True to my word I have again been taking some more small steps this time focussing more on working Moo and using gymnastic training to help him through his stiffness. It’s a long story for those who don’t know but suffice to say at 19 years old we find it better to keep him stretching and flexing than doing nothing! I have no great plans for him and I, its just good being around him and as long as he is happy then I’m happy. When I say small steps I really (again) do mean that. We started our ‘coming out of Winter’ preparation with some in-hand flexions on the yard, literally five minutes 3 or 4 times a week. Then we progressed to 10 minutes in-hand work, keeping (or trying) to keep his neck soft and reminding him not to weight his inside shoulder and sit on me!
Two weeks ago I started to sit on for 5 minutes after the 10 minutes in-hand and now we are up to about 20 minutes riding. We start with 10 minutes softening the neck and finding the hindlegs before 5 minutes of slightly more connected work and finishing with 5 minutes stretch. All in WALK – you can do so much in walk!
He tries so hard to please but there is the inevitable tension (although much less as we go on) but as soon as you locate the hindleg under him it releases. Very short video below just to give an idea of how far you can get with some very small steps.
Moo and i are walking back to the happiness that Spring will hopefully bring with longer days and warm hacks in the forest!
Hope you have been taking some small steps too!