Tuesday 20 February 2018

I’m just going to do a short summary here – I’ve been horribly busy with work and other commitments, but I really need to get this down!

Last week

On Thursday, the EP came out again to take a look at Bruce’s hooves. I wasn’t sure if she’d do a trim, as it had only been three weeks since her last visit, but she did as his hooves have changed shape quite dramatically.

She put a bevel on the hooves, dug out the seedy toe a little more, and tidied the feet up. She also sold me some foam pads, and told me what size hoof boots to buy – because Bruce’s feet have changed so much, the ones she lent me are miles too big now!

Thursday night was also Top Spec weigh bridge night – I had guessed, earlier in the winter, when we were worming, that Bruce weighs 550kg. He came out at…. 560kg! So I wasn’t far out. I won’t be switching Bruce onto their balancer at this time, but will continue using Top Chop as chaff. Top Chop can also be used as a very low calorie forage replacement, but when I left a trug in his stable he just knocked it over – perhaps he’ll be more interested in it when I give him no other option, when the grass starts coming through!

I didn’t see Bruce on Friday due to an awards ceremony at work that I was on the comms team for; nor on Saturday because I had a severe hangover and case of the horrors. Drinks with the suppliers on Friday night, after I’d finished working for the night, had escalated. Why don’t I have an off button?! So I wasted the nicest day so far this year lying in bed feeling very sorry for myself. Luckily I have wonderful people around me at the yard and they were able to do Bruce for me – I can’t thank them enough, Kate and Elle that’s you!

On Sunday, when I saw him, I nearly jumped out of my skin in shock – he was really footy again. I really didn’t expect him to be sore again, I don’t know why – the EP did say he’d need to be in boots on hard surfaces. I still wasn’t functioning as a full human being on Sunday, so shout out to OH who came along and helped with yard chores after I’d had a busy and pretty tough day.

Sunday night I managed to source some boots second hand on Facebook – the lady said they’d be with me for Tuesday, result!

This week

Monday night (last night), I had to do another horse on the yard – his owner had kindly done Bruce for me on Friday night when I was at the awards ceremony,  so I owed her one! So I didn’t get to spend that much time with Bruce; but I did spot him trying to scratch under his rug. I had a feel – he was too hot. He was in a 200g turnout and the temperature was about 8 or 9 degrees C; he was definitely too warm. He does have most of his winter coat still, I suppose, with just a blanket clip. I have a 100g rug for him, but it’s got a neck and has rubbed his mane out – I’m going to sell it, and the other fixed neck rug I have. I forgot that’s why I don’t like fixed necks.

I took his turnout off, checked the weather and decided to just throw a fleece on him and let him go out naked in the morning…

muddy boy

 

Tuesday came round and it was mild – I’m glad he went out naked, apparently the first thing he did was have a good roll. Then when Elle was up later in the day, apparently he was prancing around, bucking (and farting) for sheer joy.

muddy from the left
You can see his old hamstring injury here – the indentation to the left of his tail. Oh, and a lot of mud!

He was just being brought in when I arrived – he seemed to be walking maybe slightly better. I had received the new boots, so cut the foam pads to size and put them on him. The foam compresses with the weight and warmth of the hooves, so I left them on for 20 minutes or so. Only to find that the pad had, annoyingly, slipped round slightly in one of them! So the imprint of his frog is skewiff on that foot. I didn’t have time to mess around with it any more, I had to get home to OH, who is probably quite fed up of being a horse widower.

Tomorrow I will sort the foam out properly; he’s going out naked again, the weather looks OK. Even if he is a tad chilly, he can move around to warm up – he needs to lose some weight anyway before that grass starts coming through properly. I do have a no-fill turnout rug on its way, but it’s going cold again tomorrow evening and will then be cold for a few days so he’ll be OK back in his 200g.

Oh – I also tried a few of the acupressure things that Dan Wain showed me tonight, going to do some more tomorrow and hopefully some in-hand work too! I’ve only done it once since the clinic, and he was an absolute idiot because the Top Spec lady had just arrived. Clearly she looked very threatening and required Bruce to be on high alert, with no consideration for the puny human that might be standing in his way. Sigh.

Onwards and upwards…

L.

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Monday 12 February

In hand clinic with Dan Wain

So today was my first outing with Bruce! Exciting times. I took a half day off work, so I’d have time to de-mud him… I gave him a tail wash and took the opportunity to wash his legs in Winter Legs, to get all that nasty mud off.

