Another week, another heel bruise! You can see it just above my thumb:
This is terribly frustrating as work, up until this time with Forrest, has been quite rewarding, but each time these heel grabs and bruises occur, he must have several days off in order to recover, so it feels very much, ‘one step forward, two steps back.’ Forrest lives in bell boots- the kind advertised to be ‘no turn’ and I even put an extra large pair on top of these during turn out, but still, this short-coupled fellow with the extravagant hind leg manages, somehow, to smack himself. Perhaps it’s time to consider lining the inside of his boots with bubble wrap. Either that or I’m buying him a pair of mud flaps…
Prior to this latest owie, I had, as usual, been focusing on our rhythm…Forrest can actually be rather phlegmatic to the leg and in the past, I tended to start him out a bit over-tempo in trot, just to inspire his engine a bit, but I really don’t want to go about jamming his joints into the ground, so, following Jane Savoie’s advice, I now ride Forrest onto a large circle and close both calves for forward and, if he overcompensates and begins taxiing for take-off, I simply bring him back, apply my calves again, so that he begins to understand that I want longer steps from behind and not ‘runny’ ones. I also find that by applying only my inside calf, on the ‘up’ part of my post, I can handily influence that inside hind to come deeper forward, as well. And I really felt as though he was getting it!
So, sigh, not an awful lot to report this week, I’m afraid, until my boy is sound again…but that’s horses, isn’t it?