Thursday, April 03, 2008


Still Sore

My chiropractor adjusted my shoulder blade and it felt better, but the muscle is still in a knot. I may ride today anyhow and it doesn't seem to make much difference how much I use the arm.

This feels like it did when I fell with Chance and landed on my right shoulder, but this time it's the left and I certainly cannot remember doing anything dramatic to injure it.

To answer Claire, the neck issue is secondary to the shoulder as the shoulder muscle is definitely pulling on my neck.

More later.

I rode Tucker this afternoon.

I am currently asking him to move right off on the bit and in a frame (French style) instead of getting him going forward first on a looser rein. (more German)

While the longer rein does encourage him to go, I am not sure it encourages him to round and lift his back. The downside of putting him into the frame to start off is that he is reluctant to go forward and feels a bit like a car with the handbrake on.

He is a challenging ride, and I have to work VERY hard to convince him to put some energy into his gaits. Since he does have a good canter, I moved into it rather quickly, pushing him with my seat, legs and taps of the whip to get him going. It took a lot of effort, but finally he began to stride off with some engagement which then carried back down into the trot.

Part of his difficulty is that he has a very short back and is very tight coupled. Thus, the muscles of his back that need to lengthen and stretch are physcially short and "loosening up" is not the easiest thing for him.

I think, that as time goes on and he gets stronger, collection will be fairly easy for him, but extensions will be difficult. He will also find flying changes easy once he figures them out.

His brain is both an asset and a fault. He is very clever about figuring out both how to do things and how to evade doing things. And, he gets very quickly frustrated when he doesn't understand something or feels I have been too "hard" in asking. He also needs to be kept busy as he can very quickly fall into a "static state" if we keep doing the same exercises over and over.

To put it simply, riding Tucker requires about as much riding with your head and with your body.


  1. Oh I am so sorry. You are still sore. I hope it gets better soon.

    Good thing it does not stop you riding ^-^

  2. Ah! yes that makes sense. Actually, I hadn't thought of the shoulder/neck relationship that way round, might account for a lot of my issues as well!

  3. Oh what an interesting ride Tucker is! It is very complimentary ^-^

    Regarding French manner, they work at very SLOW gaits, counted walk, slow trot, slow canter. etc ... Then they move to faster gaits.

    I am convinced you are doing the right thing with Tucker, I.e. starting in canter soon. Because he is more comffy in this gait.

    Etienne Beudant ( one of the best master of French school) taught his TB to piaffe, then to passage then to trot. Because his horse could not trot.

    Maybe something to think about with Tucker ... :-) .. only kidding :-P

  4. Good job you've got all the experience and knowledge to deal with Tucker!
    I know how you feel with the shoulder this is where all my problems stem from which creates the problems with my neck and lower back:(