The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Like a different horse

I liked the way Daatje responded to the Ground Control shoes up front, so I ordered some for her hinds to see if that would help her out even more.  (That last 12 mile ride at Bradley Palmer really beat the crap out of her hinds, while her fronts stayed in perfect form protected by the shoes.)

So, last night she got the hinds put on.  There was not time to repair the quarter chips with Adhere, but I do plan on filling them in for appearance sake, if nothing else.  (although it would help prevent the exposed edge of the shoe from getting caught on a rock or root)

I have to work late today, so I rode her this morning to see how she felt.  "Like a different horse" would be a good way to put it!  Let's go back a little to the reason why I wanted to try these shoes on her in the first place.  The past month of riding has been a struggle.  Daatje was reluctant to move out and wanted to quit at every step.  I was attributing it to her being out of shape from the heat-induced hiatus we took from training, or perhaps low "E" as I had stopped supplementing for vitamin E over a year ago.....but then, on one of our rides in late July I started to feel a head bob pointing to the right front.

Uh-oh.  I lunged her so I could see it.  Sure enough, definite head bob (right front) and tightness in the shoulder and neck muscles.  I booted her up with her Epics and pads and brought her back out on the lunge again.  Head bob gone and muscle tension reduced.  Hmm.  For a multitude of possible reasons, she was not comfortable working barefoot (she hunted last season barefoot and totally comfortable).  Not the best place to be just a few weeks before the hunt season starts!

I looked into a bunch of different plastic horseshoes on the market and selected the Ground Control Shoes for their traction, ease of application and price point (and the fact that they were one of the two that are manufactured in her size!) 

Now that she has them all the way around, the difference in her willingess to move and relaxation through her body have improved dramatically.  This morning she was loose, relaxed, stretching.  Her lateral work was fluid and smooth.  I could almost feel her say "ahhhhhh".

I'm truly impressed and so happy that my horse is comfortable.  She's ready to roll for the hunter pace on the 17th and our first hunt of the season on the 24th!  Nice. :)

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