Thursday, October 01, 2009

Vet Exam

So Now It's The Other Hock

Apparently, Tucker's left hock is sore now. Kind of makes sense as he didn't want to take the right lead when his right hock bothered him, so now he is not so willing on the left lead.

He wasn't 100% sound to jog because of his front foot...with the lost shoe damage...but Dr. Klayman did flexion tests anyhow and saw some definite change when he trotted off. And, during the acupunture evaluation he found the same conclusion along with a bit of a sacroiliac problem.

Of course, my options were to have acupuncture, use Adequan, or inject his hocks, and possibly take x-rays. I decided on the acupunture for now. Since I can't ride him at the moment, it was the least invasive option and I need to collect some funds for any of the other treatments. We are not competing now, nor is it essential that Tucker be super ready so I have time to think this all through.

Dr. Klayman also felt it was OK and perhaps even beneficial to leave Tucker barefoot behind. He said it would allow his feet to slip and move naturally with his joints instead of catching or being stopped by shoes. He was not concerned about the cracks, so that's good too. Guess it's one more "let's just see how it works," decision. Especially in the winter, I prefer no shoes behind anyhow, and it has been fine for quite a while so I certainly can't argue with that.

It was one of those sun in sun out, warmish, coolish, breezy windy, "can't make up its mind" day. I decided to lunge Chance again and take him over the little jump as none of the Boys had dismantled it yet. (Does that mean that Tucker is the wrecking crew since he's been locked in his stall?) Once again, he was a star and seems to be getting the concept of using some impulsion to get himself over the obstacle. When he does that, he looks quite nice and really starts to use himself. His father, as you can see, was gorgeous over a fence so maybe he inherited some of that talent too. Romancer is a Hanoverian/Thoroughbred cross.

Even though Chance's career is not likely to take us over a lot of jumps, I think it's an important skill for all horses to learn. In the "old days" the dressage tests required the horses to jump an obstacle as test/proof of their overall training. I can't quite picture some of today's dressage champions managing that. It make me remember the original goal of dressage which was to train the horse for war. And I always remember a quote I read somewhere...was it by Vladimir Littauer?..."The true test of a dressage horse is in the field."

Can you picture Anky galloping Salierno across the meadow? Or how would Totilas look going cross country? Ravel might surprise us all, however, and I'd wager there are quite a few others who would be really fun to ride ouside the arena on a cross country frolic. I bet a few of them would have fun too for a change. And, I am equally sure a lot of good dressage horses do go out and have a romp or even a nice long hack with their riders too.

I know eventing is kind of the ulitmate test of a dressage horse, actually, but the cross country courses, as Caroline has noted, have become technical and difficult instead of encouraging a horse to gallop on a jump. It used to be: dressage a test of training and obedience, cross country a test of endurance and stadium, is the horse still supple and obedient after the physical stress of cross country. Stadium demanded the precision and ability to "answer questions" no posed on the cross country, taking away a lot of the original purpose of the competition.

I'll get off my soapbox now. I have a lot more opinions about modern competitive riding, but I'll save that for now.

Signing off.....


  1. Anonymous8:32 PM

    I'm a big fan of the old-fashioned all around horse, in both English and Western disciplines. The ranch horse competitions, to my mind, come closest these days - the horses have to be versatile, and both calm and unflappable and responsive and athletic, and they have to be able to do real work tasks.

    I also agree that dressage horses should jump and jumpers should do dressage - I think over-specialization and breeding horses for only one discipline is a source of many of the soundness issues many competition horses experience.

  2. In French, eventing is called Concour Complet, complete competition.

  3. no get back on the soap box, jean, you're so right...

  4. I know of a couple of shows that still offer the Prix Caprilli classes. Those have a jump in them or cavaletti. Unfortunately, those classes are not popular but it's always nice to go in them even if no one else will....LOL!
    You're right...I hate specialized breeders especially those that only breed for halter horses. I mean, Really? Really! A horse that can stand well, pumped up on steroids, with feet that are way too small and probably bred to an Impressive horse that will give it the genetic disease of HYPP!! Really? We need more of those!! Ugh!!!

  5. You're so right, Jean. While I don't jump my horse in the ring, I do find it valuable to be able to jump him over a log on the trail if neccessary. I make all of my horses go on trail rides because, honestly, how on Earth am I going to be able to take them to a show and control them if they never leave the ring at home?

    To me, being a "dressage horse" doesn't mean they should be handled with care or treated differently. It just means they're well trained.

  6. Anky cantering or more likely out-of-control gallop in the field with Salinero HaHaHa!

    I agree with you on many points, but Mr judges and and powerfull breeders have changed it all. All-around horses are not bred anymore.

    I hope this trend is going to change, it looks like there is a hole in the market for all-around medium spirited horses. Something to ponder when you want to breed your mare ... Not yours, you only have boys ^-^