Senior progress thread?

Topic for older horses and older riders
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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:29 pm

Sounds like a good plan Demi. Good that you know how to ground drive because I sure do not. Does he want her ground driven just at the walk? It sounds like he doesn't think it's a soft tissue problem or else he wouldn't have prescribed work.

Are you sure she doesn't have mildly loose or sticking stifles? Because if she did, Estrogen injection is often done. Maybe that is what the vet was thinking as an option? This is a good link to read. Atlanta Equine has a great vet and good articles. This says horses can get really scared and behave badly if they think their stifle is going to stick or hurt. Much worse in mares.
http://www.atlantaequine.com/pages/clie ... rogen.html

You might also think about trying a week's worth of ulcer meds. I know that excuse is overused (just like saddle fit :D ) but the fact is a lot of horses do have ulcers. Especially mares and nervous horses. Gwen just found out her pony has them.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:19 am

demi wrote: If I continue working her, I will have to get better at watching for and recognizing discomfort. Also, I will need to distinguish between minor discomfort due to muscles and joints getting stronger, and discomfort due to pushing her too hard.


My own thought is that there shouldn't be any visible discomfort, minor or otherwise due to muscles and joints getting stronger, and if there is then I think the horse has been pushed too hard. And the reason I believe that is because it's such a fine line between strengthening and permanently damaging, and if they're sore enough that we can see it then it was too much.

Until one can see mild hind end lameness it can go undetected, and then, just like everything else, when one does learn to see it they can spot it easily. My vet showed me what to look for, and the easiest for me is to stand behind the horse and watch how high the top of each hip rises as the horse walks or trots on a straight line. The higher side is the one they don't want to use as much, so the lamer one.

Back problems are a whole nother issue, because horses just move more carefully to protect their sore backs so I'm never sure if they're sore or not. There are however, numerous videos on youtube that demonstrate different ways to check for sore backs.

The big problem of course, is that horses instinctively try to mask any weaknesses, so can get quite sore before it shows.

If it was me I'd do the same things it sounds like you're planning to do: give it a month and then re-test to see how she's doing.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:10 pm

MC, thanks for the article. Very good info to have and I will ask the vet about it when I take Emma back for her recheck. It's possible she could have mildly loose stifle(s) and I brought this up again when I talked to the vet yesterday (it was before I got your article). The reason I brought it up again is that I have at times felt a strange step like a sticking stifle. He said he didn't feel that in her, but he didn't rule it out.

I don't know if he feels soft tissue is not a problem and didnt think to ask. However, when I did question how soon I should start working her again, he said the Previcox (initial dosage 3/4 tab) would only need 24 hours to take affect so I could start then. Would that indicate he thought soft tissue damage was a possibility?


And, ground drive at walk only. I wouldn't be able to keep up with her going uphill at a trot anyway :shock: . Although I trained Rocky to ground drive, I have not taught Emma. It took three months to get Rocky proficient and I think Emma might take even longer, given the whip problem. So instead, I will be doing our "lunge routine" in which I walk 5 meters out, beside her shoulder. She has gotten very good at this. It will be better than driving her because I will be able to watch her as we go along.

In reading about building up quadriceps, it says that the most common mistakes are doing too much, too soon, and then giving up too soon. So I will be aware of this. Besides hill work, both my vet and the literature mentioned cavaletti. I will start with the hills since we have the perfect location for it. After the recheck, I may consider cavaletti.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:21 pm

kande50 wrote:
demi wrote: If I continue working her, I will have to get better at watching for and recognizing discomfort. Also, I will need to distinguish between minor discomfort due to muscles and joints getting stronger, and discomfort due to pushing her too hard.


My own thought is that there shouldn't be any visible discomfort, minor or otherwise due to muscles and joints getting stronger, and if there is then I think the horse has been pushed too hard. And the reason I believe that is because it's such a fine line between strengthening and permanently damaging, and if they're sore enough that we can see it then it was too much.

When I talk about visible discomfort due to the work itself, I do realize the fine line between strengthening and damaging.
That's what makes horse training so difficult for me. I am so afraid of hurting my horses that I sometimes don't push hard enough. And yet I know that to move forward, some pushing is necessary.




Until one can see mild hind end lameness it can go undetected, and then, just like everything else, when one does learn to see it they can spot it easily. My vet showed me what to look for, and the easiest for me is to stand behind the horse and watch how high the top of each hip rises as the horse walks or trots on a straight line. Thanks for this, I didn't know it. The higher side is the one they don't want to use as much, so the lamer one.

Back problems are a whole nother issue, because horses just move more carefully to protect their sore backs so I'm never sure if they're sore or not. There are however, numerous videos on youtube that demonstrate different ways to check for sore backs.With Emma,
I could see when the vet palpated her back that she dropped it a little. I can't press her hard enough to get a response myself..


The big problem of course, is that horses instinctively try to mask any weaknesses, so can get quite sore before it shows.

If it was me I'd do the same things it sounds like you're planning to do: give it a month and then re-test to see how she's doing. Glad you approve :)

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:03 pm

demi wrote:When I talk about visible discomfort due to the work itself, I do realize the fine line between strengthening and damaging.
That's what makes horse training so difficult for me. I am so afraid of hurting my horses that I sometimes don't push hard enough. And yet I know that to move forward, some pushing is necessary.


