Working in Winter / by Marian Michalson


     January brought us random days of freezing cold weather, wind, and abnormally warm days. Bartletts work schedule has been sporadic at best.  He has become quite fond of his girlfriend Coretta, even though KC continually reminds Bart that she's his. 

     Bart began the month with a new set of shoes. The goal is to gradually bring the break over back and grow out some heel so mechanics are more suitable for jumping. He has some heel pain contributing to muscle sorness, but the new shoes have helped. Bart is also getting adaquan to keep his joints happy.

     Most of his muscle tension has been in the base of his neck which is plenty apparent in the trot. He holds his head straight up, has trouble bending, and has a slightly uneven gait. Adding lunging aids only made him brace harder, as it's more a physical issue than a training issue. I have scrapped those for the forseeable future. He had a PEMF treatment a week and a half ago and the results were amazing! It took a couple of days, but he was able to move with a more relaxed, even gait, soft and bending to the inside.  That lasted for about 4 days. He's still better than he was before the PEMF, so he is scheduled for another treatment in a few days. 


     As far as his training goes, he is coming right along! He thinks I ask him to do silly things, but he always does them anyway. Walk/trot/canter, circles, figure 8s, surpentines, and halts.  He trots and canters poles on the ground, even when I can't for the life of me place him well to the first one. He also recently jumped his first cross rail! He's still working on turn on the forehand and haunches, leg yields and side passes. All of this had been in the soft rope halter. I'll probably transition to a bridle next month, but I wanted to make sure he wouldn't be tempted to lean on a bit while he learns his new job. 

     Here's a quick video. I can't seem to upload to YouTube without losing a ton of quality. I could really use a pixio to use with a quality camera! If anyone wants to donate to that fund, I would sure be grateful.