Sunday, November 6, 2011

Some Videos - Lateral Work and Hind Legs Crossing

My (long-suffering) husband was persuaded to come to the barn this afternoon so we could experiment with doing some videos.

The first video is of Dawn.  First there are a couple of square turns - this is the first stage of teaching her to do walk pirouettes.  It was extremely windy so she wasn't as relaxed as I'd like, and you'll notice that there is a bit of head bobbing and tail swishing, but she's doing it pretty well.  Now we can work on increasing the impulsion and maintaining the softness - right now keeping the forward is important.  Next there's a short clip of her transitioning from a walk to side pass - this also isn't perfect yet - you'll note the front end is a bit "stuck" and isn't swinging over yet and she doesn't make it all the way to a full side pass, but I'm pretty happy with where she is at this point.  And the last clip shows her transitioning from a small circle into shoulder in - this is also a work in process as she's still a bit over bent in the neck and her shoulders are slightly too far to the inside resulting in four tracks instead of three.  But the work is coming along pretty nicely and Dawn seems to like the challenge.

And in case any of you were curious about how Drifter and Pie were doing in the hind leg crossing test that is a good gauge of neurological issues they've been having due to EPM - our 10th and last day of treatment with Oroquin-10 paste was today and now we're on to the 90-day feed top dressing - we did some video on that too.  First, for your viewing pleasure, is a brief clip of Drifter being fractious - he was excited by the wind and the change in routine - he loves his routines - and was trying to be nippy - I wouldn't allow it - so he decided going up would be fun, although I noted that he was careful not to get in my space.  I moved him aggressively backwards to make the point that his behavior wasn't OK and he settled down and we took some videos.

As recently as last week, Drifter was dragging his left hind when doing this test.  As you'll see, that no longer happens and his cross over is excellent with both hind legs (obviously his hind end is feeling pretty good since he was able to rear just fine).  Drifter is the horse with no white legs, and Pie has the one white hind foot.  Pie, on the other hand, still is struggling with this, although he's moving pretty well in the pasture and even jumped a large puddle when galloping in yesterday.  He has great difficulty crossing over with the left hind - he sidesteps, then steps behind, then finally manages to eke out a few small crossover steps - this is the best he's been in a while.   Turning the other way, when the right hind is supposed to cross over, he initially has trouble getting the left hind out of the way but once he figures it out he's able to cross over somewhat with the right hind.

My conclusion is that Drifter's impairments are pretty much gone, and Pie's still are lingering - it may be that Drifter only experienced neurological inflammation and Pie has some actual neurological damage.  The good news is that with time, since his impairments are fairly minor, Pie should recover as his nervous system "relearns" how to move.  He's already making progress on that as shown by his improvement.

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