Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ten Things I Know

1. I have no desire to show my horse on a professional or semi-professional basis. I do want to play around in the gymkhana sponsored by the stable, since I think it that's just plain fun and a good training tool for Ashke.

2. I want to use the tools I've discovered through reading the TTouch book to work on deepening the trust and connection between Ashke and myself.

3. Ashke didn't even flinch when I put the fly mask on him, including the ear covers. I think it might be a little big but it seems to be working. He does flip his nose a bit more than usual, though.

4. The trim on Ashke's feet went really well. He stood fairly well for the farrier, who did his work efficiently, although he doesn't know what a mustang roll is. I was very pleased with how Ashke moved after the trim and most of the old hoof is gone and the splay on the front is trimmed away. I can't believe how fast his feet have grown. We scheduled the next trim in six weeks, mostly because I don't want his front feet to begin to splay again. His movement seemed much easier and listening to him walk on the concrete pad in front of the barn sounded the most even and consistent that I have heard since we brought him home.

5. Ashke  is really sensitive around his hocks and fetlocks on both hind feet, which I knew from the TTouch. He really takes exception to the lift and slide on his hind legs - to the point of pinning his ears and threatening to kick. I have gone over both hind legs checking for heat or sensitivity to touch and haven't found a particular location or injury. I am going to continue to work on them with a different TTouch than the lift and slide, until either the injury has healed or his legs become less sensitive.

6. The playground has been very helpful in building trust between Ashke and myself. His reaction to many of the obstacles has been surprising. Today, I hope to work him through the labyrinth and the cavalettis from both the ground and his back. Hopefully, we will have video to post.

7. We got a Chevy 3500 HD truck to pull a horse trailer we don't have yet. It's dark blue and will be referred to as the Beast.

8. Ashke is much more comfortable riding with a running martingale than without. I tried riding him on Thursday after his feet were trimmed without the martingale and we struggled. I put the martingale on and not only did he trot without fighting my hands, but he backed easily for ten steps. Makes me think he was ridden at some point.

9. The biting has pretty much stopped. Ashke loves the TTouch for his mouth and it helps a lot that I'm not over reacting to his lipping at me. He has only tried to bite one time since I started the TTouch and that was because he didn't want to be cinched up. He pinned his ears and snapped at me. I ran him around the arena for behaving that way. Now, in my defense, his girth, even after I tightened it, was loose enough I could pull it away from his side by almost half an inch. I purchased a longer, wider girth made of the propylene material and that seems to have help with any residual sensitivity issues around his front legs. I do need to set the saddle back on the left side another two inches and make sure that it is in the same place on his back on both sides.

10. All of the issues we've been dealing with seem to be resolving themselves and I am hoping that my riding time will go up in frequency and length over the next month. We are keeping Ashke on the same diet he is currently on, since the Amplify seems to be working well with his metabolism. His weight is good and the only area that could be better is his haunches and shoulder. I don't want bulk, but nice, strong, lean muscle so he can go for a while.

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