Knowing that Dante is PSSM1 has actually made me feel free of the worry about when we will get to riding. I now know there is a physical issue for him and it makes me more understanding that our time frame will be slower until matters improve for him.
I feel more relaxed and joy when being with him – I’ve let go of our schedule and I’m spending more chill time with him without the pushing for progress. This new perspective of our partnership has really released the pressure and has made me feel so much better about spending time with him.
Of course there are still goals to work towards, but I’m letting Dante set the pace on how quickly we proceed on getting it done.
Throughout the winter we will concentrate on the same things. The good news is he is getting better at lunging all the time although still unhappy about trotting. He will do it; it’s clear he isn’t excited about it. Hopefully, a few changes to his feeding schedule will help with this.
- mounting block – until he chooses to stand quietly and willingly at the mounting block, we won’t proceed with riding. This is allowing him the choice of when we continue in this direction.
- the Down cue. He knows it but I’m still trying to get him to respond to the voice cue and to keep the duration. Why? Because while he’ll keep his head low at walk, he brings it up at trot on the lunge.
- in groundwork and lunging, I’m looking for a more active walk as he has a tendency to be a bit lazy on the hindquarters due to PSSM.
- focusing on better form, as I feel we are getting heavy on the forehand when stretching to long and low and not keeping the weight back.
- teaching the cue for a half halt from the ground with a little shake on the lungeline.
- teaching him to move away from a tap with a whip at the hindquarters in preparation for teaching the travers (hindquarters in).
- shoulder in has really improved but he is far better going clockwise then counter clockwise. Looking for this to become more fluid before we move on with it at trot.
- teaching the beginning of haunches in. This will be really difficult for him athletically so we will take a long time to get there.
- Once I get my new reins (which are longer) bought, I’ll be doing the above as in-hand work – with a bit. During this work I’ll be able to fine tune him stepping under his point of weight and reaching down into the bridle.
Food and Supplements:
Recently I contacted Dr. Kellon at Uckele to tweak his supplements after I got confirmation of his PSSM 1: I’ll be upping his ALCAR as that won’t cause him any harm and he seems to do better when it is a little higher, maybe 20 g (by weight).
I will also be adding in Ocean K to up the iodine he is getting with his table salt. The biggest change though is adding a joint supplement. He continues to get Vitamin E (in oil), Magnesium, and the proper mix of Copper and Zinc.
I’ll be sending off his hay, which is farmed on the property he boards, for testing to make sure I’m completely on track.