Monday, November 7, 2016

2 Week Overview (Lesson, Trail Rides, Clipping, Browband Bling, Chiropractor)

I promise I haven't fallen off the Earth. I've been super busy at work, busy with Penn, tired of working 7 days a week, and haven't felt like writing, nor really had time to. I'm trying to keep up with everyone else's posts! But things have gone on:

I had another lesson where I struggled with my seatbones. Very discouraging, I didn't bother writing about it. We focused on different ways of trying to get my seatbones working properly, but at this point I'm overthinking it and overdoing it.

Queen Penny and her court jesters, Sophie and Felix.

I took Penn for some long over due walks.

Pretty scenery... but we somehow missed the fall leaf change. The leaves went from greenish to dead and off the trees.
Trail ride at Trainer's when we hauled over to see a new chiropractor. (details below)

Penn got clipped almost two weeks ago. He was a gem this time around- clipping his whites all summer really helped desensitize him to clipping. I still can't cross tie him, and I had to wedge him against the wall and ground tie him, but we got the job done! This is the first time I've fully clipped my own horse- I've fully clipped Trainer's but I've always left the face and legs unclipped on my own horse.

One last look of his pretty mahogany color. I braided his mane, tail, and forelock to keep them out of the way.
Part of the pile of fluff. #notpoop
So pretty! (Except that mane- I was halfway through pulling it)

I really like the no-hair look! I did a poor job with the saddle patch though. It doesn't match side to side and it is a bit big, but whatever. I can fix it when I clip a second time this winter.

Penn was such a big boy about me clipping his face, I was very happy with him!

I also finally finalized the Dark Jewel Designs browbands I won from EventingSaddlebredStyle's Olympics contest- I'm so totally smitten by the one, so much so that I haven't even taken a picture of Penn wearing the other!

Black/Gray/Clear ombre with tanzanite spacers.
I was completely distracted by it when I went to hang the bridle in my trailer- the sunlight really caught the tanzanite spacer's color.
It has merited a lot of looking- sometimes the clear beads catch the light, sometimes the black. It never looks the same and I love it!

I also got a gorgeous gray and navy one, which I'll post when I get a pic of it!

Penn looking at the trailer when I pulled it up to haul him over to Trainer's barn last Wednesday.

And Penn made a big trip to the land of NQR last week. He's not lame, but his right hind is not willing to step up and under. It's always been weak, but this was beyond normal for him.

Trainer called a halt to lesson as soon as she saw it when we warmed up last Tuesday. I told her we'd been struggling in general, and I had long lined him Sunday to try and work on his canter. He had bucked into the canter numerous times, which is completely unlike him, and he struggled to the right on the lines. She had me trot/canter each way, then lunge him so I could see what it looked like and so she could see if it was better or worse without a rider.

He was much worse without a rider (no wonder I feel like I'm holding him together again, it's because I am). It's not visible in the walk, it's barely visible in the trot, and it was horrible in the canter. To the left, it was like he completely forgot to bring his right hind along with him. It was barely coming up even with his hip. To the right, it was like he was bouncing on his hind legs instead of striding properly.

He was about 2 weeks overdo for chiropractor work, and we had been working hard at flying changes, more collection and extension, and more lateral work. We're hoping it's a mix of fatigue and overdue for bodywork. I'm upset I didn't notice it riding him, but it seems to have been graduallying getting worse so I attributed it to something going wrong in training.

I had already scheduled Penn to be adjusted by a traveling vet who does chiropractor and acupuncture injection therapy (B12 injections). He has quite a following and came highly recommended- he travels over half the country to just do chiropractic work on horses. Luckily, that appointment was the next day after lesson. I hauled Penn over and we went for a gentle walk before he was adjusted (it was a gorgeous day!).