Some pushing yes, but I personally, don't think there's any such thing as *not* pushing horses hard enough, because the easier we are on them the more likely it is that they'll stay sound enough so that we can ride them another day.

I understand that some don't care as much about that goal as they do about achieving other goals, but if someone isn't confident that they know how hard they can push their horse, then it certainly makes sense to me to push less than they think their horse might be able to withstand. After all, they can always up the workload later when they become more confident that the current one really is way too easy. :-)

I could see when the vet palpated her back that she dropped it a little. I can't press her hard enough to get a response myself..


When that happens I always wonder if any equally sensitive horse would have flinched under that kind of pressure?

One video I watched did call into question the practice of running the blunt end of a pen down the horse's back to test for soreness, as they'd noticed the same thing I had, that the horse would flinch the first time it was done but not the second time. The thought that crossed my mind was that if the back was actually sore the horse would flinch even more the second time, because they certainly do when hoof testers are used on a sore hoof. So in that video they suggested pressing with the fingers for 2 seconds on several different spots, which they demonstrated.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:35 pm

demi wrote:I don't know if he feels soft tissue is not a problem and didnt think to ask. However, when I did question how soon I should start working her again, he said the Previcox (initial dosage 3/4 tab) would only need 24 hours to take affect so I could start then. Would that indicate he thought soft tissue damage was a possibility?
It's hard to know his thinking because I don't anything about him, and I don't really know anything about Emma's situation (other than what you tell us). My understanding is that Emma does not present sore when she is on the lunge or being ridden. A horse with a stifle injury or joint issue, will if bad enough, present being off behind even at liberty. Also, there will be some swelling in the stifle and it will palpate sore. If a vet thought a horse had a soft tissue problem anywhere, they usually ultasound and recommended rest. The vets I've used would not recommend bute/previcox and then put to work a horse with a soft tissue problem. Therefore, I am going to assume you have good vets and that they don't think what Emma has going on is very serious. They are proceeding cautiously to see how getting down the inflammation with previcox works and keeping her in light work.

Emma has missed a lot of work since you bought her for one reason or another, specically hot weather. She has to have lost a lot of fitness, if she even had much when you acquired her.

A lot of horses dip or cringe when their back is pushed on. You really can't tell much by palpating the back unless a horse is really really sore there. Even with limb flexions, a lot of horses flex off a bit when it's nothing to be concerned about. There probably isn't an FEI horse out there (or most any horse for that matter) that flexes 100% sound. I always chuckle to myself when people say their horses have perfect flexions. A lot depends on how aggressive the vet is, how flexed the leg, and how long they hold it.

[quote="kande50"Some pushing yes, but I personally, don't think there's any such thing as *not* pushing horses hard enough, because the easier we are on them the more likely it is that they'll stay sound enough so that we can ride them another day. [/quote] It's true the easier we are on them probably the less likely they will get injured. That's fine if someone is happy to ride a horse that never gets very far along in its' training. In order to get any kind of reasonable collection, the horse has to work harder to build strength. Just as you and I would get stronger if we did 100 push ups versus 10.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:45 pm

demi wrote:I don't know if he feels soft tissue is not a problem and didnt think to ask. However, when I did question how soon I should start working her again, he said the Previcox (initial dosage 3/4 tab) would only need 24 hours to take affect so I could start then. Would that indicate he thought soft tissue damage was a possibility?
It's hard to know his thinking because I don't anything about him, and I don't really know anything about Emma's situation (other than what you tell us). My understanding is that Emma does not present sore when she is on the lunge or being ridden. A horse with a stifle injury or joint issue, will if bad enough, present being off behind even at liberty. Also, there will be some swelling in the stifle and it will palpate sore. If a vet thought a horse had a soft tissue problem anywhere, they usually ultasound and recommended rest. The vets I've used would not recommend bute/previcox and then put to work a horse with a soft tissue problem. Therefore, I am going to assume you have good vets and that they don't think what Emma has going on is very serious. They are proceeding cautiously to see how getting down the inflammation with previcox works and keeping her in light work.

Emma has missed a lot of work since you bought her for one reason or another, specically hot weather. She has to have lost a lot of fitness, if she even had much when you acquired her.

A lot of horses dip or cringe when their back is pushed on. You really can't tell much by palpating the back unless a horse is really really sore there. Even with limb flexions, a lot of horses flex off a bit when it's nothing to be concerned about. There probably isn't an FEI horse out there (or most any horse for that matter) that flexes 100% sound. I always chuckle to myself when people say their horses have perfect flexions. A lot depends on how aggressive the vet is, how flexed the leg, and how long they hold it.

kande50 wrote:Some pushing yes, but I personally, don't think there's any such thing as *not* pushing horses hard enough, because the easier we are on them the more likely it is that they'll stay sound enough so that we can ride them another day.
It's true the easier we are on them probably the less likely they will get injured. That's fine if someone is happy to ride a horse that never gets very far along in its' training. In order to get any kind of reasonable collection, the horse has to work harder to build strength. Just as you and I would get stronger if we did 100 push ups versus 10.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:48 pm

musical comedy wrote:...Emma has missed a lot of work since you bought her for one reason or another, specically hot weather. She has to have lost a lot of fitness, if she even had much when you acquired her....


Actually, Emma has gained a lot in fitness since I got her. The first pic is from the first day I got her. And the second one I just took today.



