fiona@wolverinepublishing

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  1. How much can mild arthritis affect collection?

    hugely What are we doing when we ask for collectiion? We are asking our horse to bend, fold, flex and articulate every joint in the body - especially along the spine and in the hind legs. In the highest expression of collection - piaffe to levade, we are asking our horse to 'sit', possible only by the 'folding' of the hind legs. Your mare is getting older, it hurts to bend and stretch, but it is good for her to do this to a mild extent. Yes, injections will help, but you cannot turn back the clock or indeed afford to inject every joint in her body. How much exercise would you expect an 80 yr old woman to do? A fit all her life 80 yr old? A couch potato 80 yr old? Supplements may or may not help, and injections will certainly ease the pain.... but you must be alert to every nuance as you ride and determine is this 'I can't' or 'I won't' and respond accordingly. Calcification of the joints cannot be reversed!
  2. How much can mild arthritis affect collection?

    hugely What are we doing when we ask for collectiion? We are asking our horse to bend, fold, flex and articulate every joint in the body - especially along the spine and in the hind legs. In the highest expression of collection - piaffe to levade, we are asking our horse to 'sit', possible only by the 'folding' of the hind legs. Your mare is getting older, it hurts to bend and stretch, but it is good for her to do this to a mild extent. Yes, injections will help, but you cannot turn back the clock or indeed afford to inject every joint in her body. How much exercise would you expect an 80 yr old woman to do? A fit all her life 80 yr old? A couch potato 80 yr old? Supplements may or may not help, and injections will certainly ease the pain.... but you must be alert to every nuance as you ride and determine is this 'I can't' or 'I won't' and respond accordingly. Calcification of the joints cannot be reversed!
  3. Foal a bit "over in knees"... nutritional?

    Restrict her exercise for 21 days - a large pen is good, say 30 x 50 maximum - and put her on FoalAide made by Buckeye. It comes in a paste or powder form. I find the paste easiest to use. She will need to be on it for 6-8 weeks. As daisysmom says, her bones are growing too fast for those tendons and the key is striking a balance between enough exercise to stretch them and not enough to inflame them (which causes them to tighten). The Buckeye stuff is a ration balancer that makes sure the foal gets exactly the right balance of minerals to grow properly. Don't worry about mom's grain. She will produce exactly the amount the foal demands, so unless she is chubby, cutting down just takes from her resources, not the foal's. Free choice hay. (momma will hate you for removing her from the pasture ) If the condition worsens at any time, call the vet, but she isn't too bad at all and I think you will notice a difference within a few days.
  4. Foal a bit "over in knees"... nutritional?

    Restrict her exercise for 21 days - a large pen is good, say 30 x 50 maximum - and put her on FoalAide made by Buckeye. It comes in a paste or powder form. I find the paste easiest to use. She will need to be on it for 6-8 weeks. As daisysmom says, her bones are growing too fast for those tendons and the key is striking a balance between enough exercise to stretch them and not enough to inflame them (which causes them to tighten). The Buckeye stuff is a ration balancer that makes sure the foal gets exactly the right balance of minerals to grow properly. Don't worry about mom's grain. She will produce exactly the amount the foal demands, so unless she is chubby, cutting down just takes from her resources, not the foal's. Free choice hay. (momma will hate you for removing her from the pasture ) If the condition worsens at any time, call the vet, but she isn't too bad at all and I think you will notice a difference within a few days.
  5. Lunging -- Please help

    You are quite right to be concerned. The charging is a sign of disrespect, but note that he waits until your attention is elsewhere. That implies to me a sneakiness (or smartness) which would give me pause for thought. I would suggest you work on ground manners for a while before lunging again, and also practice your lunging/rope handling skills with a different horse. Not wanting to go right is common - horses are 'handed' just as we humans are - it doesn't help that we reinforce it by always leading from the left side etc. I suspect that a lot of his problem is that he may be too weak to comfortably be balanced going right. More, but slower, lunging will help that, as will hill work under saddle. Check that he is not in pain going right - it is possible that pain could cause him to fear being sent that way and that is why he charges you (unlikely) - check his hocks, sifles, shoulders and sacro-illiac, also keep him in Big circles, no weeny little torquers! And last but not least, always check tack fit - a saddle on his shoulders or a too tight girth could cause a rebellion.
  6. Lunging -- Please help

    You are quite right to be concerned. The charging is a sign of disrespect, but note that he waits until your attention is elsewhere. That implies to me a sneakiness (or smartness) which would give me pause for thought. I would suggest you work on ground manners for a while before lunging again, and also practice your lunging/rope handling skills with a different horse. Not wanting to go right is common - horses are 'handed' just as we humans are - it doesn't help that we reinforce it by always leading from the left side etc. I suspect that a lot of his problem is that he may be too weak to comfortably be balanced going right. More, but slower, lunging will help that, as will hill work under saddle. Check that he is not in pain going right - it is possible that pain could cause him to fear being sent that way and that is why he charges you (unlikely) - check his hocks, sifles, shoulders and sacro-illiac, also keep him in Big circles, no weeny little torquers! And last but not least, always check tack fit - a saddle on his shoulders or a too tight girth could cause a rebellion.
  7. Foal haltering problem...

    I suggest everyone checks out sweet velocity's picture post and judge for themselves how much her advice might be worth especially if your foal needs 'Meducating'
  8. Foal haltering problem...

    I suggest everyone checks out sweet velocity's picture post and judge for themselves how much her advice might be worth especially if your foal needs 'Meducating'
  9. Foal haltering problem...