This vet was very concerned about Penn's lumbar/SI area/hips- more so then his regular chiropractor. He was quick to point out that Penn's right hip was considerably lower than his left. It's been that way since last winter, and his regular chiropractor had been working on it. I figured what was left was poor muscling on that side since he didn't really want to step up and under with the right hind... apparently not. He said he thought it had been like this for a long time, is probably from an injury long ago, and it would take him a few visits to get it fully worked out. He also pointed out how the lower lumber region wanted to turn to right (and I could actually feel it- he showed me where). The vet was surprised I had just reported that Penn had just started bucking this week- he thought Penn should have started bucking long ago.

Let me say that Penn did not enjoy getting adjusted. The vet did a quick check all over, adjusted his shoulder, then worked on the problem area in his hips. He showed me how stiff Penn's back was before, and then how bouncy it was when he was done. It was very neat. He used a bit of force in his adjustments, and Penn decided he had enough and moved away sideways... so we reset him and he decided to try walking away... so I held his head and shoulder, Trainer had two hands on his right side as the vet worked on the left side to release the right (very interesting). Penn did reach around and pin his ears and snap a couple times, so I did feel bad for him... But I know when I'm worked on effectively, it does hurt, but I also understand what's going on so I don't bite my chiropractor. Towards the end, he started stomping his right hind- something vet said is from his back releasing and it creating a tingly feeling down his leg.

He then popped in 6-8 needles in the SI area and one on his right shoulder, and injected them all with B12. I think the B12 is supposed to help the adjustments stay longer. The vet said to give Penn at least one day off with normal half day turnout- I said he'd get 4 days off because I simply couldn't make it to the barn again before Monday.

Holy shit though, Penn's hips were extremely close to level when he was done. When Penn's regular chiro adjusts him, his hips still look the same. I was floored. I've never been able to see physical results of the work... and this guy is only $15 more expensive than Penn's regular chiro. After hauling him home and finishing up there, one of the other girls at the barn noticed Penn being willing to stand square behind, instead of his usual pose of the right hind under or resting while the left holds up his hind end. Interesting.

Penn is, of course, on this vet's schedule for next time he's through this area (about every 8 weeks- the guy likes every 6 weeks but finds he can't get all his clients seen within 6 weeks for the correct rotation, so it's 8 instead). I do believe Penn has a new regular chiropractor.

I'll see how he is tonight! I'm hopeful that this NQR will be gone with that big adjustment and time off. Our Very Exciting Event is next week and I wanted to make Penn's second level debut at a show the weekend after Thanksgiving! Both are up for cancellation depending on how Penn is this week.


  1. Hopefully Penn feels better! And I love love love that browband. I'm super curious to hear about the end result of Penn's hips considering I was just staring at my horse's uneven hips...

    1. I really hope he does too! I don't like seeing him hurting. I am totally in love with that browband, thanks for having the contest!! I do catch myself ogling it sometimes...

      When Penn was done, I was like, "Holy shit, look how even his hips are!" I'm super excited to see how Penn is tonight... I'll lunge him first since apparently my feel is off!

  2. Wow, sounds like an awesome experience with the chiro! So anxious to hear what kind of results you see 😀 and that browband 😍 my bonnet from the same contest should be mailing out this week, yay!! 😁

    1. I'm anxious about what Penn will be like tonight! I really really hope that he was just hurting and tired, and it's not a bigger thing. I can absolutely keep the chiro coming (massages too!) if that keeps Penn physically well!

  3. Penn looks so handsome with his clip! and very interesting about that chiro. i've been starting to collect some info and thoughts for charlie's eventual foray into body work but haven't been sure whether he's ready yet (given all the other physical soreness and aches and pains related to letting down from the track). all the same tho i'd love to learn more about this guy if you'd be willing to share the info!

    1. I bet he comes your way! I'm trying to find your phone number... I got a new phone and I'm having trouble finding things... so text me and I can send you his info!

      I don't think it would hurt Charlie to have body work done- it might help him out since he's using new muscles and everything.

  4. Good bodywork is so cool & endlessly interesting 😊