Re: Need help interpreting bloodwork and hay tests #file-notice

Maxine McArthur

Hi Laura
I agree with Martha —don’t give up on those dressage dreams quite yet. Ero is still a young horse—at 7, he’s only just finishing growing.

You said you haven’t ventured out on the trail yet, but you may be surprised how much some handwalking outside the arena can help develop his fitness, particularly if you have hills—starting with gentle inclines of course. Handwalking builds his fitness (and yours), it helps your relationship as you’re spending undemanding time with him, it’s a change of scenery from the barn, it sets you up for when you start riding out, and you can add various strengthening exercises as he gets fitter. You can also progress to long-reining down the trail, which is more like riding but allows his back muscles to develop before you put weight on them, which should help with SI issues. 

You mention that Ero had some damaging training experience in the arena, so getting out on the trail might also help to soften any residual connection in his mind between work and pain. 

I handwalk my horses at least once a week instead of riding—we usually do just a couple of miles, but it’s very good for all of us. 

Just a couple of thoughts for your consideration.
Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010
ECIR Primary Response


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