Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flatwork and Bodywork and Something Works

Daytime silhouette
Courage is a touchy guy, but he generally takes good care of himself. This past shoeing cycle was a little dicey--not only was I dealing with bad feet, but he just has some weird on/offness that looked more like body soreness than a deeper problem. I called our bodywork lady and got a time set up for Monday.

When she came out, she asked what specifically I'd been dealing with.

"He's funky about his right side," I said.

Funny shot, but I liked it
She started working around his poll. "Well that's why he can't turn right," she said as she got some big releases.

And then six inches farther back "and that".

Another six inches "and that".

And so on pretty much all the way down to his sacroiliac area, which was fine. Yay for good hips, I guess.

It did seem to help.
It was probably forty minutes or an hour of solid working on the little bay horse, but it did seem to help him. He covered more ground where he stood and was willing to hold his back legs farther apart. (Don't misunderstand--he still is and always will be narrow behind. His back feet just don't have to be, you know, touching or something.)

After all the work she did, she wanted the little man to have a solid 48 hours of rest. Wednesday was his first day back. I took him for a hack in the field in his jump tack, figuring we'd just do some long and low at all three gaits.

Look at us not falling towards the arena fence.
My immediate impression was "whoa, don't remember his back swinging this much".

After a good long walk, I picked up the reins and Courage tried to stick his head up. I put my leg on, he went on the bit, and the rest of our ride was pretty much magical.

He really stepped things up to a whole new level. I haven't been able to get this kind of connection in his rubber mullen before. As long as I kept him forward, Courage was stepping up from behind and going into the contact like a pro. He moved off both legs and was incredibly pleasant.

I'd say he's pretty fancy
Courage is starting to feel less green and more like a horse that's just straight up fun to ride. I'm thrilled with my horse and happy with how I rode and completely jazzed for how he's going to look when this sort of correct work is an every day occurrence.

Yay for flat work and body work!


  1. LOVE THIS:"Courage is starting to feel less green and more like a horse that's just straight up fun to ride."

    You're going into a new phase, one that you will LOVE because it's the culmination of a lot of work on both of your parts. Enjoy it!!

  2. Aw! How cool! Hopefully all that awesome flat work will help solidify the changes in his topline/spine.

  3. He DOES look awesome, woot woot for bodywork (and flatwork)!

  4. I've really heard amazing things about body work. I really want the bay looked at for that reason. Is it me, is it him, us?

    Great photos! And yaaaayyyyy for progress! Happy for you

  5. I need to get body work done on Henry too. Thanks for the reminder! C-rage looks great.

  6. nice - he looks good (and like he feels good too!). i've had scheduling conflicts the last few times our chiro has been to the barn, but we are *finally* on the docket for next weekend as i think it's sorely needed (ugh bad pun)

  7. Aw, yay! He looks great!

  8. Woohoo, sounds like it is all coming together. Here's hoping I can log some overdue saddle time & hope to make some of the improvements you guys have!

  9. Body work is SO SO SOOOO important and often forgotten! Good for you both!

  10. Awesome!! So glad you're having good rides and the bodywork helped some of the stiffness!

  11. Hooray!! Apollo is going to be getting some bodywork too, help him release and unlock some. :) Glad Courage is feeling better!!


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