Sunday, March 13, 2011

Equine Podiatry Clinic at Morrie Waud / Jimmy Schools Easy / Meet Diesel

Saturday this weekend I went up to Morrie Waud Equine Clinic for a "Podiatry Solutions to Improve Equine Performance". I have to say the educational portion for horse owners was unbelievably interesting. The second half of the day was more geared toward farriers, so when they started getting really into it, they kind of lost me and I kept catching myself day dreaming.

Here are some of my notes of the things I learned from the day:
  • Bad feet = muscular deformity = saddle fitting issues
  • Sore heels typically take 4 shoeings (every 4 weeks) to show improvement
  • Always get Xrays to show foot formation - ask your vet to check the balance of coffin bone to the ground
  • Big hind feet typically means the horse is more athletic, more to "push" with
  • Wedge pads help alignment
  • Once a horse is "cured" of lameness through proper shoeing techniques, KEEP IT UP. Going back to your old ways will make your horse's lameness return
  • The goal is to always have the frog on the ground. Strong frog = strong foot
  • Dont pick hooves before riding (unless the horse has been on stones) - The mud/manure that's naturally packed it's way into the frog is comfortable for how the horse walks & this way horses won't sink all the way into the sand & grind it up into their hooves.
Pretty interesting!! Basically, every single thing they mentioned in problem/solution for sore heels was like they had been just watching Jimmy and documenting every moment. If they have sore heels, they compensate on their toes, causing lameness. The lameness then goes up into their shoulder, and into their back. With proper shoeing & padding in the feet after regular, consistent sessions the horse will regain strength in their hooves & their shoulders & backs will reshape, potentially causing saddle fitting problems because their backs are finally relaxed and building muscle from comfortable, natural movement....

IS THIS LIKE DEJA VU OR WHAT!?!? Jimmy had ouchy heels. He went REALLY lame. We found Tim. He got sound. I had to get my saddle fixed. Oh. My. Goodness. Every word the farrier & vet team were saying to the crowd I felt like they just directed straight at me. Light bulb. Light bulb. Light bulb. It was pretty amazing. I text Tim and let him know that according to UW, he's the perfect farrier :-) God bless the team of vet/farrier that I have for Jimmy!!! Unreal.

In other news - we schooled a gymnastic today a few times and a little vertical off many different turns and Jimmy was quiet, easy & pleasant. No complaints, just good Jimmy. All is well in our world.

Horse show season is coming up so the pressure to perform is on & I've got a new project to work on that hopefully won't stick around too long, even though I'm kind of digging him a lot right now :-) His name is Diesel and he's a very, very cool dude. Here he is:
Diesel is a 16.3hh 2002 OTTB. He never raced, but he is tattooed so he was definitely brought up on the track. Based on his body and coordination (or currently...lackthereof??) he DEFINITELY was too slow for the track. He's just HUGE, everywhere. Big head, big legs, huge feet, and a belly you can't begin to wrap yourself around. He's as sweet and gentle as can be, just desperately in need of an education and consistent riding. He's learning, slowly but surely, and I'm really having a riot of a time with him. Every time I work with a new green horse I think, "Oh gosh. I really, really love this." and I seriously do. I have a passion for green horses that radiates through my core. I just love teaching their stupid little brains and making them smart little brains :-)

Diesel has impeccable movement and even though he's far from coordinated right now, he's definitely going to make a beautiful hunter. We're just riding walk/trot and he and I work on the ground so he has the cardio workout of cantering as well. In the field all day, he just stands and eats. He isn't active in the least so he needs someone to rev his engine a little bit (and work off a little of that BELLY!!!) He's learning steering and stopping. He steers pretty well, I can't say the same for stopping, yet. He's learning "HO" and improving every day.

Thankfully, I have the motivation of my November wedding keeping me going while he is tugging and leaning against me in the bridle and when I get home and lay on the couch with my muscles throbbing I remember "It's worth it. He's awesome....." and "....I'm going to have such nice arms for the wedding!" HAHA What kind of bride would I be if I didn't think of that as a reason to ride more?!

If you have anyone interested in a guy like him (even though I'm not exactly ready to part with him just yet...) you can see his online advertisement here. Oh, and we also have a really really cute pony for sale right now too. She's seriously adorable. Check her out here


Story said...

Very interesting clinic! And much of it really strikes a chord here. Dee's front feet are quite different from one another. And although there do not seem to be any obvious soundness issues, her shoulders are also different up toward her withers (oddly enough, the nice foot has the strange shoulder and the weird foot has the nice shoulder). I am actually planning to get the feet x-rayed this spring, going along with your point number 3. I found the final point very interesting too. I'm an obsessive hoof picker, even though it's highly unlikely that there are any rocks in her feet, and when my farrier trimmed her the other day he told me to stop messing with them so much. He's always right! lol

hann said...
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