Saturday, 9 July 2011

Road to Recovery II - Outings

As we are still very much on the road to recovery and still a bit away from returning under saddle (due to need for re-conditioning and my need to purchase new saddle) this week the focus has been walker (to get mind at ease), lungeing (to start re-building and work out kinks) and then paddock (to refresh the mind).
Took us a few attempts to get this "schedule" down and working in mine and Kika's favour. Our first attempts at lungeing from the box resulted in an over excited ponio moving at faster than a walk for the first time in a month and "forgetting" she was sore - cue jumping/farting/bucking/cantering/more-farting about - which as you can imagine left me with a feeling-sorry-for-herself ponio more lame finishing then when she started!
So we (my mother suggested it and I readily agreed) decided that perhaps the best plan of attack would be bung Kika in the walker for 30-45mins and then lunge her alternating walk and trot for 5mins in each direction (first two days - increased by 5 mins every two days since), then the holy grail for me since she injured herself getting her back out to grass!
It started with 30mins in a paddock on tuesday evening;
(please excuse quality as is becoming a bit of a "bad" habit of mine, shiny 'new' phone was out of battery so trusty old phone was used to snap a few pics) (Tuesday 05/07/2011)

This was our second paddock up the back of the yard, I had let her loose in a front paddock just prior to this, but the road runs alongside this and the prospect of being able to run anytime anything passed was not what i had in mind for our "relaxing" first outing in a month. Thankfully despite her messing in the earlier field she did not appear to do any more damage to herself and we could continue on my self-made recovery plan.

Rinse and repeat the following evening with 5mins extra lungeing and her paddock exposer ectended to an hour. This time there was no messing on either of our parts, i let her out directly in the paddock up the back and she settled like the pro grass-eater, and was happy out while i went messing about with her stable and gassing with friends. She reserved her galloping and bucking for my return to bring her back in from the field! *roll-eyes*
She was down the end of the paddock when i got the the gate (as she always is when I don't stay gawping at her at the gate she moves off down the field), the previous evening she had galloped up the field to me - so i was very happy when she calmy walked up to me on wednesday evening. However before she got to the gate the messing madam turned and cantered off back down the field (nice calm bouncy canter I might add!), threw in a few bucks down there then cantered back up the field and down once more before she was happy to come to the gate and come in!

(Wednesday 6/07/2011 - Just after turning out)

Thursday we tried a new farrier recomended by a friend (A) at the barn. He does her horse and comes from Belgium specifically to shoe her horse, she has been most complimentary about him and has used him for years on numerous horses. As I had been in the market for a French speaking farrier having had a German speaking one for the past year whom I could not communicate with and who I had never met, after asking the friend (C) who was on teh same shoeing cycle as me if it might be possible to change Miss K's shoeing slightly (C always contacted the farrier and did all the organising), however she told me she wasn't really too keen on asking him to do something to someone else's horse because the last time she had he had wound up doing request to her horse! At the same time she mentioned that she didn't think he knew which horse was which (there were three od us on the same cycle - getting our mares shod together), this combined with teh fact that every 6weeks the three of us were being asked to pay different amounts from each other and from month to month despite the fact that the shoeing was identical; was the final straw to get me to look for a new farrier!
Anyways long story short (mine are never short though are they! *blush* ) Kika got new shoes and for the first time since she initially got shod out here her feet resemble those that she had when she was shod back in Ireland. Those of you that I whined at before about not being sure the shoeing she was receiving here was right will remember my concerns from way back when.
I have 2 photos of her front feet taken on Thursday the left foot has the new shoe on and the right foot is as it was shod previously (but minus the shoe). I'm not sure how clearly the difference will come across as again photos taken from my phone...


Now nothing against the style of shoeing the German guy did, I'm sure he is very good at his style of shoeing it is just very different to that which i was used to and i am not sure it suited my horse. The new farrier was also suprised at the way she had been shod, he said that from what he could see from what was before him that it would appear that Kika's heel was cut right back and then that the shoe was also then cut back while the front of the shoe was slightly turned up (think Aladdin shoes but on horses) - which now has me a little apprenensive that the formation of her hoof may have been altered. All in all he measured the angle of her hoof and it was way off the 45degrees to the ground recomended.

Now once again, i repeat I am not angry or annoyed at my previous farrier, this is just the way he was taught - every country has different methods and I am sure he was doing what he was taught and what he thought best.

To finish on (what for me is a very) good note! :D
After the walker-lungeing last night, I hopped up on K bareback to cool her off! *dance*
We just walked around "our" arena a couple of times. 2x in one direction - 1x in "bad" direction and she did feel unbalanced at first as "bad" direction is a) the rein she dislikes of the two and b) the fornt leg she injured - go figure!
I was slightly nervous and apprehensive getting up as i hadn't planned on doing it and so had no helmet or nothing, she was in her headcollar and i'd looped the lunge line back and forth across her neck (had three reins). Now I do not advocate what i did and know that it was terrible and it could have ended awfully for both her and me, but sometimes you just know that the timeing is right and I knew taht if i didn't do it then when i was feeling positive and good about it (and there was no pressure and no one watching) that by the time it would eventually come around to my getting back up I'd have been bricking it. Whereas now that first initial mind block has been breached and hopefully all will continue to go smoothly for us!
Also following this and with me on cloud 9, she got to spend the bones of 2 hours out in the paddock yesterday evening and was good as gold as horses were taken in from around her and others passed back and forth being taken to other fields.
To say i went home happy last night was an understatement! ;)

I am going to head up to the barn now shortly (it's 12pm here) and walker/lunge my Madam then she is going back out to the "all-day-and-night" field with two of her original buddies from her pre-injury field. All going well with her re-installation out there I am hoping to leave her out there for the forseeable future. It probably would be best to bring her in this evening, but as the other two will be staying out and it won't be her first time out this year (it'll just be her first overnight in a month-ish) - all being calm when i check back on her this evening I'd rather leave her out and avoid a potential argument when/if she were to be re-introduced to the field the following day after being in for the night.

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