Walking our way to soundness.....


kelly andersen
 

And I'm walking my way to weight loss. Which is a good thing.

I've been taking Shorty for walks around the various hay fields the
last few days and Shorty is loving the change of scenery. Today we
walked over 2 miles. Okay, I walked over 2 miles--Shorty trotted
little circles around me about half that distance, so he covered alot
more.

My question.....If he can prance and dance for over 2 miles, when can
I ride him and let him do all the work. If he can walk/trot/jig for 2
miles can I ride him for 1?

Maybe I'm over eager. I haven't ridden this little since 1984.

Kelly


Claire Vale <clairevale@...>
 

Hi Kelly,

Great plan! I love taking horses for 'walkies' - gives a whole new
perspective on getting out and about with your horse, and I often find
that it gives more opportunity to 'connect'.

If Shorty hasn't had any more laminitis since May and his feet have
healed well, he should by now have at least half the hoof capsule well
connected, possibly more. If he has generally been sound and happy for
the last couple of months, then with a good trim and hoof boots / pads
if needed, he 'should' be okay to start some light riding in straight
lines and gentle curves (no sharp turns that will twist and tear the new
laminae <G>). It does depend a bit on his weight carrying ability
though - if you're at his upper weight carrying level (when his feet are
good), it 'might' pay to leave it a month or two longer - his feet will
be that little bit stronger, and you'll have walked off those extra
pounds anyway ;-)

I'd start with a very short distance (less than a mile), paying
extremely careful attention to how he goes - any sign of resistance or
ouchiness and I'd get off again <G>. Even if he strides out happily,
I'd still keep it short at first. After the first ride, watch him
carefully over the next day or two to see how he goes - again, if there
is any sign of increased ouchiness, back off again for a while and just
lead for a bit longer. If on the other hand he is happy to get out with
you on board, and remains sound, then keep it up!

Gradually build up the distance and speed - say a program of increasing
a mile per week until you're doing four miles at a brisk walk, then add
in a little bit of trot / gait (less than a mile) and gradually increase
that up... After a few months you should be able to do five plus miles
with at least half of that trot, all going well. Of course, at every
step of the way you have to keep a close eye on how he's feeling about
all this - any sign of discomfort or resistance, and cut the distance
and/or intensity back down again to what he's happy with. And of course
if he insists that he really really wants to go faster and further and
he stays totally sound with it, you can increase things a bit more after
the first couple of months <G>.

Since your first rides will be fairly short, you can ride for part and
lead for the rest so that you're both still getting enough movement <G>.
Frequent changes (ride a bit, lead a bit) will add to the interest for
him, and it makes a great opportunity to practice your in-hand training
if needed. I also quite like to walk back the last half mile or so to
stretch out and let the horse cool as well. Hmm, makes me want to get
out and take ol' Ted for a walk / ride... (wish this dang spring rain
would stop!).

Let us know how it goes...

Claire Vale
New Zealand

-----Original Message-----
From: ECHoof@... [mailto:ECHoof@...] On Behalf
Of kelly andersen
Sent: Tuesday, 2 October 2007 11:12 a.m.
To: ECHoof@...
Subject: [ECHoof] Walking our way to soundness.....

And I'm walking my way to weight loss. Which is a good thing.

I've been taking Shorty for walks around the various hay fields the
last few days and Shorty is loving the change of scenery. Today we
walked over 2 miles. Okay, I walked over 2 miles--Shorty trotted
little circles around me about half that distance, so he covered alot
more.

My question.....If he can prance and dance for over 2 miles, when can
I ride him and let him do all the work. If he can walk/trot/jig for 2
miles can I ride him for 1?

Maybe I'm over eager. I haven't ridden this little since 1984.

Kelly


kelly andersen
 

Shorty had another round of lam/founder in August. That's what brought
me here. He isn't trotting or carrying on in his pen, I can't believe
he can get so jazzed on a walk. I had 2 hoof (barefoot/natural
trimmers) look at him and they both thought he had little if any
rotation. That was good to hear.

I suppose I'm stuck walking for a while longer. I really miss riding.

Thanks Kelly