ImageImage




Well, i cant get the

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:53 pm

ImageHere is another pic right after I got her and then today, for comparison.
Image

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:11 pm

Huge, huge difference, and it looks to me like it's all in the right direction.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:31 pm

Yes, she looks much much better.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Josette » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:04 pm

kande50 wrote:Huge, huge difference, and it looks to me like it's all in the right direction.


I totally agree the difference is a significant improvement. I do wonder what happened to Emma in that period when her dressage scores dropped. It makes me think that something during her training occurred where she may have been pushed too hard in mental and physical work. We wish our horses could talk to tell us what happened.....

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:49 am

Emma is definitely looking good which probably makes this even more frustrating. I don't remember how old Emma is, but my vet put three of my horses on Previcox just as a general anti inflammatory due to age and the results of having been in performance training for many years. I don't think Emma is that old, but perhaps the vet is thinking her early training may have caused some problems that are now showing up? I don't know if it is the photo, but Emma looks a little straight in the rear legs. I have one with this conformation and they are prone to stifle and hock problems. My straight mare did have an occasional sticking stifle when she wasn't fit. Now that she is older (19) we are Planning to test her for other hind end issues. Fusing hocks is a possibility. Vet coming Monday, sigh, to do an overview and decide where to start. We've been rehabbing her from laminitis and that was masking other issues that are now obvious since her feet don't hurt any more. These mysterious and difficult to diagnose problems are the worst. What you plan to do sounds very reasonable. Stay safe and good luck.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:59 am

Goal progress is good and I am pleased with what I have accomplished. I find it hard to motivate myself to ride when the weather is bad and it has been HOT! However, my trainer was out of town for a week and I was determined to get all my guys out regularly while he was gone. We didn't do anything too challenging, but I got in 6 rides this week and it has been over 100F every day. Thanks to all of you who do so much with your horses. You kept me from wimping out.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:56 am

Srhorselady wrote: I don't know if it is the photo, but Emma looks a little straight in the rear legs. I have one with this conformation and they are prone to stifle and hock problems. My straight mare did have an occasional sticking stifle when she wasn't fit. Now that she is older (19) we are Planning to test her for other hind end issues. Fusing hocks is a possibility. Vet coming Monday, sigh, to do an overview and decide where to start. We've been rehabbing her from laminitis and that was masking other issues that are now obvious since her feet don't hurt any more. These mysterious and difficult to diagnose problems are the worst. What you plan to do sounds very reasonable. Stay safe and good luck.
Straight hind leg conformation certainly predisposes to stifle problems and hock problems too. I learned this the hard way as I've had a couple with that conformation. It's hard to find a horse that doesn't have some conformation issue that predisposes to something.

Imo, the important thing about getting baseline X-rays, especially when a horse is young, is that when/if your horse does get a problem, you can see if anything has changed. Because, as you say, when horses get older or have been in hard work, they often have several things going on and it is harder to determine the cause if you don't have baseline X-rays (ultrasounds, etc.). For example, if Emma were to get hock xrays now and they would show a spur, one might say that is the reason for something when in fact the spur has been there for 10 years and it's not the cause of the problem.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:54 pm

Sr.Horselady, Emma is 14. And I think you're right, Emma does have straight hindlegs. She has some other stuff going on in the hind end also but it's hard to figure out exactly what the whole problem is. When I first got her and she had long toes and broken back hoof angles, I was hoping that when I got that fixed her legs would straighten out. They didn't. Still, she doesn't move like a lame horse, and I have hope that she is still adjusting to having correct hoof length and angle.

Did the the Previcox make a noticeable difference in your horses?

By the way, good for you for keeping it going in 100F weather! Keep it up! I find motivation from all on this thread, too! We havent hit the 100's yet, but it has been unusually muggy. My plan for this summer is to ride one a day, first thing in the morning. They are out on pasture a lot, too, so that helps.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:02 pm

Josette wrote:
kande50 wrote:Huge, huge difference, and it looks to me like it's all in the right direction.


I totally agree the difference is a significant improvement. I do wonder what happened to Emma in that period when her dressage scores dropped. It makes me think that something during her training occurred where she may have been pushed too hard in mental and physical work. We wish our horses could talk to tell us what happened.....


Thanks, Kande. I'm glad you think it's going in the right direction.

Josette, I am so hoping that her biggest problem is that she was pushed too hard and that it resulted in mental problems If she is afraid to work because she thinks it will hurt, I hope that I can eventually convince her that it won't hurt. There is a lot to sort out with her, and I may never get to the bottom of it...I wish horses could talk, too!

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:11 pm

Yesterday was the first hill day for Emma. I measured the hill and it's about 350 feet long. It is a mild incline and I don't know how I can measure that aspect. Anyway, it took 16 minutes to walk up 5 times. I walk her back down in a different direction that is less of an incline. She showed no signs of discomfort but I could feel it after 3 times myself, so I decided 5 was a good number. I'll do this every other day for a coulple of weeks before I think about increasing the number of times. I have her in long side reins and she carries her self in a way that looks right for the exercise. I'll try to get some pictures.

