Friday, July 1, 2011

Chiropractors, the Equine kind.

So yesterday Gus saw Dr. K again, his equine Chiropractor. She's amazing and has loads of patience. It also helps that she's also a dressage rider, so she understands the needs of a dressage horse more then someone who isn't familiar with that discipline.

Gus was out in a lot of the same places as before, but Dr. K said she was able to get better adjustments this time. I'm hoping that Gus shows marked improvement like he did back at the end of May when he saw Dr. K for the first time.

This time, she found him out in the low back/SI region again. He was locked tight in the left side and that in turn caused all the vertebrae in the lower back on the right side to tilt. This could very well be part of the reason why he is reluctant to pick up the right lead canter, specifically on the lunge/at liberty. Other points of soreness included the right hip/pelvis area - just above the right stifle, the left side of the base of his neck - near/on the withers, and the left side of his skull/right side of poll - if that makes any sense.

Anyways, I did ask about the excessive yawning. She mentioned that it could be due to him being out in the poll/TMJ/etc or it could be also due to something else, I forget the name. But regardless, she related it to the same reason why Apolo Ohno yawns before any of his races... to get more oxygen back into his body/muscles/etc. So, who knows why Gus decided to take up yawning... the world may never know.

On this past Wednesday, Gus and I had a really nice lesson. We started Gus off, as usual, on the lunge. Nothing new there, just tried a couple different settings with the side reins as Gus decided to be counter-bent, even with the inside reins shorter then the outside. B, my trainer/BO, noticed that Gus seemed more short-strided on the left then on the right, which is the opposite that he normally is.

Undersaddle, Gus ended up being short-strided to the right, which is typical for him. Going to the left, everything was normal. All we did undersaddle on Wednesday was work being round, forward off my leg and "joggy" trot. We did 3 and 4 loop trot serpentines along with canter figure-8s. With the figure-8s, we added an extra circle at X, typically 10-12m in size - still at the canter. We opted to not push Gus with a smaller canter circle to the right, so we stuck with just the 20m circle that direction.

Needless to say, it ended up being a good training session. Gus had some nice moments and only towards the end of the lesson did he start showing some bad steps behind. I definitely think the chiro + squared off hind toes makes a world of difference for him.

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