I’ve known for a while now from my incessant research that one aspect of your horse’s health cannot make him or her well. If your horse is not at his or her full potential, the farrier can’t fix him. Neither can the chiropractor or the feed you use or the dentist or the training program you put him through. I’ve known this but I didn’t KNOW it until this weekend.
I have been trimming the girls’ feet for about 6 months now and one of the main goals for the mustang trim is a heel-first landing on the front feet. When your horse does this they have a more “dressagey” gait and don’t stress the bones and ligaments in their legs by slamming down their heels after their toes every step. This is all well and good but it’s been SIX MONTHS and hadn’t happened yet. I was starting to freak out and think I was doing it wrong and if that wasn’t happening then I was probably making them crippled slowly right? Well I tend to panic…
I’ve also been trying my hand at the Masteron Method for equine massage. I’ve been doing as much as I can with Paige on the weekends and this weekend I actually saw signs of release doing work on her scapula. After a few “licks and chews” I took her for a little walk around the cove across the street. I almost did a double take.
SHE WALKED HEEL TO TOE. Her feet are a mess compared to Kricket’s in terms of growth and strength. She’s been fighting a bad case of thrush for a couple months now. And she still walked heel to toe. Turns out the best breakover supplied by the best trim can’t do it all if your horse can’t comfortably extend her shoulder enough to facilitate a heel first landing.
On this note, I am exceedingly excited to have a Natural Balance dentist coming to work on my girls next month. I’m trying to cover all my bases. Nutrition, dentition, hoof care, bodywork and exercise. The exercise might be a bit fuzzy with our lack of arena but if I can do all that I can, it’s better than just spot treating! I have a 26 year old mess of a swaybacked horse that can’t eat hay and went to a body condition of about 3 while I was busy getting married. I want her to keep being my Mare Mare for years to come so I can’t overlook any part of her health. Kricket is only 6 so we shall see how this stance works on a horse not fighting an uphill battle. (No pun intended referring to riding Paige with her crazy withers.)