Today I plan to work Rocky. I have on my list "Ride" but I mowed pastures last night and bouncing around on the tractor made my ribs flare up. I may just ground drive her.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Josette » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 pm

Demi - when I initially tried to ride my guy in my outdoor ring he was a mental case as in multiple pooping from stress. I believe he was "drilled" in his ring work and that was his mental baggage. He was not safe for me ride around my property so we started by walking out on a lead. He was a do over project to regain trust, confidence in his humans and that his riding work would be fun and varied. If he started having issues - we tried a different approach like you. I figure in a few years, we will finally have our act together. :lol: Anyway - we are enjoying our journey because we have bonded. That relationship was key for me. :)

I've been working on canter in a large 20M circle because he can be strong and start to lean. This is about balance and getting him to carry himself. I've been asking from the trot to keep him relaxed and not to anticipate which gets him strong. He is starting to understand to relax and I do lots variety with transitions and changing direction. Today we even went up the long side a few times because I wanted to test how strong he got. He was forward but certainly not like his previous work. So I am getting him to think and to realize at any place in the ring I may ask for something different - not to anticipate but to relax and focus on ME. Tricky when working with a little monkey brain. ;)

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:03 pm

musical comedy wrote:It's true the easier we are on them probably the less likely they will get injured. That's fine if someone is happy to ride a horse that never gets very far along in its' training. In order to get any kind of reasonable collection, the horse has to work harder to build strength. Just as you and I would get stronger if we did 100 push ups versus 10.


I don't think it has to be a trade off between keeping them sound and getting true collection, but because trainers don't always make the best training decisions I think it often is. Which is more than just a little bit ironic given that so many believe that dressage is good for horses, while at the same time the research is showing that it's actually the worst. But then, that may be because they looked at competitive dressage horses rather than all dressage horses?

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:46 pm

kande50 wrote:
musical comedy wrote:It's true the easier we are on them probably the less likely they will get injured. That's fine if someone is happy to ride a horse that never gets very far along in its' training. In order to get any kind of reasonable collection, the horse has to work harder to build strength. Just as you and I would get stronger if we did 100 push ups versus 10.


I don't think it has to be a trade off between keeping them sound and getting true collection, but because trainers don't always make the best training decisions I think it often is. Which is more than just a little bit ironic given that so many believe that dressage is good for horses, while at the same time the research is showing that it's actually the worst. But then, that may be because they looked at competitive dressage horses rather than all dressage horses?
I wish I had not used the word 'collection' in my post. There is light collection and there is COLLECTION, if you get my drift. I like to speak in terms of dressage levels. Second Level is light collection. There you have your shoulder-in, haunches-in, medium trot and canter and some 10 meter circles. To do those well, requires a degree of straightness and symmetry. IMO, getting to that point, without rushing, produces an relatively balanced horse that is a pleasure to ride. However, one is not going to get to that point without some hard work on the horses part. The less well conformed the horse and/or the less well the rider rides, the harder it's going to be. For me personally, I would not enjoy riding a horse below 2nd level unless it was just for hacking outside. This is yet another reason for me not buying another horse (although there are many). I have no interest in dealing with young horses and taking 'the journey'.

To address your other statment about dressage being good for horses, my opinion is that higher collection is damaging. I think canter pirouettes and piaffe are extremely hard on the hind suspensories. I don't care how fit a horse is. I am totally rigid in my opinion on this, and the more GP horses I see breaking down, the more convinced I am.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Josette » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:00 pm

musical comedy wrote: I think canter pirouettes and piaffe are extremely hard on the hind suspensories. I don't care how fit a horse is. I am totally rigid in my opinion on this, and the more GP horses I see breaking down, the more convinced I am.


MC - I totally agree with you. It is why I do not care to watch upper level dressage and I feel the same about western reiners spinning their horses. I also don't like double bridles either. I believe most horses should go in a snaffle with correct training - maybe some exceptions but I do not care for all the metal baggage in a horses mouth. I like SIMPLE and ride without spurs - respect my seat and leg aids with nice connection like hand holding to the bridle. I do not need to feel pounds of weight in my hands - the horse needs to learn to be balanced and hold itself up. As a kid, I never rode with spurs and used a basic snaffle bridle. My ponies went off my seat and touch of leg. Granted I wasn't riding dressage then but we had excellent gait transitions, lead changes without hanging and very obedient - FUN!! They were not fancy movers but solid on for accuracy. They would easily been level 2 with solid simple changes every time. No - not dressage movers but easy and fun to ride. Anyway - those are my priorities....

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:32 pm

I think lower level dressage is good for most horses just like a good exercise program is good for most humans. Upper level and FEI levels can be okay, but can also be harmful. It depends on how they have been trained and prepared. It also depends on their conformation and ability. I think it is very easy to over train or ask for more than a horse is capable of at any level and they will still try to give it. They may succeed for a while, but it frequently leads to irrevocable damage. Progress does require pressure and Being able to recognize when it is enough whether in a single training session or stepping up to the next level is the most important talent a trainer has. I have a real problem with futurities in the show world and similar that provide us with broken and retired horses before they are five. Soooo no absolutes in my opinion. It all depends on the individual trainer and the individual horse. I do think/know there are trainers out there that harm horses in multiple ways without even realizing it.

