Emma

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demi
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Emma

Postby demi » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:46 pm

I got Emma on Nov 11th. She is confirmed 3rd level with some low scores (low 50's) at 4th and one at PSG. She is half Arabian, 1/4 TB and 1/4 Oldenberg. She is 15.hh, and 12 yrs old. She was not in good condition when I found her and the trainer's complaint was that she "wouldnt hold her leads". Coincidentally, we have the same vet and he confirmed that he had done a complete lameness exam within the last 2 months and couldn't find anything wrong. I got her at a bargain basement price and she has a forever home here no matter what.

She is barefoot with extremely hard hooves and the angles were very broken back with very long toes, especially in the back. My vet got me into a highly recommended farrier who concurs that that hooves need correction. I mentioned that she looked like she was wearing clown shoes and he said "swim fins". I am hoping that she was having difficulties with canter because of the extreme hoof angles combined with lack of muscle and long legs. Farrier says it will take a couple more trims, at least, to get her back to normal angles.

I am taking lots of time to get to know her and let her develop trust and confidence in me. I am up to 4 rides a week with only 1st level stuff, with the exception of very little canter for now.

The picture of the hind hooves doesn't capture the extreme angle but you can get an idea. Also attaching a pic tied in the barn after the first week. And one in the pasture taken just a couple of days ago. Her coat looks better already and she has put on a few pounds that I think she needed.

Somehow I can't get the pics attached in the right order...but here they are anyway...
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kande50
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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:22 pm

demi wrote:Somehow I can't get the pics attached in the right order...but here they are anyway...


She looks a lot better already, and with her breeding I'm thinking that she probably has quite a bit of endurance?

I've never owned an Arab, but the Trakehner I have has quite a bit of Arab on his dam's side, and he looks and acts "araby" to me. But most importantly, he has a lot of endurance, which means that I don't have to worry about keeping him fit because he can go for a lot longer than I can. He'll be 12 this summer, so about the same age as Emma, too.

I haven't been doing much canter either, because my indoor's so small. I canter some, but don't feel I have enough room to work on it much, although I should get back to counter canter because I keep forgetting to practice it.

Hard to believe you've already had Emma for almost 2 months! How do her feet look now that she's had a couple of trims? Does she wear them herself at all? What's your general impression of her training, so far? Do you think she has some good basics, or does it seem like they may have just pushed onward without really getting the basics solid?

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Re: Emma

Postby Sunshine2Me » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:57 pm

Congrats on Emma! She is lovely and I'm glad you found each other!

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Re: Emma

Postby Code3 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:23 am

She looks better already. I suspect she is a diamond in the rough and is going to give you many years of pleasure.

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Re: Emma

Postby Josette » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:45 am

I agree with the improvement in her appearance. Enjoy her as you did find a diamond in the rough.

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Re: Emma

Postby bailey » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:27 am

Sweet! She's lovely. Love the look in her eyes as she's looking at you last photo. Like, Yes?

The calmer I am, the stronger I am.

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Re: Emma

Postby Tuddy » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:35 pm

What a nice little mare! Can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

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Re: Emma

Postby Kelo » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:42 pm

What a sweet girl. I bet you will have tons of fun with her!

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:27 pm

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

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Re: Emma

Postby PNG_Pony » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:25 pm

Yes, it will be fun to hear your updates with her. Thanks for sharing!!

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:42 am

Emma is really endearing herself to me! I am trying not to get too excited too soon, but she is starting to "go to work" for me now and I like it! I still am only doing first level work (stuff in test 1) with not much canter, but the canter that I am doing is getting better and feels noticeably stronger (as in more fit). Wallk-trot transitions are much better, in that they are smooth and prompt. We are up to 40-45 minutes 4-5 times a week.

The contact with the bit has gotten very nice and Iam sure she has had some good training in the past. In just the last couple of days she has started to "fill up the outside rein" from my inside leg. Up to this point she didn't want me to take much contact with the bit. She would hollow her back if I took a light feel, and if I took a stronger (not really strong at all compared to other horses I've had) contact she would lean on my hands and get fast and nervous to the point of spooking. Anyway, I love the contact she is giving me now. It's light but solid, if that makes sense...

She had her second trim today so I will give her a few days off to adjust. She gets 8-12 hours daily turnout on a couple of acres and I think that's a good way to adjust to the change in hoof angles.

