Pony Conditioning Week 3
With two weeks of reconditioning under our belts, I’m excited for the next few weeks. This week the veterinarian will return for the spring shots and we can discuss his progress. More, Ferrous has done well with the 15-20 minute workouts so I am going to push for 30 minutes now while varying the difficulty and the type of work to continue strengthening different muscle groups and tendons and ligaments.
To begin our third week of rehabilitation both myself and my partner, Dr. Madi Rauch give Ferrous a full combination musculoskeletal session providing whole-body chiropractic, sports massage/acupressure, and cold laser therapy. This is our most popular service by far for horses and for dogs, for good reason. I specialize in muscle, she in the vertebrae and Central Nervous system, and we come together to address the body as a whole for deeper and longer-lasting results.
I am happy to note that Ferrous maintained his bodywork for two weeks prior and had only minor tension with the slow muscle build. More, he even improved and didn’t need as much chiropractic adjustment! To me, this meant we were on the right track taking things slow but steady, even if I felt like sometimes I wasn’t pushing enough.
This week we were only about to maintain four days at work, which meant three days off for him to rest and recuperate.
Sunday: off for a lazy day!
Monday: lots of walking with an increase in trot focusing on transitions using the new hackamore. I find that Ferrous tends to brace against the bit and has struggled to find a bitless bridle that releases easily. This pony does much better with less rein and head pressure and more clear communication from the body.
It turns out that I completely put the hackamore on incorrectly, but he was still a star!
Wednesday: training day with the barn owner doing ground work on the lunge line! It’s pretty difficult to get Ferrous to canter in a circle because he drops his shoulder and breaks. We basically have to chase after him and growl. Definitely a work in progress!
Thursday: Ferrous was feeling VERY forward today, much different than his usually pokey self. As a result I decided to take advantage and work on trotting in a collected frame. Whoa baby! He felt pretty damn sexy and I loved it. I think it. helped that he had other horses in the arena today to compete with, but he was loving in. More, because there was a lesson they set up a gymnastic set of poles so we had a lot of fun trotting through those with pointed feet and bouncy step! Honestly, the best ride for us in a long time.
Friday: training ride today with the barn owner. She tends to push him a little harder than I would and I think we both need that!
Saturday: lucky pony, the rain is pouring down in a sheet so we’re both having a day off.
During his veterinary visit to receive the remainder of his spring shots, it was recommended that we try a supplement such as Exceed to boost his top line and give him an extra push. Trust me I jumped right on SmartPak to look at their supplements and get him started right away.
Also, Caroline, the barn owner of MCL Equestrian spoke to me because she felt he wasn’t getting as much progress on the pony feed, only a little in the ribs but not as much in the back and hips as she was hoping. She thought it best to shift him to the horse feed to see if it would help him improve more quickly. Because he is a Welsh x Thoroughbred cross sometimes he needs pony and sometimes he needs horse. It can be a weird balance.
The decision was made. Starting week four of his rehab he would be moved to Nutrena Pro Force Fuel Horse Feed.
Caroline had done a lot of research and though I never considered my pony to be a hard keeper, the description checked the right boxes.
“ProForce Fuel Horse Feed is a highly versatile, controlled starch feed. Fuel is a unique combination of pellets and the Empower Boost extruded nugget for horses in training and for adult maintenance and breeding horses.”Nutrena
Stay tuned to see how we continue to progress, and I’d love to know your thoughts. Have you had to recondition or rehab your own animal?