Demi, regarding the Previcox. I have 3 that have been on it for over three years. I don't really remember noticing major changes when first giving it to two of them, but both of these two were elderly. I thought of it more like the aspirin/ibuprofen I take regularly for my own creakiness and arthritis. I assumed it made them more comfortable. Both are still working easily now at 30 and 23 after high performance careers, one as a race horse and jumper and the other in dressage. The third horse never had a performance career, but does have some conformation challenges. I didn't notice any change when I put her on Previcox, but I definitely noticed a negative reaction when I took her off of it. So she is now back on it. One drug I did notice a positive change is Pentosan. The thoroughbred who was about 24 at the time improved the amount of cross over in his lateral work noticeably after the third week of a loading dose.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:23 pm

Srhorselady wrote: One drug I did notice a positive change is Pentosan. The thoroughbred who was about 24 at the time improved the amount of cross over in his lateral work noticeably after the third week of a loading dose.
I had to stop using Pentosan because it caused balding, discoloration, and a huge lump. The lumps never completely went away. Each batch I got was different insofar as my horse's reaction to it. I was giving one shot a week for the last two years. I bought it off that shady Horseprerace, but also have used the USA compounded stuff. I just this month switched back to Adequan, which is expensive. I've never used Previcox and my current old guy has never been on bute ever. I always thought Pentosan was resulting in improvement, but it could have been the placebo. I definitely will tell you that Irap injections are keeping my horse going well.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:02 am

Irap certainly makes sense to me and since it is from the horses own body it shouldn't ever cause problems. Do you mind me asking what approximately it costs? (If too intrusive a question please disregard.). It sounds like your guy is allergic to something in the Pentosan. I use a product compounded at a local vet compounding pharmacy. I used to work at this pharmacy so I'm comfortable with their quality standards.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:03 am

Srhorselady wrote:Irap certainly makes sense to me and since it is from the horses own body it shouldn't ever cause problems. Do you mind me asking what approximately it costs? (If too intrusive a question please disregard.). It sounds like your guy is allergic to something in the Pentosan. I use a product compounded at a local vet compounding pharmacy. I used to work at this pharmacy so I'm comfortable with their quality standards.

The initial blood draw for Irap is $850. My vet comes to my farm with the Irap syringe(s) which have some kind of powder that mixes with the blood. He takes that to the clinic where they centrifuge and process it and freeze the vials. I usually get about 6 viles from a draw. Added tp the draw fee is the farm call (or anything else he does while here). He then comes back every 2-3 months for a booster injection. Then it is $50 for the farm call, plus the tranquilizer, plus a shot of Banamine. So if he comes every 2 months that comes to about $3600 a year for maintenance or around $305/month. This is for a right stifle subchondral cystic lesion stifle in the medial femoral condyle.

Some people might scoff at that kind of money for maintenance but I would pay as much as I could to keep a horse going sound.

Oh, I forgot. For the first IRAP, he came once a week for 4 weeks I think. After that, it is just boosters.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:25 pm

I understand. I'd go a long way to keep my guys comfortable. I know a couple of people who have had stifle issues and that seems to be one of those areas that are hard to diagnose and then hard to do anything about. One is now a pasture puff and the other just did IRAP and PCP? And so far is looking good. Glad it is working for you, But OUCH! I currently have 4 on monthly Pentosan IM shots which I give myself. They run about $20 per injection.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:57 pm

It was really interesting how my horse's stifle issue was found. My vet that I've used for 20+ years did the PPE when I bought my horse. At that time, he did not have a digital machine. He xrayed everything including the stifle, but nothing was seen on the stifle. It was probably there, but xray quality wasn't good enough. Over the years, my vet would come and do an overall check on my horse (flexions, see on the lunge, palpate, etc.). A few times we injected his hocks, cause he was always midly positive on that right hind. As you know, pretty much all vets agree that it is in most cases difficult to differentiate between a hock problem and a stifle problem.

Fast forward to a few years ago. My vet was here for something to xray and I see him putting the machine to xray the stifle. I said "I didn't ask for the stifle to be xrayed". He said "it's on the house. I just want to look". He takes the picture and low and behold there is the cyst. I was like "wow, what made you take that X-ray" "Intuition, he said". Turns out that he had recently done a PPE on a horse for himself (he's an advanced event rider) and that showed up on that horse's X-ray. He just had a hunch.

The bone cysts are usually congenital. Sort of like some aspect of Developmental Orthopedic Disease as opposed to a stress injury. Some horses do end up becoming very lame with them. My guy never was, but with dressage the slightest unevenness is felt.

He is feeling really good to me these days. I'm surprised. It's me that is the problem. I have no strength. I rode today at 10am cause it is going to be in the 90's here. Now at 2pm I am totally zonked just for one ride. Poor Chisamba is showing today about 60 miles north of me. I hope it's not too hot for her.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:35 pm

Oh I do understand! This is a "goal" thread and my goals are not for my horses, they are for me! I have found my riding motivation decreasing both with age and temperature. I am pleased if I make it into the saddle twice a week in the summer and if I'm not hitting the saddle by 7am it isn't going to happen. One of the reasons I keep my trainer coming is to make sure all the horses get out enough. He was gone all last week and I rode 6 days while he was gone and now I need a vacation! I'm a little anal about keeping my stalls and turnouts picked etc and I do much of the barn work myself and doing it in the heat.... At least we don't have the humidity you and Chisamba have. We consider anything in the double digits high humidity. :D It will get humid during our monsoon, but even that is mostly less than 50%. I sure don't feel like doing much when I come in from the barn. I don't know how I ever had the energy to work before I retired.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:46 pm

Interesting about your horse's cyst. What do they think the IRAP is actually doing for it? The acquaintance who just did IRAP on her horse's stifle had an injured ligament, I think, and it was intended to help healing. The pasture puff with a stifle injury was a bad meniscus tear and before IRAP was common. The more recent injury was diagnosed by MRI and the older one by in clinic ultra sound since the mobile ultra sound didn't show anything.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:57 pm

musical comedy wrote:It's me that is the problem. I have no strength. I rode today at 10am cause it is going to be in the 90's here. Now at 2pm I am totally zonked just for one ride. Poor Chisamba is showing today about 60 miles north of me. I hope it's not too hot for her.


