Sunday, August 21, 2011

I decided not to use yesterday's video, it's just too long even after editing. So I'll load today's. It's still almost 10 minutes long. Pretty boring stuff, but for me it was great to watch. I saw some mistakes I made. I put a couple captions where something interesting happened, but not many. One theme that's consistent throughout is Bella's turns are not what I want. Today was better than yesterday though. What she does, and you'll see it if you watch, is turn where I'm asking her to turn, but she keeps her body fairly straight and is leaning against the bosal. What I want is a nice supple turn with her body arced in the direction she's going, with no pressure on the bosal. She had one excellent turn today when I didn't even have to bring the rein into contact. She followed my body. Just one, but it's a start.

Another thing that's interesting to note is how she parks her hind end out pretty far when she stops. She did this a little bit yesterday and I wondered if the Ricotti pad was dumping too much weight on her loin. This pad I used today is flat, and she parked out worse. Perhaps it's putting pressure on the nerves in her wither that cause a horse to park out. I'm going to go back to the Ricotti pad next time and see what I see.

I love Bella's sweet face.

Below you see that the inside of her bosal (the dirty part) is pretty smooth. I've seen some, I think made by Weaver Leather, that may as well have been saw blades, with the points of the plaits standing up. I wouldn't use one, and I hope anyone who buys them is smart enough to do something to smooth it down.Post-ride sweetness. What a good girl.


Kara said...

I think she looks like she is coming along well. Her turns might not be perfect, but she is calm through it all. Interestingly, Catlow does the same thing, even now...she doesn't bend much when she turns but she responds very well to the rein cue. I think it is a little bit of a defensive thing left in her. She's still protecting herself.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I played with Bella a bit on the ground tonight with just a halter on, and she did the same thing. I was starting to wonder if maybe it's physical or maybe she's just too fat. But I don't know.

Kara said...

She does have a different way of going...I can see it, but it's hard to put into words exactly what is so strange about it. Her hind end does seem different when she walks. It doesn't look like pain per se so much as just something conformational...but it's hard to say. Did the vet say that cutting that tendon in the stifle could affect the way she moves? I know it is just the tendon that is supposed to lock her stifle when she's standing still but I wonder if it also affected over all the pull of the quad muscle as she pulls differently now because it is missing one tendon, so perhaps is swings her leg differently? Has she always seemed to walk like this? Or perhaps it is a funny muscle development that resulted because of her locking stifle trying to compensate for that locking stifle, she has muscles developed in places that don't usually develop as much...or maybe it is all connected. Her stifles locked because of a different muscle development which also makes her move differently. I know! I'll shut up quite complicated! I just like to brainstorm about things. And yes, Bella really is a beautiful girl.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Good Bella! I have the same problem with my mare: stiff and sometimes bracey on the turns.
She was trying hard for you, though. You're doing a good job with her.
I also like how you mount and dismount from the right. More riders should mount/dismount from the right with their horses. You just never know when you might need your horse to be ok with that.
Ever since my fall and subsequent ACL surgery, I've had to mount/dismount from the right because of the instability of that knee.

Nice work :)


Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Kara, I've been wondering all the same things! I wish I had a video of her moving before and after the surgery, and pictures posed correctly for before and after shots to show muscling, conformation, etc. I'll have to go through my old pictures and see if I can find two in the same position to compare. One good thing though, is Dr. Rustebakke said the other day that it shouldn't affect her way of going at all. So maybe it's her own peculiarity, and I think a lot of it is mental. Plus she's a fatty, carrying my weight. I can't wait to see how things are after a little time to relax her and get into shape.

Lisa - I try to mount from the right whenever it's convenient. When I'm starting to ride them I like to do it about 50% of the time, but after they're used to it I sometimes get lazy and only do it when I feel like it. I used the mounting block that day because I didn't have enough confidence in myself. My strength on that side is just a tad bit less than the other (it took a while to train my body to do it at all on my taller horses), from years of mounting on the left side. With that and the fact that Bella's saddle rolls a bit, plus her mental insecurities, I wanted to make sure I could hoist myself up there without trouble. Today we left the mounting block out. It gets in the way. I mounted/dismounted from both sides with no problems. :D

Linda said...

The video was nice to watch. I thought she looked really good. The bosal seems to be working out great for her. She seems like she trusts you, too, and is trying to figure out what you want and do it. How do you feel with the bosal versus the bit as far as control?

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Linda, That's funny, I feel like she doesn't trust me once I climb up there. I hope I'm wrong.

The bosal is better for Bella because it's not as distracting. The bit is so unnerving for her that it gets in the way of Bella's learning. As far as control, she stops off my seat and a "whoa" almost every time. I'm still having to use the bosal a lot for turns but today she started to listen to my legs. Funny, she knows how to move away from pressure on the ground, but in the saddle she's "hard of hearing" when it comes to moving off my legs. Just another sign that she's troubled.