Attached are pics of before the first trim, and one taken today after the second trim. I noticed how much it changed not only the angle of the hoof but the whole hind leg. This is why I think she needs time to adjust. I will also still go very light on the canter work we do, maybe even giving her till spring before I do more than 20m canter circles.
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If anyone has insight to share I am interested to hear it. I worry about changing the hoof angle so much, but the vet said they were definitely broken back and needed to be fixed. I hope this is the reason the trainer she was with when I bought her said she couldn't "hold her leads"....

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Re: Emma

Postby Code3 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:20 am

Hoof angles change everything and could very well have been the reason she couldn't hold her leads. She may have compensated in her body, so massage or other body work would probably benefit her. Sounds to me as if you got a lovely, lovely horse.

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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:47 am

demi wrote:
If anyone has insight to share I am interested to hear it. I worry about changing the hoof angle so much, but the vet said they were definitely broken back and needed to be fixed. I hope this is the reason the trainer she was with when I bought her said she couldn't "hold her leads"....


The bottoms of the collateral grooves, and the sole, will tell you a lot about how the hoof should be trimmed. Radiographs are often a good idea too, because there's no sense in trimming for a steeper angle if the way she loads her hooves is the reason for the angle at which she's at.

Could you get some pix of her hooves from closer to the ground? The most accurate way to take them is to set the camera on the ground perpendicular to the part of the hoof you want to see. If you have the choice, high resolution photos from further away, which you then crop, will minimize the single lens distortion.

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:17 pm

Code 3, that'a a good idea about a massage therapist. I got right on the internet to look for one in my area but after looking at a few websites decided I should call my vet for a recommendation.

Kande, I asked both vet and farrier if I should get exrays but they both just sorta shrugged me off....As far as getting better photographs, I don't have a camera other than my iphone. Also, I have a tendency to obsess about stuff like this so I need to make myself just chill on the subject and wait to see what happens. I have several iphotos taken in the same pose from before any trim and then again after the first and second trims. I have them lined up on my computer home screen. This morning after staring at them, rearranging them, resizing them, cocking my head for a differnt angle, I realized it's pretty hard to draw conclusions from just a few photos :shock:

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Re: Emma

Postby Josette » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:44 pm

I would keep doing exactly what are by slowly taking her training and fitness schedule. She is adjusting to her new riding routine and changes in trim/angles. The daily turnout is wonderful too! Don't make yourself crazy over hoove pics if you have an excellent farrier giving her balanced trims now. It just takes time and it sounds like she is responding comfortably by cooperating in your rides. IMO just take your time over her fitness level and adjustments with trims. She sounds like she is happy /responding to have you as her owner!

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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:34 pm

demi wrote: I have several iphotos taken in the same pose from before any trim and then again after the first and second trims. I have them lined up on my computer home screen. This morning after staring at them, rearranging them, resizing them, cocking my head for a differnt angle, I realized it's pretty hard to draw conclusions from just a few photos :shock:


Yes, isn't it? ;-)

The single lens is the problem, as the angle from which the photo is taken makes more difference to how the hoof looks than the state of the hoof itself. And without being able to see the frog and sole, an outside view isn't all that useful, anyway.

I think what's more interesting is to see how the hoof wears once you get it trimmed the way you want it.

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Re: Emma

Postby Code3 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:43 pm

I agree with Josette. Relax and don't obsess. Easy for us to say! :-) You're doing everything right and I suspect all will be well with this lovely girl.

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:08 pm

Emma got her 4th corrective trim today and I am happy with how she is looking. She is feeling lots stronger in the canter now, maybe as much from just getting some muscle as from the better hoof angles. She canters easily and doesn't try to quit on me. Still doing full arena canter work and 20 meter circles, but quite a bit more than just last month. I feel ready to try first level test three with her...the shallow canter loops...

She does have little feet, but they are extremely hard and she is a lighter bodied girl. She also has some crookedness behind that she will probably always have but I hope it can be managed with good training.
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demi
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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:10 pm

Oh, and here's her precious little Bambi face!
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Chisamba
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Re: Emma

Postby Chisamba » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:23 pm

Her feet are very small, the angles do look better. she does have a very cute face. the canter serpentine will tell you a lot about her balance

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Re: Emma

Postby Kyra's Mom » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:58 am

Wooo...she got rid of her clown shoes (clown shoes/swim fins...ouch). She has to be more comfortable. Love her Bambi pic.

