Scary spots, waiting for the chiro, and 5 minutes in the shank bit…

That is, roughly, the current news for Dandy. He must have misplaced something or slightly torn or damaged a ligament or whatever, because, while not lame, he’s definitely “off”, physically. He’s fine going to the right. No, strike that out, he’s actually *grand* going to the right. Today he was loping perfect circles with his nose on the ground, so cadenced and balanced and feeling like a slice of heaven. But going to the left ? Forget it. First of all, he’ll just *avoid* going left at all if he can. And if I insist he does, he’ll go all stiff and tense and moving like a square wheel. No good.

dandy08oct16-02So the chiropractor has been called to the rescue, and will come on Oct 18th

Until then, we kind of “make do” with as light a work as we can. That, on the other hand, has a downside. Namely it doesn’t “engage his mind” enough to allow him to focus fully on the job and disregard the many “ghosts” and scary places that our barn has to offer.I love this huge arena, but Dandy has never been fond of it, and always shows concern about one spot or another. Wise people around me, including some knowing his bloodline pretty darn well, point out emotional immaturity, and I tend to absolutely agree. Yes he’s been successfully (in my book) started at 2, yes he can take cues and give a pretty good try at the various moves I ask of him, all that without being troubled. But just handling his environment is proving to be a constant challenge. Walking from his paddock to the arena, going through the farm’s courtyard with a bunch machinery, odd buildings, vehicles and a variety of species (dogs, pigs…) remains an issue, day after day.

dandy09oct16-01I plan to do pretty light riding work with him over the winter. My time is worse than scarce, and by the end of December we’ll leave our current boarding farm to go to a much smaller place, with way less, and more rudimental, commodities. Since we’re going to take it easy, my coach Daniel (from Dauphin Horsemanship, check him out if you haven’t already !) suggested I try a mild shank bit, without the pressure of heavy or important work. So today within about 2/3 of our (cruelly short) session, I switched from our good ole snaffle to a little single jointed argentine bit that I bought long ago, for my previous horse, following Daniel’s advice. I didn’t ride him more than 5 or 7 minutes in it, and I was manically careful to slow my hands down and offer immediate release when he’d give to it, but his attitude was really promising. On the positive front, he’s also starting to “sit” his stops great.

dandy08oct16-01So that’s the scoop for now. Won’t be able to see him until next week-end, but stay tuned for the report ! 😉

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