Friday, April 3, 2015

Cranio & saddle fitting: part 2

I brought my boyfriend to take notes for me, knowing that historically my memory is not good enough for more than a few snippets.  As fate would have it, I definitely needed these notes to help jog my memory about the various comments and insights.

The horse:
- travels narrow ("ropewalks") in back - actually, both in front & in back.  Knew she did it behind, was unaware it was also occurring in front.  Huh!  I have absolutely no idea how this affects movement or really anything at all, though.
- appears more stiff at right shoulder/leg (or possibly left hind).  I'd noted this, a barefoot trimmer had noted this, and this was one of my primary reasons for having a professional out to evaluate.  Confetti definitely has a range of normal, and four years in I have a pretty good sense for what it is most of the time.  This is something that is relatively new, not more than 3-4 months.
- slight delay right front at the trot, slight unevenness there.  I.. missed this.  Completely.  I did not feel it, but we didn't trot much.. and we've been working so inconsistently I don't know how long it could have been there.. and now I feel like I broke my horse?  I didn't even realize this was noted at the evaluation - I'm just seeing this in his notes now.  Ugh.
 - pelvis slightly off to the right
- right front hoof has some twist - try to shift some of that away from the right
- stoic!  I've been told this before: normal horses give some sort of release, cues, etc.  Fetti seems to really resist that at first, though she did give more as the session went on - but even then, sometimes her 'hm, grass now?' had to qualify as a release.

The rider:
- toes out more left than right
- tends to collapse on the right side
- should practice stretching the right side up while on the horse
- needs to not force her heels down

So: pony and I are totally fine (comparatively!) on the left, and need some work on the right.  Ack.

I am curious about the RF unevenness.  It's not something we've consciously battled before, and my gut feeling is that it probably ties in to the excessive resting of the LH and trying to drop all her RF weight on me when holding that foot.  I know there was something going on there.  I don't know, clinically, what it was.  I'm not yet concerned enough to pull a lameness vet out for diagnostics - but I will be keeping an eagle eye on how that progresses.  If she stops leaning on me on that leg and vets through with no RF/LH comments in our next ride, perhaps then some of the worry will subside.


  1. This was very interesting to read. I wish we had access to equine cranio in this area!

    Based on my own arthritic creature, this sounds similar to how Gracie's high ringbone presented. She had been striding out even in front until I stopped riding her as consistently as I had been, and that's when the slight short striding presented. It disappears with consistent work + increased movement. Her joint supplement has been a big help too, I think. It's not a career-ending thing by any means. I hope Fetti's unevenness disappears as you start ramping up her conditioning again, whatever its cause might be.

    Interestingly, Gracie also "ropewalks" but only with her hind legs. My FL vet used to believe this type of movement was related to weak stifles (in other horses he evaluated; I didn't have Gracie yet), but my current MD vet thinks that in Gracie's case it's due to her conformation and not something to be concerned about. So it could just be Confetti's way of going. :)

    1. Interesting! That sounds reasonably plausible: this is the first time she's had any kind of sustained not-real-work (we're going SIX MONTHS since I last kept a 25mi/wk schedule!) since I started riding her four and a half years ago. It would also explain why I haven't really noticed it - I'm not riding the first 15 minutes of our 'trail rides', so she's got time to work out any stiffness there.

      We've got four weeks to sort this one out, so fingers crossed some Real Work this month resolves things quickly! I may pick your brain on that more later - thank you, thank you.

    2. Feel free to message me anytime! Always happy to help. :)

  2. hm definitely lots of interesting food for thought there!! i *know* i ride really crookedly, and my horse has her own imbalances... and then we're probably creating all kinds of balance dependencies in each other... so maybe that unevenness is part and parcel of all the other right side stuff going on? good luck!