|My artillery: a shedding blade, side reins, Sore-No-More and No Bows wraps (to be explained)|
I was actually really excited about Dr. Katz's visit on Wednesday, but kept psyching myself out leading up to it because I was sure he would take one look at my saddle and say there was no way it fit and that I have to go shopping for an expensive new one....but he didn't! Actually, after trying many different pad options, he said that although the saddle didn't fit perfectly, it was doable and the Lami-cell pad I've been using was doing the best job of removing any front-to-back rocking. The remaining rock was minimal enough that he said he didn't think it would bother most horses, but Charlie is extra sensitive. He showed me how to use a folded No Bose wrap instead (or a hand towel) to raise the front of the saddle a little and even everything out better than any of the expensive pads were doing. I really liked how Dr. Katz was so down-to-earth and honest; he didn't try to sell me anything or convince me to purchase expensive correction. Instead he worked with what I had and I really appreciated it.
|My improvised No Bows pad|
After the saddle fitting Dr. Katz did a full chiropractic evaluation on Charlie. At one point he asked me to take Charlie into the indoor and walk/trot in hand so he could see how Charlie moved (Ooops, forgot about that part of the eval). I had a brief moment of panic since I hadn't gotten to lunge Charlie before Dr. Katz got there and thought he'd go through the roof or run me over or think we were "playing", but (thankfully) Charlie was well-behaved. We stopped just before he passed his "this-is-boring-so-let's-spice-things-up" threshold. Phew!
Overall, Dr. Katz pinpointed some key areas of soreness in Charlie's withers and hind end, but he got some real good releases and said there weren't any true "problem" areas (I have a short video of some of it but it is still processing, I'll have to post later). For the next month or so I will ride with the corrective padding to try and build up muscle and use Sore-No-More religiously after every workout and then we'll see where we stand.
On Friday we started with some light lunge work again. I'm slowly trying to introduce Charlie to the idea of the side reins so for the meantime they're extended from his rope halter with some baling twine so they aren't tight, just so he gets used to them being there. I'm gradually shortening them each time and then will transition to using his bridle. This was taken with them super loose at the beginning of our session; he's obviously not too impressed:
Finally (although you wouldn't know it today) we did have a few really warm days this week and Charlie definitely enjoyed the time out in the sun. Dan and I got to the barn this weekend to find him conked out and soaking up the sun. It was pretty adorable :)
|Grazing is good, but it makes the neighbors jealous|