot or retire him I doubt he'd mind retiring.

So decided to give it a proper shot and it's been going well  I'm riding regularly, he's now back trotting, I've put the alternative vet visit behind me and we're making progress