Anyway, while stalking our local saddle fitting expert on her new site, I saw her list of "when to call a professional fitter" and almost spat coffee out all over my keyboard.
(note: Pia's saddle FITS. I swear)
The following are common misbehavior relating to saddle fit:
- Being “Girthy”, attacking the cross ties or biting at the wall when being saddled (she doesn't actually bite at anything)
- Rearing (just the once)
- Refusing to move forward (uh. yeah.)
- Refusing jumps (NOPE!)
- Head tossing (it can stay still?!)
- Tail swishing (this stays still too!?)
- Pinning of ears (They only go up for photos or carrots..)
- Bucking (These go up all the time..)
- Chronic Spooking (Only when the tractor resembles a MONSTER, or there's weird patterns in the arena sand..)
- Inability to move in a straight line (actually ok on this one)
- Teeth grinding (not really)
- Objections to being groomed (only when she doesn't want to be)
- Unable to stands still (There are things to do!)
- General bad attitude (only cause everyone else is so laaaaaame)
I mean jesus, she should just put a two minute video of Miss P up there. Of course that might not speak well to the insanely expensive (totally gorgeous), obsessively fit saddle that she sold me... But really. Aside from not refusing jumps (or cavaletti), That's P. Or it was P, now she's just a tail swishing, ear pinning grump.
Actually, that's not fair. Last night she was so in love she wouldn't even go free lunge. I tried to let her run around but she kept just trotting straight back to me and wouldn't leave unless I whacked her on the ass with the whip...
If I'm being totally fair, that list may have described P in December, but almost all of this has gone away with the Regu-Mate. She hasn't even offered a cow kick or a buck since we started, clearly no rearing, the head tossing is down to a minimum, her ears are usually flopped out (unless a BOY walks by), she isn't spooking, no grinding, she practically sat on my curry comb yesterday and mostly seems like a nicer mare overall..)
I guess this is a good transition into the comments from the Rolf session Miss P had last week.
As I mentioned, the practitioner(/therapist?) found plenty to work on, and as she did the first time, she focuses on the tight tissues surrounding P's funny right hind that I am CONVINCED causes a majority of her tension and discomfort.. Here were her notes:
Right hind is laterally rotated. Hypertonic adductor muscles are pulling the medial aspect of her leg upwards, making it difficult to get the hoof balanced on the ground and also limiting engagement of the right hind. I freed up the tissues along her medial hind legs, focusing on the adductors. She was extremely sore to the touch, especially around her ischial tuberosity on the right. Her lumbar spine is braced. Have you had your saddle fit checked lately? I often find this level of bilateral tension in horses with saddle fit issues. It could also be attributable to her inability to equally engage the hindquarters. I released her neck at the anterior aspect of her shoulder. She was tight and had symptoms of a pinched nerve on the left side, at about C5 and C6.Like I said, he saddle fit was just inspected in November and all was good. So I really don't think that's the root of our problems. Could be, but a) I'd be pissed, b) I'd be furious and c) I'd be surprised. I did double check everything yesterday and it seems to still be fitting well..
We're going to try a few sessions of additional Rolf-ing every two weeks to see if we can get P to release her right hind a bit more, and subsequently relax her lumbar a bit. Hopefully that will complement our long-and-low rides to help open up those joints and release some stiffness on a more permanent basis.
As for yesterday, since the mare had the weekend off (post Rolf), I just took her out to the ring, attempted a free lunge, settled for normal lunging and had a nice big grooming session. Then Pia got to stare at her favorite gelding while she got groomed and I made her lunch boxes for the week before jetting for a date (of sorts) of my own.
|gelding, gelding, gelding. love, love, love|
OK... so maybe it doesn't sounds as much fun when I say it that way, but I think it'll be a good time! Plus, if even one little gem happens to fall into my purse, P and I could totally ignore that pesky budget we've been talking about...