I had half-pulled, half-Solo-raked his tail over the weekend, so it actually looks half decent. Just need to finish it off and sort his mane out now…

By the time I’d finished grooming him, our ride had arrived, so I just had to put his travel gear on. He didn’t look too impressed! He loaded with just a little hesitation to begin with; fair enough, I reckon – it’s not as if we travel regularly. I think he just wanted to suss the trailer out before he got in.

The journey went quickly, chatting away to our lovely transport man, James. We went straight into the indoor arena when we got there; I had a good feeling about Dan from the offset. He asked what we wanted to achieve – I wasn’t really sure, to be honest! My main aims with the in-hand work are to 1. improve Bruce’s way of going from the ground and 2. build up a bond of trust between us. How to go about this, I wasn’t sure.

So Dan took it right back to basics; equipment was simply a leather cavesson, a short lunge line and an 8 foot long bamboo stick. I led Bruce around at first, and he watched; Bruce was rushing, always travelling a little faster than me, pulling slightly. I was walking very fast to keep up with him.

Dan then showed me how to work him; not using the cavesson to apply pressure, rather just keeping a very light contact and allowing the hand/arm to move with Bruce’s head; keeping the arm totally soft. He demonstrated how to turn him – using a combination of my lead and body position, and the bamboo stick; and how to stop him. It sounds so simple and basic but honestly, it’s different to how we are taught! There is practically no pressure on the head; to stop, you move the bamboo stick in front of the horse. The first time, or few times, he may walk into it. It doesn’t hurt, but does make a rather satisfying sound. The horse gets used to this being the cue to stop after a few times, and no longer walks into the stick.

Dan correctly pinpointed Bruce as being a bit of a worrier; every noise out on the yard, he went into alert mode, or jumped out of his skin. But he did get the hang of what was being asked of him; I just need to practice it at home now, and get these basics down.

After quite a while of practising, Dan then gave Bruce a sort of massage, using acu-pressure points on his chest first. Then he showed me how to massage a pressure point where Bruce’s neck meets his shoulder; it makes the muscle in his chest twitch. Then, alternating applying pressure here with stretching his neck outwards, at about 45 degrees, and down. Finally, tickling Bruce’s tummy to get him to engage his core muscles and make his back flat.

Dan has advised that I do these three things with Bruce every day, or at least every other day. It will help him to get more supple – he is very one-sided – and will help his back to get stronger.

I’m looking forward to putting everything I’ve learned into practice – just got to hope I can remember it all! I can’t wait to book in for another session with Dan. He talked a lot of sense, and I think Bruce appreciated his calm, quiet, patient but no-nonsense approach. He strikes me as an excellent horseman, and one that I can learn a lot from.

L.

Thursday 08 – Sunday 11 February

I was so ill during this week, I didn’t really do anything with Bruce. My wonderful OH kindly helped out with mucking out and yard duties when I physically wasn’t capable. On Thursday I had to drag myself up there because he had his second appointment with the Equine Muscle Therapy lady, Sue.

Sue said that Bruce was much better than when she first saw him, but still has some way to go. He’s still sore across the sacro-iliac area, and also tight in his hip flexors (which makes sense – they’re all attached). She noticed on his right hamstring, the scar which I’ve always wondered about – she said it looks like he’s torn his hamstring at some point. I told her about him having pinworm (twice while I’ve known him) and that it’s likely he has also had them before; I wonder if he, years ago, scratched himself on something very sharp, which gave him this injury. I have no way of finding out, but I do suspect that’s what happened.

I mentioned to Sue that I’m taking him to an in-hand clinic on Monday; when I told her it’s with Dan Wain, she was very pleased. She said that this is exactly the type of work that Bruce needs, to help support his recovery. I’ve been meaning to get to one of his clinics for ages now, I’m so glad it’s finally happening! Sue said that Dan follows the principles of Manolo Mendez; I’d read a bit about Manolo before, as Dan had sent me an invite to a demo of his a few months back. I hadn’t given it much thought at the time, but the more I read about him, the more interested I am in his work.

Over the years, Manolo has become sought after by riders and equine wellness practitioners including veterinarians and osteopaths for his holistic approach to training, developing and rehabilitating horses, which incorporates his unique brand of body work, in-hand and riding. This versatile three-pronged approach gives Manolo the ability to straighten and release tight, stiff, crooked horses, introduce new movements, develop and enhance gait quality and help horses work through physical or mental blockages without stress. Manolo’s dedication to the good of the horse and his proven ability in developing healthy, focused, performing horses using traditional methods have made him a highly sought-after clinician around the world.

I’ll post an update on how the clinic goes!

I did walk Bruce out in hand on Saturday, for a hack round the block with Elle and Copper – tackling his old nemeses, the stone lions, and walking between the reservoirs without batting an eyelid.