Same here MC, except we got going at 7 this morning and were back by about 10 because I knew we weren't going to want to be on the home stretch when it was 90. And now that it's 90 I'm hiding in the house until it cools off!

Our problem is that it's nice enough in the woods, but then we have to do about a half mile out in the open, which is no fun at all when it's too hot out.

The heat is why I stopped showing, too. It's always been uncomfortable to be out in the hot sun and sometimes I'd feel weak, but now I get light headed enough that it effectively takes all the fun out of it. I did think about entering and then just scratching if it was going to be hot, but then decided that I wasn't enthusiastic enough about showing anymore, anyway.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:59 pm

Srhorselady wrote:I don't know how I ever had the energy to work before I retired.


I was a lot stronger and more efficient when I was still working, so it took me way less time to get a lot more done! That, and the dh did a lot more when I was working so that I'd have time to ride before I went to work.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:58 pm

Srhorselady wrote:Interesting about your horse's cyst. What do they think the IRAP is actually doing for it? The acquaintance who just did IRAP on her horse's stifle had an injured ligament, I think, and it was intended to help healing. The pasture puff with a stifle injury was a bad meniscus tear and before IRAP was common. The more recent injury was diagnosed by MRI and the older one by in clinic ultra sound since the mobile ultra sound didn't show anything.
I'm not sure. One thing is that it calms or prevents inflammation. Possibly it prevents the cyst from getting larger. Possibly it shrinks the cyst, but I doubt that. A bone cyst is not what a person would normally consider a cyst. It's like a damage in the cartilage. I'll provide a pic below.

Once we took follow up xray to see if it had changed and it had not. Next vet visit I may have him xray again just to see. As with many things, there isn't enough research evidence to know if IRAP can help bone cyst or even other things. For young horses, they recommended surgery where they debride the cyst and other times inject something into it. I inquired about that several years ago, but the downtime for stifle surgery is close to a year, and with my horse's age that was out of the question.

Vets are using PRP more for the tendons/ligaments.

You can see from the photo that if the location of the cyst at the joint, then movement of the joint can irritate it. So possibly the Irap just keeps any irritation at bay.

Image

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:02 pm

kande50 wrote:The heat is why I stopped showing, too. It's always been uncomfortable to be out in the hot sun and sometimes I'd feel weak, but now I get light headed enough that it effectively takes all the fun out of it. I did think about entering and then just scratching if it was going to be hot, but then decided that I wasn't enthusiastic enough about showing anymore, anyway.
I hear ya. Would you believe that I have scratched more shows than I've entered. It's usually because of weather. Too hot, too windy, too rainy, too humid. Like you, I'm not enthusiastic enough to put up with discomfort and I don't want to put my horse through it either. Occasionally, I think I should go get those lower level scores I need for that stupid Bronze Medal but then I say "what's the point...who cares".

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:21 am

All this talk about stifles has me a little worried...I am sure hoping Emma's problem is more psychological than physical.

I'm surprised by the high temperatures you're having in NJ and MA. Isn't that on the warm side for this time of year? Good for everyone managing to ride. Remember to stay hydrated. We had 91 but that's not really hot for TX. I don't start wilting till the upper 90's. This morning when i worked Emma it was quite humid but by 5 pm when I mowed the yard the humidity had blown by. We are not as humid as Houston but we still have our share of humidity. I might be able to handle AZ's dry heat, but ONLY if I had a covered arena.

I rode Rocky yesterday. In the arena. She could feel I was a little tense and she responded with a short strided walk and a western jog trot. That's ok. I felt safe. I plan to ride her again tomorrow and will make a conscious effort to relax.

Today was Emma's 2nd hill day. I start with 5 treats in my pocket and when we get to the top of the hill she gets one. The hill is in our 10acre pasture where our old gelding spends his days. He watched us from a distance the first day and today he came close up. By the third time up the hill, he was at the top waiting for us. I think he thought he'd get a treat, too!

I'm getting bored with the Parelli work so I looked again at the Karen Rohlf program that Kyra's mom mentioned. I got the free starter kit and was quite impressed with her "Essay for Success" as well as the first two videos. There are three free vids about 20 each and I havent watched the third yet. I was a little surprised at the price but I guess I shouldn't be. It does seem to be a really good program. It would definitely require a time commitment but it sure does look like the kind of program I would get a lot out of. I have to think about it some more because for that price I would want to be sure I'd apply myself.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:01 am

Demi...one other avenue for Karen that isn't as expensive as her courses and you can get a feel for the work is her Classroom. She posts 3 videos every month and has for 5 or 6 years (at least) so there is quite a library of work. It is $24/month and you can cancel at any time. Not trying to sell it but I have found her program very helpful for the mental aspect of training. I have kind of been that 'you will do it now' kind of person and with my reactive over achiever that I have now, that hasn't particularly worked well as you can imagine. I haven't been able to ride consistently (or at all :P ) or take lessons locally because of the tailbone issue so I have been able to work at my own pace and lots of ground work, long reining and the like to do while I can't ride. I did the first course but certainly wasn't going to commit the $$ for the second one since I couldn't ride much. I would really like to because it gets into the 'meat' of dressage but I have to get back in the saddle first.