    I really must remember that sarcasm rarely comes across in print. What I meant to say was that laying down a two week old foal is the one of the most abusive training tips I have ever heard in my entire life. If you have no other recourse but to lay down a two week old foal because you unable to "train" it any other way then perhaps gineau pigs or goldfish would be better pets. To the OP - a two week old foal has the attention span of a gnat - that's why you can't "train" them as such. They are also still very fragile, despite appearances, so throwing them down would be mentally detrimental and would have a good chance of being physically harmful. take your time. Sjotta - being 'light in the bridle' is a phrase which encompasses more than being in a bridle - but when the time comes for this baby to have a bridle on (at two, or three or four) he will be 'light' in it. [ 06-09-2007, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: leoned ]
  10. Foal haltering problem...

    I really must remember that sarcasm rarely comes across in print. What I meant to say was that laying down a two week old foal is the one of the most abusive training tips I have ever heard in my entire life. If you have no other recourse but to lay down a two week old foal because you unable to "train" it any other way then perhaps gineau pigs or goldfish would be better pets. To the OP - a two week old foal has the attention span of a gnat - that's why you can't "train" them as such. They are also still very fragile, despite appearances, so throwing them down would be mentally detrimental and would have a good chance of being physically harmful. take your time. Sjotta - being 'light in the bridle' is a phrase which encompasses more than being in a bridle - but when the time comes for this baby to have a bridle on (at two, or three or four) he will be 'light' in it. [ 06-09-2007, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: leoned ]
  11. Foal haltering problem...

    quote: Originally posted by Pamela: Lay him down... This will gentle him and you can start with leading absolutely - and if he won't lead, just drag him along the floor for a bit. there's nothing like positive interaction with humans in the first month of their lives to making sure that you are raising friendly co-opetative horses, is there? sigh. hang the halter on his nose. let it fall off. lather, rinse repeat. put your arm around his neck. lather, rinse, repeat. can you see where I'm going with this? Work with him for 2 or 3 minutes twice a day. Every day. Always have a positive interaction. Within two weeks he'll have accepted that a halter is like underwear - it goes on when he goes out and comes off when he comes in. To teach him to lead, make sure he is in a nice safe but largeish enclosure. let him trail a nylon lead rope for a while under you watchful eye. Lather rinse repeat. Then when he has taught himself to give to pressure, pick it up. Gently turn his head towards you. Release as soon as he gives. Just once or twice a day. Then start shadow leading. Pick up the lead - wherever he walks, so do you. He comes forward, you go back. He steps sideways, so do you. Keep a loop in the rope to begin with and drop it immediately if he takes off. Suddenly you will have a foal who follows you without having to be pulled. This means you already have a horse who is 'light in the bridle'...... invaluable. And all it takes is a little bit of patience. Set yourself and him up for success. Turn them out in the morning and bring them in at night. Be the hand that feeds. Be the 'good' human - the one who can reach those hard to find spots with scritches - the one with a kind word - the one with the smile and unfailingly good humor - the one who he whinnies to with excitement when he sees you. Take the time to forge the bond. Just take the time to raise a productive member of the horse world.
  12. Foal haltering problem...

    quote: Originally posted by Pamela: Lay him down... This will gentle him and you can start with leading absolutely - and if he won't lead, just drag him along the floor for a bit. there's nothing like positive interaction with humans in the first month of their lives to making sure that you are raising friendly co-opetative horses, is there? sigh. hang the halter on his nose. let it fall off. lather, rinse repeat. put your arm around his neck. lather, rinse, repeat. can you see where I'm going with this? Work with him for 2 or 3 minutes twice a day. Every day. Always have a positive interaction. Within two weeks he'll have accepted that a halter is like underwear - it goes on when he goes out and comes off when he comes in. To teach him to lead, make sure he is in a nice safe but largeish enclosure. let him trail a nylon lead rope for a while under you watchful eye. Lather rinse repeat. Then when he has taught himself to give to pressure, pick it up. Gently turn his head towards you. Release as soon as he gives. Just once or twice a day. Then start shadow leading. Pick up the lead - wherever he walks, so do you. He comes forward, you go back. He steps sideways, so do you. Keep a loop in the rope to begin with and drop it immediately if he takes off. Suddenly you will have a foal who follows you without having to be pulled. This means you already have a horse who is 'light in the bridle'...... invaluable. And all it takes is a little bit of patience. Set yourself and him up for success. Turn them out in the morning and bring them in at night. Be the hand that feeds. Be the 'good' human - the one who can reach those hard to find spots with scritches - the one with a kind word - the one with the smile and unfailingly good humor - the one who he whinnies to with excitement when he sees you. Take the time to forge the bond. Just take the time to raise a productive member of the horse world.
  13. subtleties in handling horses

    this isn't something you can 'do' anything about - it isn't your problem.... it's theirs. Why would you expect your horse not to react differently to someone else? They aren't machines... other people walk funny, smell funny, talk funny, and probably have horse eating squirrels in their pockets for all they know. It's a handler's job to handle horses... it's a horse's job to be a horse
  14. subtleties in handling horses

    this isn't something you can 'do' anything about - it isn't your problem.... it's theirs. Why would you expect your horse not to react differently to someone else? They aren't machines... other people walk funny, smell funny, talk funny, and probably have horse eating squirrels in their pockets for all they know. It's a handler's job to handle horses... it's a horse's job to be a horse
  15. rearing foal

    What in god's name are you people thinking? This is a THREE month old filly - there is absolutely NO need to pull her over - let alone sit on her head! She is a BABY - physically still fragile - what are you thinking????? OP - keep all lessons short. Two or three minutes, three times a day. Firstly let her learn to give to pressure on her own (let her loose with a leadrope, a nylon one, trailing behind her). Watch her just in case. Then you can 'shadow' lead her. And lastly, if she rears, a loud NO and a growl. That's it. Nothing else. She has to learn her boundaries (just like her momma teaches her). If she does it when loose, then scare her away/chase her. That's all. Abuse begins where knowledge ends.