I have one of little feet. Also not big bodied. My little ballerina. She too has nice hard feet. Lots of people have looked at her front feet and say how contracted they are :roll: . There is nothing else to trim. Hoof is nicely trimmed in balance and follows the shape of her itty bitty coffin bones.
She is 14, BF and quite sound. It is how she is.

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Re: Emma

Postby no.stirrups » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:01 pm

It's not easy to find the balance between letting the horse set the pace and still making progress. Well done, you! And congratulations on finding this gem! Her whole body has changed with her hoof angles.

I'll be interested to hear how she likes her massage. My horse got one yesterday for the first time after having the winter off to heal from his suspensory tear and he could not get enough! He'd been compensating, of course, so was tight in a variety of places. He almost looked like a different horse afterward, so differently was he carrying himself.

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Re: Emma

Postby Josette » Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:42 pm

She sure is an elegant sweet mare with such a pretty face. :)

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Re: Emma

Postby Hayburner » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:37 pm

WOW - She and her feet look so much better !

My 1/2 Arab has extremely hard feet but they are huge...He's always been barefoot and (fingers crossed) he's not had any foot issue....

Such a pretty and sweet face..hope you found a pretty blingy browband to show it off.!

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Re: Emma

Postby Code3 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:32 am

Huge improvement. Such a lovely girl. I am so glad to hear things are going so well for you, and for her.

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:48 pm

Thanks for all the positive comments! It is encouraging that many of you can see improvements.
Kyra's mom, it's nice to hear of other horses with small feet that are sound. Thanks. I think the hardness of the hoof and the smaller boned nature of some horses can compensate for little feet. Little ballerinas!!

No.stirrups, I so understand what you said about finding the balance between letting the horse set the pace and still making progress. Not easy. And I'm glad you noticed the change in her whole body. At one point, her hind legs looked like posts, they were so straight. I was worried that it was too much of a change. But then she changed again, to a more normal, comfortable looking appearance. I haven't found a massage person yet but glad your boy benefited from his.

Hayburner, if I ever am able to show her I'll look for a blingy browband!

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Re: Emma April 2017 update

Postby demi » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:17 pm

Its been about a year and a half since I got Emma. I dropped out of the goals thread because it was too much for us to try to set and keep goals. I am still riding her but not worrying about getting in 5 rides a week. I think my age is slowing me down a bit and I don't feel as motivated to get out there and get those rides in no matter what. We are sometimes riding 2 times a week and occacionally even 5 times a week. It works out well for both of us.

The problems that she was having last fall were 1)a significant fear of the whip, 2) she was unable to calmly longe unless she had short sidereins, and 2) she could only canter for 1-2 20m circles under saddle without getting anxious and bucking, spooking or bolting. I had been working on getting her to accept the whip but gave up on that. Instead, over the winter worked on the longeing issue. The problem was that without short sidereins, she would walk calmly, but when trotting, would speed up after just a few strides into a mad gallop. Every time. Even without a longe whip. From January thru March all i did with her was walk beside her, full tack, halter over the bridle and longe attached to the halter, reins attached to the grab strap on the saddle and long. I gradually fed out the longe line until it was 5 meters long and we just walked the full arena, me right beside her shoulder, doing 10 meter circles at every letter. After a month, she got completely relaxed with the program and i started carrying the longe whip. This is ALL we did. No riding. After another month or so, I started asking for a little trot. I would do one walking 10m circle, ask for a trot 10m circle, and right back down to walking down the long side the next letter for another 10m circle.

By the end of March she was trotting quietly on the longe with long reins. I then started asking for a little canter. She got to the point of being able to canter on the longe with long reins for several consecutive 20m circles. I started riding her again in April and she was way different than last fall. The contact is very nice now but I am being very careful not to ask to much or too short of rein. I am still not cantering.

I'll try to get some pics under saddle pics taken.
I have a nice head shot that I took today but it's HUGE and I want to get it smaller before I post.
I have really enjoyed everyone else's progress and especially the pictures!