I have been doing the Habits of Excellent Horsemanship which is mostly ground work and that has made a huge difference in Kyra when I commit to consistent handling and ground manners. She likes to take over at times...not often but when she does (bolting through gates, her leading me, distraction and spooking) it isn't fun. She is so much better and I really haven't invested a lot of time...just really gotten solid in my consistency of how I handle her. She is much more at ease and I'm not yelling at her or yanking on her. I have worked the snot out of this horse with ground work since I got her as a coming 2 y.o. yet she still likes to be the leader...because I have let her :oops: .

Glad you are back in the saddle on Rocky. We have heat too but it is a "dry" heat :P . Still damned hot. I am becoming a weather weenie as I get older.

Today I did some long reining with Kyra. I got some nice canter departs with connection and without her using her underneck to heave herself into canter. I was going to do some leg yield work but she took over showing me how easily she can throw herself sideways :roll: . That over achiever thing. Then we had a hot mess for a couple minutes while I was trying to convince her to walk forward in a straight line. She finally figured it out and we ended with some short trot/half-halt to a couple half steps back to forward trot and a little shoulder in in walk. She had some very nice rein back's too and finished with a nice stretch in the walk.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Srhorselady » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:20 am

Cheers Demi for riding. Getting back on the first time is the hardest. Ride Rocky and get your confidence back. Right now I think there are a lot of stifle injuries being diagnosed because for a long time they didn't have the technology to X-ray and ultrasound that joint. Now both both can do the stifle and there is MRI too. Also as recent as 5 years ago if a stifle injury was diagnosed there very few options. Now the situation is definitely better. Just keep walking up that hill! You'll get fit too! However, don't get Em too fit so she can buck better :D

MC those X-rays are fascinating. If the IRAP is able to keep the inflammation out of the joint so arthritis doesn't develop, you've won! And if there is a chance it might encourage the bone to fill in a little that would just be a bonus. Thanks for sharing.

Weather...the high temp here was only 94 degrees today! We are having a cold wave for the next couple of days! However, back to over 110 degrees next weekend. I'll enjoy it while we have it.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:40 am

Thanks for the info, Susan. I have been impressed with how well Kyra is doing with relatively little under saddle work. I have a good idea of her temperament, having a hot little mare myself. I have followed both your and Straightforwards posts on Kyra's progress.

I really like Karen's style of teaching. I need some one to "walk me through" right now and she seems to be able to do that through this amazing media we have at our finger tips. I think I may need to do the whole first course but may just try the Classroom for a while first.

SrHL, I'm not really worried about getting Emma too fit. She has a very submissive personality which is why I think her issues are mainly psychological. I think as Josette pointed out earlier, that she was trying to tell me something with the bucking. I just need to figure out exactly what she was saying. Rocky on the other hand is naturally bossy and naturally athletic. When she tells me she's had enough, I respect her! I've taken my time to work out a safe relationship with her because I probably wouldn't survive her bucks like I did Em's!

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:44 am

A while back I visited the Karen R website. There were courses where she listed the prerequisites. I remember seeing video clips of what the rider needed to be able to do to enter each of the course levels. I could not even satisfy the beginner level. I only vaguely recall what was in the videos, but I remember the lunging was strange. There is no question that Karen is an excellent rider, but her course does not appeal to me with the types of horses I ride. I could never dream of going out in a field cantering a horse with no bridle or laying on a horses back untacked. I don't see the purpose and I think it's dangerous. I went to her site this morning and it has changed since I last visited. Now it looks like a lot of programs to buy, much like Parelli.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:02 pm

musical comedy wrote:.... I could never dream of going out in a field cantering a horse with no bridle or laying on a horses back untacked. I don't see the purpose and I think it's dangerous.


I did exactly those things when I was a teenager and even into my late twenties. It wasn't dangerous then because my body was able to withstand falling off. Falling off was never a worry for me because I knew that the chances of getting seriously injured were minimal. If I fell off I would brush off the dirt, look around to see if anyone noticed :oops: and get back on. That's how I learned.

NOW, it's a different story. I won't even ride bareback any more. It would now be dangerous and foolhardy. The point, however, is that I want to have that same level of relaxation that I had as a kid. I remember it well, and it goes a long way in creating a horse that moves "freely forward".