I started walking Bruce out on Sunday too but had to take a phone call about a pigeon, and he started playing up, and I had to get back to the yard to try and help the pigeon… So it was only a very short one. Long story short, a pigeon had been hanging around the yard for a few days. It seemed fine, then on Sunday it died, poor little bugger. It had come all the way from Middlesbrough! We gave it a good sending off (OK, I chucked it on the muck heap).

L.

Barefoot update: Week 5

Tuesday 06 February

I’m writing this almost a week late – I’ve been both busy and ill, and to be honest have been a bit depressed with it all. This horse ownership lark hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs so far.

However, I am trooping on – I’ve decided I’m giving Bruce until June/July for his feet to come right, and if it doesn’t happen by then I’m putting shoes back on his fronts. Now that I have a clear goal in sight, I feel a bit better.

So, without further ado, here are his updated photos… They’re not great because I was feeling really ill when taking them and just did it in a rush.

Near fore:

near five weeks

side five weeks

Off fore:

off five weeks

I’m not going to say too much about the feet – I can see a clear difference in them, he’s a lot more comfortable on them this week too. He’s seeing the EP again on 15 February so we’ll see what she has to say then!

L.

Sunday 04 February

It’s been a long old week this week. Bruce’s feet remained the same, he was footy for a few days; then he went remarkably sound for a day; then he was footy again. It’s grinding me down, I have to say. Between the feet, the back/saddle situation, the mud and the dark – owning a horse isn’t proving to be as fun as anticipated just yet!

I have been reading a lot about rye grass and meadow grass; and how rye grass, or hay/haylage made of rye grass, is bad for barefoot horses because it is so sugary – it can make them footy. I inspected the haylage I’ve been feeding Bruce – I already wasn’t too keen on it, as it has a very strong fermenting smell and is quite a dark golden, almost brown colour. But upon closer inspection, it also contains almost 100% rye grass.

So – on Friday, I went to our local feed store and got one of their small bales of haylage. There is some rye in it, but it is also a mixture of other grass types. I’ll use this to tide us over until later on this week, and will then start using hay again. Yay, soaking hay in the freezing cold and the dark!

Anyway – hopefully switching back to mixed meadow hay will help with Bruce’s feet. I’ve also now moved him onto Forage Plus Winter Balancer, as the Equimins Advance Complete ran out. So that means I can stop supplementing Magnesium for now, as the Winter Balancer has enough in it already.

Yesterday (Saturday) was cold, grey and drizzly – but I really need to get Bruce moving on those hooves, to stimulate growth, so we went out for a walk around the lanes. He was really good – he did call to the other horses a couple of times, and he also had a little mini panic when some horses in a field next to the road started running around. But generally, he was really good. We passed another yard which had a Dobermann and a little terrier running loose, both of which came bounding up to the fence, barking; Bruce barely batted an eyelid.

looky 040218
A bit looky to begin with, but he settled down straight away

We went out for another walk this morning – it was lovely, still very cold but bright and sunny. We went a different way for the first time – to the top of our lane and turned right. I could hear a noise, like a washing machine on spin, but really loud – it was some sort of machinery, I couldn’t see what it was. Just as we drew level with the house that this noise was coming from, the vibrations from it made the car alarm go off! I fully expected to get trampled by a panicking Bruce; but he just calmly walked on. In fact, the whole time we were out, even with horses being silly in fields next to him, he was absolutely hoof perfect.

walkies 040217
Double ears (?!) and a dirty bridle…

I don’t know if this is down to him getting used to coming on walks with me; or him starting to trust me more; or maybe it’s the Magnesium I’ve added to his diet. Whatever the reason, I am very grateful! I hope that when I start hacking him out again, when his back and saddle are sorted, he will remain this calm.

Bruce has had a little lump on the inside of his off hind pastern for some time now – I first noticed it last winter, because he’d knocked the top off it and it was bleeding. I noticed he’d done that again today, so I purple-sprayed it before turning him back out.

I went back up in the evening and washed his legs properly, in hot water with Equimins Winter Leg Scrub. I then put some Camrosa ointment on the lump on his leg. I have no idea what it is, it’s not bothering him in the slightest – it looks like it could be a wart or something. It just seems to get sore in the winter, so I’m going to keep an eye on it.

I also then scrubbed Bruce’s feet out; removed any bits of grit; sprayed with Sole Cleanse all round; then dried off his front feet and applied Artimud to the central cleft of his frogs, and all around his white lines – particularly where I had removed grit. I put his hoof boots on, which I had cleaned earlier, and put him to bed like this.

