Monday, November 26, 2012

Arena Session #1

Danny had his first arena session, since we started his rehab, on Sunday the 25th of Nov.  I really have not done much with him since the last post except for some exercising and stretching when I could. But I have seen him more active lately, with some running around the pasture, which I take as a pretty good sign. 

When we got to the arena he was pretty excited by the new surroundings, but quickly got right down to work.  We did the stretching first, and it was easy to tell when he was done in the back because he would hit me in the face with his tail!  Silly old man! 

We walked, trotted and cantered in circle doing several circles of each at the end of a long lead rope. Then we back in a big circle in both directions.  He still has more trouble on backing to the right, but he was able to do it.

After that we did another session of forward then another session of stretching , finishing up with the tail smack to the face again!

I put the snaffle on him, he did his best to NOT open for the bit, but finally relented.  I put the saddle on him and of course he stood still for me cinching him up and getting on him.

As soon as I asked him to move forward at a walk, he leaped and attempted to buck!  Danny doesn't buck real well, so I turned him around and then asked for the walk again.  He tried to take off again, but we did another circle and after that he went forward pretty nicely.  It took me a minute to get my "seat". Riding a horse with stringhalt is like riding a triangle, and it takes a little getting used to!

One lap at a walk, then a trot and then he really wanted to go so I let him canter.  I had to put an end to that when I felt him land toe down on that bad foot. But he did a full lap around the arena with me on his back at a canter, so that was pretty good.  We backed up about 10 feet, but for an old sway backed guy I knew that asking him to collect for that long with me on him was a lot. So we only did it once. 

I was so happy to have that nice soft dirt for him when he landed toe first, I could see the hole it made, but had he been on hard ground it could have been damaging. As near as I can tell it did not do any damage. There is no swelling or heat and he is walking normal on it.  Afterwards we did another lap at a walk to let him cool down as he was breathing pretty hard.  He even worked up a little bit of a sweat. 

I was not able to get any pictures of the work out, as I was the only one there.  But I really think he enjoyed himself once he realized that Trax was right there in the corner and he was not going to have to leave him.  Danny is extremely herd bound.  Of all my horses he is by far the worst.    All in all I think it was a good ride, and good for him.  With any luck we will get to go again next weekend.