This week has been a lot of fun with Zakai! We've worked on Lateral Flexion, One Rein Stops, Lateral Bending, Vertical Flexion, Moving the Shoulders, Disengaging the Hindquarters from a Standstill, Stops, & Backing Up; all were done at the walk. Overall he did really well & only needed a bit of direction on a few exercises, but we've mostly been working on refinement.
In order for me to be able to flip his switch from reacting to thinking when we're riding outside if that's where he may need most of his work, I need to know that he's confident in the things I'll ask in the arena where he's already pretty comfortable.
Today, Zakai was trimmed & did great!
We visited Jen at Knotty Equine on Thursday, May 5th.
Jen noted that he had a worm aneurysm (the deworming protocol will take care of this). He had a double diaphragm spasm, kidney lockdown, & a ureter spasm which should improve after having his sheath thoroughly cleaned. He was out in the withers T4 through T6. He has a bit of cranial sheer & out in the poll along with epiglottis & esophageal torsion (once we got a peek in his mouth it was obvious why). Jen also noted that he's got a stomach spasm & his ileocecal valve is staying open & dumping more acid that needs to be so she sent me home with some Papaya to put on his feed.
Jen is VERY in tune with what's going on in a horse's body so when you see words like compensation, spasms, etc. it's not that he's hurt or lame or other images you might conjure up like I did when I first began working with Jen. I am quite particular about not continuing to work with a horse in pain so Jen & I will be very upfront if there's something going on that we feel would warrant a break or halt in training.
Wow did Zakai have some sharp points! It's a wonder he's so well behaved as the points were sharp enough to cut hands if we weren't careful feeling around. He had sharp points all around, but especially on the upper left (which correlates to the lack of bend he was wanting to give me during lateral bending & vertical flexion). He also had ETR (Excessive Transverse Ridges, or waves in the teeth) on the left side. Jen removed the sharp points, removed the imbalance & waves on the left side, put a bit seat in, & balanced his incisors up.
Next week, we'll work on all of those things at a walk & begin to build on them at the trot while adding in a few additional softening exercises like Bend at the Walk & Bending Transitions. We may begin to work on the Sidepass & Shoulder In/Out.
Next week's update will be posted on Thursday night.