Monday, November 19, 2012

Pony Yoga

Today I started out teaching Katai the next step in CA's ground work lessons which is lunging for respect. As a way to achieve that I also yielded her hindquarters, backed her and did some desensitization.

She did a really good job again today especially since I just had a short time because it is dark so early. Because of that I skipped the saddle and bridle today and didn't do any round penning even though she really needs more practice with that. Tomorrow she will wear the saddle and bridle again and I'll do some more round penning.

The real goal today was to start doing some stretches with both her and Myshla. Myshla has a weak back and hindquarters, which you can see in the picture at the bottom of this post, and when she is stiffer she trots around with her head constantly tipped to the right. It was suggested to me by my trainer that I start doing some carrot stretches with her.

For Katai I think the issue is in her right shoulder. The first thing I noticed is that she had a grazing foot, or even a slight club foot on that side. Club feet are caused by three main things; genetics, injury, or stance. A grazing foot comes from a horse standing with one front foot back and one forward either from environmental causes, such as a foal spending too much time in a stall, or physical, such as stiffness or weakness. This causes them to grow more heel on the foot they keep further back to protect themselves. Injury, such as an injury to the shoulder or tendon can also cause them to grow more heel to protect themselves.

Many people try to correct a clubbed foot by treating the hoof when it would actually be more beneficial to treat the actual cause. With a genetically clubbed foot there is very little you can do, however in Katai's case I think the extra heel that she grows on that foot is more about a physical issue because she is extremely stiff through that shoulder. Since stretches are easy and free we'll start there first along with doing some work to help her maintain a shorter heel, I trim my own feet so this is also simple. Hopefully it will help but honestly it's a slight enough difference in angles that I'm not really too worried :)

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