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Wizard Session 73; JR Session 28: I’m a ‘Sole’ Man

April 11, 2009

Wizard

Saturday, 4/11/09

OK, Wizard does not have a brand new pair of roller skates, but he does have a pair of brand new shoes. As a result of the shoes, the farrier said that Wizard’s sole is growing nicely now that he can grow more foot- hooray for soles! The farrier also mentioned that the outside of Wizard’s right hind hoof showed a little unusual wear, which ties in with the issues with his left hamstring. Overall, he really likes Wizard’s feet and was pleased with the changes.

JR’s feet looked great as well- I’m keeping him barefoot. A little reshaping and he was ready to roll.

I longed JR indoors due to the wet weather outside. The air was chilly and JR still feels a little goosey on his back so I longed him with a quarter sheet. I also used one side rein buckled to the girth and attached to his bit. I only longed for part of the session with it attached and left his head loose for the rest of the longeing. When he first felt the side rein, he crowhopped with every single stride around the circle for a full rotation. When he resigned himself to the side rein, he quickly learned that if he carried his head long and low, there was no pressure. When the side rein is attached to the girth between his legs, it does not force him to flex at the poll, which is good for a green horse like JR. I think that he needs to learn to work from the base of his neck before we worry about his poll.

I longed JR for about 25 minutes, just enough to get him to break a light sweat and get a little workout. The horses stayed indoors due to the rain so JR seemed pleased to be working. After the session was over, I walked him out and grazed him.

J.R.

I put my Thermatex cooler on Wizard while he was resting in his stall in an attempt to keep his hamstring warm in the chilly air. I massaged him a little before he worked. He was not quite as receptive to it as he was last time. When I tacked him up, I removed the cooler and put the quarter sheet on him. I also attached the side rein, but did not use it until he was completely warmed up on the longe.

I started him longeing at the walk to the left, then asked him to walk to the right. Frequently, Wizard breaks into a trot when we change direction to the right and I now think it’s a reaction to the tension in his hamstring. Today, he was relaxed enough to walk, but he was chewing on the bit.

I then asked him to trot to the left and he travelled very nicely with a playful spring in his step- he increased the tempo quite a bit to the right but was responsive and obedient. I changed direction again and hooked the side rein to the bit. It took a few rotations for him to learn that a low, relaxed head is what I wanted. Then, we went right. He trotted quickly again but was obedient. He stopped twice on the circle and the second time was reluctant to go back to trotting and it took a little finessing to get him trotting clockwise again. After he did his work with the side rein, I took it back off and asked him to trot each way without it. It was rewarding to watch since he stretched his head and trotted freely.

My hope is that Wizard might have torn some adhesions when he was playing in the deep footing last week and perhaps this caused the soreness. I’m toying with the idea of administering a dose of bute before a ride to see if it makes Wizard feel better or if it has no effect.

I brought him back to the barn, untacked him, cooled him out, and grazed him for about 20 minutes. The sun came out at the very end of the day and hinted at the wonderful weather we’re expecting for Sunday :^)

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