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Re: Emma

Postby Josette » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:43 pm

It sounds like you have made excellent progress with Demi. You were very patient and took the time to evaluate what upset her. Your ground work and getting her to understand to relax were critical and I'm sure it will help you under saddle. She needed to over come trust issues maybe from some negative incident(s) in her past. IMO sometimes mental baggage is harder to undo/retrain then the physical aspect of training.

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:52 pm

Image

This is still big but better.

Thanks for the encouragement, Josette. I value your opinion!

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Re: Emma

Postby Chisamba » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:39 am

Wow, really interesting. The 10m walk circles is what relaxed Deneb to the point where I felt safer riding her. Not quite as structured as your walks, but yes.... Lots of walk circles.

Glad to read the update!

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Re: Emma

Postby Anne » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:46 am

Demi, what a lovely update, it sounds like your patience is paying off, and I love the soft attentive look in Emma's eye and ears.

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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:12 am

I've always felt that the one thing we need more than anything else is calm, because if the horse can't stay calm he can't be attentive, and we need his attention if we're going to have much success teaching him the rather complicated lessons we'd like him to learn.

So I think you made the best choice you could have made by allowing her to become calm enough so that she could give you her full attention. Good call!

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Re: Emma

Postby Josette » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:03 am

Demi - I can relate to your "rehab" program because I had a very similar situation when I bought my little guy (14.2 Connemara). I was told he had previous event training and became too strong and spooky for kid riders. I discovered both facts were true and the key was to get him relaxed to focus on his rider and the task. My trainer helped with lunge work to get him to relax, stop racing around and hanging. Boy could he lean and hang to balance himself. The key was patience and some days his "mental state" determined what we worked on - so work goals would shift around. He is now finally more consistent and we are progressing with solid work routines. I will say I have learned tons riding him to be a smart observant patient rider. Some of these "project" horses just need to be understood and many riders do not have the patience or experience to pursue working with them. Plus it can be a longer investment in time that some people are not interested to make. IMO many of these horses/ponies are diamonds in the rough for the right owner/rider.

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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:49 am

Josette wrote:Some of these "project" horses just need to be understood and many riders do not have the patience or experience to pursue working with them. IMO many are diamonds in the rough for the right owner/rider.


So true, Josette. When I was young I just rode through it, because I could, and because I didn't have the patience to do it any other way. But then I got a mule, and as mule trainers say, "you have to train a mule the way a horse should be trained", and I soon found out that was true, because even though I was relatively young and resilient the mule I was trying to train was younger, stronger, and even more resilient.

So I consider it very fortunate that my mule taught me some important lessons before I bought another young horse, because otherwise I'm not so sure I would have had the skills and experience to know how important it is to get and keep the new horse calm enough so that he could do what I wanted him to be able to do.

So kudos to Demi, and anyone and everyone else who has worked through their horses' significant fear issues and come out on the other side with a much calmer, and likely much happier horse.

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Re: Emma

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:31 pm

Demi, it is good to hear an update and to see Emma! She is looking absolutely happy and beautiful in your barn.

The transformation of her feet is impressive. I'm still amazing at how far my mare's feet have come since I've had her and she did not have the same extremes to recover from. I agree that Emma's hind legs look better in the recent photos, too.

Congratulations to you both on patient, good work! It sounds like you have made amazing progress. Well done, you two.

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Re: Emma

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:08 pm

I'm so happy for you, she is super nice!

I'll admit to a little secret- I hardly canter my half arab much, even though he is not a rehab project and has a STELLAR canter- why? it's better for me to build things in walk/trot, and work on basics. then when I do canter it's quality and he doesn't wiggle away from under me. I do about 50 bajillion walk halts every ride, TONS OF LATERAL WORK---

I can't train like everyone else. He is too soft, too prone to exaggerate corrections, and gets a bit "what the hell"? sometimes, he needs a psycologist.

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Re: Emma

Postby orono » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:11 pm

What a lovely mare, congrats!!

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:05 pm

I have had ups and downs with Emma, but after looking at a picture that I just took today and comparing it with when I first brought her home, I realize she has come a long way. I work her as much as I can but it certainly isn't an hour a day 5 days a week. It is more like and average of 3 days a week, sometimes not at all one week, and 5 times another week. Also, all of January through March, I worked her from the ground only. A "longe "program where she was on a longe line but I walked beside her so she wasn't doing endless circling.
Image

and for comparison, when I first got her.
Image

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Re: Emma

Postby Rosie B » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:10 pm

Wow demi! What a change!!!