Rohlf teaches an "attitude " that I think can be achieved without necessarily galloping across a field bareback and bridleless. It's that attitude, that I seem to have lost touch with and want to get back. CERTAINLY I will keep my own limitations well in mind. If you get her free intro course, it contains an excellent essay about her philosophy. Quite different than the Parelli's (although, I think P is fine, just not where I am at this time). I think you would appreciate the essay, MC. if you don't download it yourself, I will try to post some excerpts later when I have time.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Josette » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:24 pm

Demi - I must admit I am trying to make my current pony into / like the two ponies I had as a kid. :roll: He is very huggable and certainly has that pony temperament I can relate to - so I have hope. :) I did all my bareback riding as a kid too which certainly taught me balance. One time I saw a demonstration of a bareback team riding bridleless with only a line around the neck. So I tried it too in an open field and got run away with - decided not a good idea. :lol:

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby musical comedy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:57 pm

demi wrote: If you get her free intro course, it contains an excellent essay about her philosophy. Quite different than the Parelli's (although, I think P is fine, just not where I am at this time). I think you would appreciate the essay, MC. if you don't download it yourself, I will try to post some excerpts later when I have time.
Is the intro course the same as the starter kit? I just got it and I can't answer those silly questions. I don't even understand the question. She speaks in a different lingo.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:42 pm

musical comedy wrote:Is the intro course the same as the starter kit? I just got it and I can't answer those silly questions. I don't even understand the question. She speaks in a different lingo.


The questions are just such an obvious set up that I soon gave up trying to answer any of them. :-)

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:45 pm

Yes Demi...I have zero interest in galloping through the field sans saddle and bridle. Yeah, that falling off thing :P . Not to mention my horse can be hot reactive. I always want some source of stopping her...you betcha. I don't get the allure of bridleless but each to their own.

What sold me was making dressage simpler...what needs to be addressed...relaxation/energy/balance. Every exercise can be dissected as to which of those needs to be addressed then fix them as necessary. Yes, I know the specifics are more complicated but if you start training with those 3 things in mind, things become much simpler. My mare can get very tense and I needed to address the relaxation part big time. As you can imagine, I wasn't getting very far with the amount of tension she was carrying.

Her book is very good also with a ton of traditional dressage exercises so another less expensive alternative to the courses.

Yes, she approaches dressage from a different corner of the universe but I think it is much closer to how a lot of us AA would like to ride (notice I didn't say all :) ). I know my riding has been more fun and rewarding. Granted, I am not competing but if I can get back to that fitness and make the commitment to showing, it should work fine.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:31 pm

I didn't understand most of the questions and had a very low score on the KR questionaire, but that didn't stop my from getting the free starter kit. The three free vids plus the essay turned out to be very helpful for me. The second vid on transitions, and the third vid , "connection inside self-carriage", are ones that I will watch several more times over the next few weeks as I get Rocky going again, and will probably watch again when I start riding Emma again. What Susan pointed out, "the simple things that need to be addressed, relaxation/energy/ and balance", are the things that I liked about KR's teaching also.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:42 pm

I rode Rocky again yesterday and she took care of me. I was able to relax more than on Saturday, and she responded with a longer strided walk, and some nice transitions into trot. I mostly walked...and breathed. It was close to 90 and humid when I rode at 10am, but it felt so nice to be back in the saddle that I didn't notice the weather until I got off. I had watched the KR vid on "connection inside self-carriage" the night before and I tried to take that feeling with me as I rode Rocky. All I can say, is it felt good.

Oh, and at the risk of anthropomorphizing, I think the ride felt good to Rocky, too. She nickered as I was dismounting, (yes, she was anticipating her cookie) and then after the cookie, she offered a deep, deep bow/stretch. Maybe she just wanted another cookie, but I think she was also stretching and bowing because it felt good after a little workout...

Today is hill day for Emma.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:44 pm

demi wrote:I didn't understand most of the questions and had a very low score on the KR questionaire, but that didn't stop my from getting the free starter kit. The three free vids plus the essay turned out to be very helpful for me. The second vid on transitions, and the third vid , "connection inside self-carriage", are ones that I will watch several more times over the next few weeks as I get Rocky going again, and will probably watch again when I start riding Emma again. What Susan pointed out, "the simple things that need to be addressed: relaxation/energy/ and balance", are the things that I liked about KR's teaching also.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:45 pm

duh...I was trying to correct a typo and ended up quoting my own post
Last edited by demi on Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:53 pm

demi wrote:duh...I was trying to correct a typo and ended up quoting my own post


You can delete it. Just hit the x up there next to the edit pencil.

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Re: Senior progress thread?

Postby kande50 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:06 pm

demi wrote:I was able to relax more than on Saturday, and she responded with a longer strided walk, and some nice transitions into trot. I mostly walked...and breathed. It was close to 90 and humid when I rode at 10am, but it felt so nice to be back in the saddle that I didn't notice the weather until I got off.


I don't know how you manage to get out there at all when it's 90!

I was stacking hay for a short time yesterday when it was 90 and thought I was probably going to die at first, but then I adjusted. I'm happy I didn't have to adjust for long because we round baled most of it and I got to use the tractor with the air conditioned cab to pick them up, but the short stint I did out in the sun was brutal.

I did get out to ride Lucky, our new trail horse, this morning, and what a Nervous Nellie he is. Not sure why, but I'm hoping it's because he still hasn't adjusted to being in a new place. He doesn't do anything other than get tense and put his ears straight up, which I really notice because that's what the mules do just before they buck. But Lucky hasn't bucked and seems to calm down in a very short time (unlike the mules), so I had a good ride on him. I wanted to get a dirt pattern on the white towel I put under his saddle, but got nothing, so either all the padding interferes with getting a dirt pattern or I didn't ride him for long enough.

We did make good progress with standing at the mounting block, and with work on his right side. He even stood and let me mount from the right side, which was a big no no when he first came. Just trying to put the saddle pad on from the right side was a problem for him, so no surprise that he doesn't like to turn to the right or walk beside the guardrails when they're on his right side.


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