We are well into our rehab of Ashke's hip. He was worked in the round pen for fifteen minutes or so last night, washed off and let loose in the pasture, then saddled and walked a mile up and down the road. Seven things going on right now:
1. Ashke moves easier and better when he is not under saddle. In the round pen he propels himself with his haunches and moves easily in both directions. Under saddle he is less comfortable in his front feet. I am hoping lunging under saddle will help him find his point of balance and stride more comfortably while carrying weight on his back.
2. He has walked out really well the past two nights. However, he is still having issues with his break-over (where the toe of the front foot strikes the ground instead of the heel of the hoof) and forging (where the hind feet strike the front feet when he moves - also a hoof problem). His feet are slightly flared and still long in the toe, both of which are contributing factors in his breakover issue. The farrier comes out in two and a half weeks and I am hoping we can make some progress on correction. I think once he is breaking over correctly the issue with forging will resolve itself. He tends to stub his toes and stumble more when he is tired.
3. Ashke seems to get the whole backing thing now. We are still working from the ground, but I can stand on either side of him, tighten the reins and ask him to back and he does. Last night, he dropped his head and backed easily for me. This is a great thing and I hope that by the time I am on him again, it will be second nature.
4. Lunging after the tie-up, which after all the reading I have done and discussions with people at the stable, was not severe at all (Abbi tied-up last year and was trembling and twitching for hours afterwards) is going well. I know I am being cautious and hesitant, but I figure that keeps me from wanting to push him. (I start thinking I can ride him again and then I tell myself to slow down). We worked 10 or 15 minutes last night. I am thinking I will try working him for 20 to 30 today.
5. The footing in the round pen is much better, now that they added the sand. However, Ashke really wants to spend his time rolling in it, not trotting over it. Working him yesterday was pretty interesting, since he was untacked and kept trotting with his head down and his nose shoved in the sand.
6. Today marks 13 weeks since I brought my boy home.
7. We changed his feed again, dropping a flake of grass morning and night. Estimated that he is getting 18 to 20 lbs of forage a day, which is plenty for a 900 lb horse. Still supplementing with the Amplify.