Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kit 2016

Kit continues to be sound and well balanced.  While I no longer do a progressive blog on him, I thought you'd enjoy seeing this video of him, 5 years post injury.  We have full range of motion to the shoulder, balanced movement of gait, and foot balance.  This was not achieved through just my work.  My work would have been lost after every trim, if I had not had an excellent farrier, who worked to balance not only the hoof but the entire leg through corrective trim and eventually shoeing of the front. My thanks to Chad Bembenek Triangle P Enterprises LLC for his skill and patience over these many years.

Kit in Motion video link

The right shoulder (closest in video) is the one that was broken.
I will be eternally grateful to Kit, for going through this experience, and allowing me to learn through his injury.  That and the fact that every time I'm with him he makes me smile!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trim Again

New barn, and new trimmer...going on recommendation of the barn owner.  Her horse feet look great and balance is key for her high performance work.  So Kit got a trim from a new farrier on Friday June 22. 
She got them closer than any previous trims to date, but that is in part to two things, first takes time for the hoof material to grow out to allow the trim.

Second:  This was key.  She did the "guarded" foot left front, first and had no expectations of difficulties, so he just gave it to her.  I do like to think it was also in part to the nice dose of Rescue Remedy I gave him 20 minutes prior to the work as well.  But he did SOOOOOO much better this time.

We did the trim, start to finish in less then 30 minutes!! A new record.

MONDAY June 25, 2012

After the trim, balance check on KIT, I did a little ground work to see how the trim balance had worked for him. They are sometimes a bit sore, a couple of days after, as the body adjusts to the new feel.  So the shots  below are 3 days later...

Please forgive my novice lunge style, I'm a therapist, not a trainer. But Kit has a good foundation and he's smart, so he figures it out. 

His movement is getting better, the right front tracking more evenly, and he is not loading his left front so I think physical and mental progress is being made.  I even got a little attitude, which makes me think he's mentally moving past the "I can't do it" thinking...and feeling like a real horse once more.

The hard part is getting time to work with him, as this is my busy season with my horse work, but I'm not going anywhere and neither is he, so the time will come.  In the meantime he's at a great facility and getting the best care. I love being there with him whenever I can.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Injury 1 Year Later: Bodywork and Analysis-Next Steps

Stopped by to check on Kit Friday evening, remove a layer of mud...with all the rain there is a lot of it and it seems to be a favorite to roll in right now! It took some time to groom him, but in the end, we got most of it!

It has been a full year at the end of April since he fell and broke his right shoulder.  The bone has healed completely, with some thickening to the synovial capsule of the scapula/humerus juncture, but range of motion and movement are good.  Video below.

I decided to do some bodywork on him, it has been a couple of months since his last work, and I noticed some  reactive areas during grooming.  He is still unwilling to allow manual manipulation of the left front, his support leg, to be lifted for cleaning or therapy. We are working on that, but today I decided to try a new tact with him, to not even ask for it.  I began with therapies using touch, massage and acupoint releases from withers to hoof.

It was interesting to see him go through all his resistant patterns that he does when I ask for the foot.  He always offers the other leg, and has a whole pattern of refusal...but this time it finally sunk in that I wasn't even asking...that confused him.  He gradually did relax and allow himself to just chill out and enjoy the process.
He relaxed so much, I was able to float his scapula, as all his weight was off it and he had completely relaxed the shoulder.  He had great release, which I think surprised him, but he didn't shift his weight...yeah, making progress. Don't know if you can see it in this photo, but the left front cannon bone and leg structure is a full 1/3 heavier then the right. His hoof is more "pancaked" out, and  I also noticed his tendons have bowed slightly.

A little video of gait analysis...yes I know too short of a rope here, will use the lunge line next time.  I'm still seeing abnormalities on how he is using his body, but he is making progress. We shot this to establish his 1 year movement baseline.

Continued with his bodywork into his neck, poll, and shoulders, with significant bracing with the lightest techniques.  See even my own horse can have issues and need work!   He took a lot of tension, muscle damage, and restriction into the base of his neck when the shoulder broke and through the continued pain and modifications to his movement during healing has retained it and protects it.

While the break is healed now, the recovery is far from over, physical therapy to strengthen the leg, and help him to yet again remodel his body...this time toward a more balance form.  As well as working through his psychological barriers of pain anticipation.

 But he is SO worth it! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kit's On the Move! 

The way in...
to Paradise! 

I moved Kit to his new barn last Saturday, he couldn't be happier, and neither could I! 
I found a dedicated horsewoman, who will care for him as if he was her own, and boy are her horses well cared for!  Ideal would be to have a place of my own to house him, but with all the miles I travel, I'd still need help with his care, so this is the best of both...and still close to home at only 30 minutes away. 

