The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:44 pm 
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Location: Natal, South Africa
Colinde
You make a good point. She does still go downhill, but is refusing the STEEP ones. I am going to have to try find a way to check if the AMOUNT of pelvic rotation she was doing has changed.
:ieks: That's a challenge.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:26 am 

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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
I agree your meticulous observation and clear notes help a lot.

"She isn’t giving off any kind of “defiant” feeling with this." so in that case I agree with Sue, Shatzi is trying to point out something.

I thought after the saddle change and better movement, managing to bulk up and be happy riding out, she was not literally teenage/ 4 year old, but brought back in, re-started and similar to a youngster because her previous riding from unbroken would have been a string or on the gallop, not much schooling which you have offered for her to sneer and prefer not to engage with.
No point asking for more if it is pain related, and if "She has done this only recently and when hacking alone, in company, in my “arena”, bareback, with a pad on, with each of my 3 saddles on, with different bridles on, in a halter …" in all situations then clearly she is not just testing you out on a trail ride. Even with your shims it may be a pelvic problem or somewhere else on the spine.

Can your groom walk distances with Shatzi in long-lines driving to exercise her without a rider or saddle on her back?
Good luck with this Glen, you are getting lots of ideas thrown in. xx

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Just wanted to take a moment to say how lucky I think Shatzi is to have found you!
:f:

Hope you all figure it out easily...

xo
L.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Well now. Thanks to all the ideas and input from all of you I have formed an opinion about what is causing this weird trot, and I have done my best to observe and "test" my theory.

As suggested. I "went back a step" in my work with her. :funny: I put a pad on her back (I have VERY sharp butt-bones because I can't gain weight properly) and hopped on and did some "just sitting here" while she wandered around the arena. I was very pleased at how much easier I found it to "feel" her hips moving - one of us must have improved a lot
I was surprised at how quickly I thought her right hip started "dipping. It turns out the hip isn't dipping - the whole leg is collapsing. :ieks: :ieks: :pale:
:sad: It looks to me as if my work to reduce her big grass belly and displaced ribs is "forcing" her to use her back legs differently than she used to.
From what I see on 2 old videos I have of her, she used to subtly rotate that right hind every time it was on the ground - land, twist and lift - as well as not "tracking up" as much with the right hind. This accommodated her big belly and "VERY not straight" situation.
:rain: As she straightens, that leg is trying to carry more weight as it moves more "correctly" and it just don't have enough power.
I observed her closely when she was playing around with the boys. That leg is often at a weird angle when she moves. Looking at her from directly behind, she often places that foot closer to her center-line than she does with the other back foot.
Her hips are level - even when she does this. :ieks:
:rambo: This is when her leg "sinks" under her and she twists either her pelvis counter-clockwise or her leg clockwise (I can't decide which of the 2 is happening) and then she has to twist her shoulders the other way to recover - so we get the corkscrew I was feeling.

I have gone back to ambling around while I sit on her back - I just give her directions on where I want her to go.
:roll: I thought we were past this phase ... :funny: history is repeating itself, it seems. Last time around this phase lasted just over 2 months before she showed any desire to move more and/or faster.
:evil: I guess I am back to having a racehorse Thoroughbred mare who does NOT want to go faster than an amble.
;) I am using this time to teach a groom to ride - he is sitting on Rocket and ambling with us.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Good for you Glen, as usual your observational skills play a big part in your horse care, for the better.

I'd sure look at stifle and hip joint if possible. OTTBs have such problems with their underpinnings. Well, with their whole bodies and psyches for that matter. Hugs.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:41 pm 
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;) Donald, I plan to call out a chiro as soon as I have some budget available and when I manage to locate one.
:kiss:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:31 pm 
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That is so often the case with horses who have been 'trained' by others before they get to us.
As soon as you think it all goes forward, it goes two steps back again... sigh.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:32 am 
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Wow! Good detective work!

This may not be relevant at all, but I've observed a twist that sounds similar in a couple of horses I work with. In their case it's the result of a bowed hind tendon. The tendon has healed, but the scar tissue lacks sufficient stretch on breakover, so they twist their hind foot in place to reduce tension on the tendon before push off.

Whether tendons are an issue for your horse or not, I'd be inclined to trim up the hind toes VERY short to ease the breakover, because something somewhere up the leg is having a hard time with the push off phase.

I'd also look very closely at her heel balance in that hind foot, studying the collateral grooves to tell you where the true solar plane is, because excess height on the inside wall and heel can cause something like this too in my experience. I've shaved off inside sole on a couple of horses and had their "hip" problems disappear. That "off stance" with hips level sounds fishy.

FWIW, I much prefer ambling exracehorses to the galloping kind! :green:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Josepha, I couldn't agree more. Poor girl - I remember going through this with Laska. As fast as we found and fixed "his problem" the next one jumped up and said "Me too!!! Me too!!!" like layers in an onion.

Sue, I have no fears that she has problems with any tendons in any of her legs. Way back when Mich first got her we called a vet to look at the apparent technical lameness (nodding and stumbling) and uneven "tracking up."

She did a VERY thorough examination of Shatzi's legs and found a few healed splints but no tendon damage at all. This is when we found the arthritis, by the way. It is a good thing for me t keep in mind though, because I suppose I could strain those tendons if I am not careful.

With regard to her hooves, the farrier has brought her through a lot of remedial work already and he is very happy with her feet at the moment. We have a few superficial cracks on the outside of all 12 feet but that is because the weather can't decide if it should stay cold, warm, sunny, overcast, humid, dry, raining, clear :roll: and that means that one day the horses are in mud halfway up their hooves and 24 hours later they're on a concrete-hard baked surface. We are having very unpredictable and unseasonable weather at the moment and have been for the past 2 or 3 months.

What I think I see is that she had a movement pattern which was based around the blind eye, and that caused a massive ribcage distortion to the right which then created the twisting action to get her leg to avoid that gut. She also had a massive saggy belly.
:sad: and then I came along and tightened her abdominals enough to start straightening work and now her leg has to learn how to move properly as well as redeveloping the muscles to accommodate a new pattern..

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:48 am 
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Quote:
and then I came along and tightened her abdominals enough to start straightening work and now her leg has to learn how to move properly as well as redeveloping the muscles to accommodate a new pattern..



Glen, this makes a lot of sense from a long ways away -- in addition to having muscles that work differently than she anticipates, her center of balance sounds like it's really shifted -- that takes some getting used to!

As usual, I'm inspired by your careful and thoughtful eyes...

xo
L.

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