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Re: Emma

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

That is a huge transformation. Well done.

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Re: Emma

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:16 am

That looks like a different horse!
The UDBB member known as AQHA Hunter

demi
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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:35 pm

Thanks for all the positive comments. We still have a long way to go to try to figure out her issues. I've had some good ideas and help from people on this board, but still, I may never get it resolved. Her personality continues to blossom with improved fitness and health, and she is a joy to have in my pasture and barn. That's enough for me, and any riding will just be icing on the cake.

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Re: Emma

Postby kande50 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:38 pm

demi wrote:Thanks for all the positive comments. We still have a long way to go to try to figure out her issues. I've had some good ideas and help from people on this board, but still, I may never get it resolved. Her personality continues to blossom with improved fitness and health, and she is a joy to have in my pasture and barn. That's enough for me, and any riding will just be icing on the cake.


That's the way I feel too, demi. If they're okay with having me ride them then I'm happy to ride them, but if they're not then there are so many other things we can do that there's no good reason I have to ride them.

But what I've found is that as soon as I started wanting cooperation rather than obedience that changed their attitude toward riding, too.

It's been a challenge for me to stay focused on cooperation, because horses are so agreeable that it's way too easy to forget and start reverting to my old, more coercive habits, which is not how I want to interact with my horses.

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Re: Emma

Postby mld02004 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:44 am

Wow, you should be pleased--looks like a totally different horse. The hind hooves look fabulous.

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Re: Emma

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:09 am

I'll echo everyone else- good job!

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Re: Emma

Postby LeoApp » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:28 pm

WOW!! That is fantastic! What a difference! She blooms with health and fitness now and her hooves look great. She is even standing in a more relaxed and balanced state.

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Re: Emma

Postby demi » Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:38 pm

I have been posting about Em's progress in the Sr. rider/Sr. horse forum under Sr. progress, but I hope that she will one day be a dressage horse again and so I want to continue the log over here. I appreciate that Chisamba is blogging about Deneb and her efforts have encouraged me to continue updating on Emma. I think we can learn from watching the systematic approaches to the more problematic horses over a period of time.

Just for a brief catch up since the update I did on April 29th: I had started doing more riding and less of my "lunge"routine (which is more like a combination of lunge/ground drive). Just walk/trot. The rein contact, which had been an issue last fall, was now very nice. My plan was to "lunge" more days than ride, but looking back on my notes from May, I rode twice as much as I "lunged". I was riding only walk and trot, and the few days that I lunged, I asked for a little canter and got it without bucking. No bucking on the lunge was in itself a big improvement. Then on May 21, she felt so lovely doing a very nice, freely forward trot under saddle, that I asked for more, as in a little lengthening. I asked for too much, though, and she started bucking. Not rodeo, break in half, head between the front legs, bucking, but definitely more than crow hopping.

After that episode, and discussing it on the Sr. forum, I had her radiographed for kissing spine, as well as a general lameness exam. The spine was fine...in fact, exemplary. She did have mild soreness in her left stifle and mild back soreness. She is now on Previcox and every other day hill work, unmounted to strengthen the quadriceps (to improve stifle function).

She had almost 3 weeks off after the bucking episode because I was too sore to do much, plus she had the trip to the vet clinic, plus she got trimmed a little too short and had several days off from that, PLUS she had a vet visit at home with sedation to look at her itchy/scratchy ears. She has only been on the hill work since June 9th. I measured the hill distance, but as far as the amount of incline, I can only describe it as gentle. I was doing it every other day, but after a several times, my own shins were getting sore and on doing a test lunge with Em, she started the bucking again. I am now going to try hills every 3rd or 4th day with the old "lunge" routine on the flat in between hill days.

I am making a note on my calendar to update this thread in about two months.

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Chisamba
Bringing Life to the DDBB
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Re: Emma

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:14 pm

I am glad to see you updating here, because it makes the record more complete, and that did help when i looked back on my progress with Deneb

Code3
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Re: Emma

Postby Code3 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:47 am

I love seeing your progress. She looks amazing. As my trainer says, the slow way is the fast way. You are finding the holes in her training and fixing them. Such a wonderful journey. Thank you for sharing.

Quelah
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Re: Emma

Postby Quelah » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:01 am

Not even the same horse! Well done!


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