The sign reads...Welcome to Paradise! 
How wonderful is that? 

Lots of new friends to be made. 

The fella's he shares a 4 acre pasture with, the dark one is Flash, he's 2, and the paint is 4, but I don't know his name yet.  They all get along, the usual one upping, but less each day. 

And lots, and lots, of yummy dandelions...Kits favorite!  
Shoulder and movement update will be in the next post with video clips. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Green Grass = Happy Horse

Kit indulging in green grass heaven!

I was out of town for 10 days visiting family and working on horses in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Last day of the trip, the barn owner called, Kit was shaking his left hind...she'd never seen him do this before.

So I asked questions:
1. Any swelling?  No
2. Anything caught on the leg? No
3. Is he acting like he is in pain?  No
He just was doing this odd, shake, step, shake of the left hind. She wanted me to be aware of it.

I think I know what it is...but can't get there until tomorrow, flying in at noon. 

Not the best photo, but notice all 4 feet are fairly clean.  I hosed him down, checked all over the left hind, and found no swelling, cut, puncture, or sensitivity.
So I lifted the foot and checked my suspicions...yep, there it was, a string of frog, about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide...and it was all that remained of his old new frog was evident.

Not sure if anyone else has this, but I've noticed when Kit sheds his (especially hind) frogs, they appear to come off in one large piece. I suspect this is what happened the day before, and to him it was rather like a shoe with the sole flapping, his shaking was an attempt to get shed of it.

So nice to come home to a non-emergency.  Green grass was a bonus, since when we left, it had not yet sprouted. He had a little sassy attitude but a few foot moving commands brought him around to a more respectful approach.  I think he had grass envy and it was taking over!

Bonus of the day, one of the foot moves we did was light lunge right and left...both were performed without a limp!  Yippee!!!  It's going to be a very good year!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Means Mud!

Well, we have seen geese arriving, birds seeking mates, and horse hair I think winter is just about over.  Never thought it would happen in February!

Kit is beginning to shed, but my biggest concern is the mud that turns to ice overnight.  His pasture buddies shown here, but notice the water on the left...ugh!

A sunny afternoon, and they just delivered hay...Kit is happy to clean up the yard!  Ummmm, yummy...his favorite is the little hay flakes under the roughage!
Heading into the arena for a little ground work, we met a friend, Kit had to stop and sniff.  He is almost always just curious, and not frightened by piles of stuff, kittens, and the like.  However, the other day a garden hose that was moving as someone dragged it from inside a building, resulted in stopping with BIG snorts, until we identified it as a hose.

A bit dark for good photos in the arena, that and I'd need another hand, or a photographer.  We did light lundging right and left, right is still harder, and he does give a little limp at the trot, but overall he did very well.  The leg is tracking straight, with no swing outward, with walk and trot.  We haven't done canter just yet.  His previous training is showing up now, and he does very well, with only occasional bouts of "opinion" but we work through those and he does fine...I think he's just checking to see if my rules are the same.

I've been working every weekend this month, surprising for February, but I'm not complaining.  Love the work and the horses but it does cut down on the time I have for Kit. We change the clocks soon so we should have light longer in the evenings soon.

One final parting nibble!  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beginning with Training

We had temperatures in the 50's on Tuesday, so I took the opportunity to head to the barn, and spend some training time with Kit. This is video shot a few weeks ago, but shows a good sample of his reaction to having his feet lifted.

Arrived to ice and mud, but Kit was fairly clean, and happy to see me.  My goal today was to pick all 4 feet, and not get hurt.  I worked with him on tying then ask for feet alternately, avoiding the dreaded left front until last.  Hoping he'd figure out this wasn't so bad.  It took a couple of requests, but he did it, and all 4 were picked and clean.

So next we headed to the indoor arena for a little work time.  His shoulder is stable and my goal is to get him moving in a more balanced manner and using each of the fronts equally in his cadence.  Light lung work, at the oval, I'm not a fan of circle lunging as it so stressing the joints of the legs.  He only gave a little buck, but I could tell it felt good, and he was very responsive to my requests.

My only hurdle was he kept wanting to stop and face me, and I wanted him to keep moving, so we are working on communication.  We compromised and I took him in hand and we worked on figure 8's, moving his balance from right to left and back again.  We didn't do a lot as it was the first time.  But I count it as a very successful session.

How I gauge a successful outcome:
1. He was happy & listened well to queues.
2. He even lifted all 4 feet in the indoor, when I tapped them with the crop, this is the ultimate goal in foot requesting for me. So I'll keep you posted.
3. I walked away without any new bruises.
4. I'm still smiling as I think about it!