It’s meant to go down to -1 degrees Centigrade tonight; if there’s a frost, it will be really painful for Bruce to walk without his boots on, over the poached and rutted mud. I think I’m going to ask Yard Manager to turn him out in his hoof boots if that’s the case – and just hope they don’t get pulled off his feet in the mud. So difficult to know what to do.

Anyway – I’m trying to focus on the positives. He’s comfortable in his boots, in fact I think he rather likes them! And he is so super-chilled out on his walkies now; I can’t wait to get back on him!

L.

Sunday 28 January

Walking an overgrown dog

I feel that yesterday (Saturday) deserves a mention – I took Bruce for his first walk out on the road, in hand. He wore his hoof boots, a turnout rug with reflective strip at the back (it was raining), a bridle, coupler and lunge line. I wore head to toe waterproofs, hi viz, hat and gloves. I was a sweaty mess by the time we got back.

Bruce was super chilled the whole way, apart from when two dickheads sped past us through puddles one after the other. They received some appropriate language in return. I can’t get over how good Bruce was – he was looking around, but not in a scared way – more of an interested way. Is it because I was on the ground? Or the magnesium I’ve introduced to his diet? Or a bit of both? Only time will tell, I suppose.

Brucey Baby gets his back done

I’ve been looking forward to today since Bruce’s EP appointment on Tuesday – this morning, he was seen by Sue Connolly, who practices Equine Muscle Release Therapy (amongst other types of massage and therapy). She was recommended to me by Vikki (the EP) and was also very highly rated by another friend of mine.

This morning was a bit hectic – just after Sue arrived, and was assessing Bruce, my best mate Louise turned up with her son Fred (aged 3). I felt a bit bad as I had to neglect them while I was listening to what Sue had to say!

She showed me how sore Bruce’s back is – just behind the withers, where the saddle was pinching; and then all along his spinalis, the muscle along the spine. In his assessment, Sue noted that Bruce is clamping his tail – another indicator of a sore back. When stood still, I showed her how he always stands with one hind tucked under, all the weight going to the outside of his hind feet. She said that this in turn would put more pressure on the off foreleg. She also explained that, due to discomfort in his back, and him not really using his rear end, the front end is doing all of the work – so it is no wonder that, coupled with being newly barefoot, Bruce’s front hooves are painful! Sue was confident that if we can sort the back issue, the front feet should come right much more easily.

She used her gentle myofascial technique to release and relax the muscles. This was easier said than done – half way through the treatment, the Sunday morning clay pigeon shoot started. It sounded like it was in the next field, it was so close!

Bruce was fine at first, not bothered in the slightest – but then all the other horses started hooning around in their fields, snorting and blowing, which set him off. He pulled back and broke the string he was tied to (hasn’t done that in a while!) and nearly trampled my dog to death. We calmed him down eventually, once the others had stopped galloping around like idiots. The fields are so muddy, I was glad he wasn’t galloping around out there with them – they were all absolutely plastered.

Once Sue had completed Bruce’s treatment, we arranged for her to come back out in 10 days for a follow-up appointment. She was optimistic about his recovery time – she’s seen much worse cases than Bruce and had good results. She is a very pleasant and knowledgeable lady – hopefully with her help, I can get Bruce sound and back in work very soon.

You wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong with Bruce when I turned him out; jogging up the track like a racehorse and then having a good gallop, kick and buck around the field.  Clearly his massage made him feel goooood!

Once Sue had left, Louise and Fred helped around the yard. Fred was excellent at finding tiny pieces of poo in Bruce’s bed and getting rid of them for me. He also really enjoyed watching Bruce “lay an egg” (have a poo); and conquering the giant poo mountain that is the muck heap. He loves talking about, picking up and treading in poo; he has all the makings of a great horseman. He “helped” me make Bruce’s tea and breakfast for tomorrow – he did a great job actually, he followed my instructions perfectly.

I’ve removed garlic from Bruce’s feed now, on advice of Horse and Hound forum, the internet and checking with Vikki. I have also started feeding Topchop oat straw chaff as an alternative forage; Bruce’s body condition score is 3, and I want him down to a 2.5 really, at this time of year. Rather than just reducing the amount of forage, which would mean he’d be stood for long periods with nothing to eat, I’m replacing some haylage with oat straw chaff. It’s dust extracted, so fine for his allergy; and low calorie, so he can eat it without putting on any weight. I’m not sure how good the Topchop stuff is, it’s got apple and mint “flavour” added, which I hope doesn’t mean sugar. In any case, I’m getting some plain Honeychop next weekend – it had to be ordered in unfortunately. Hopefully he’ll eat it.

This evening, I had (another) wobble about taking him barefoot. It’s horrible to see him hobbling around when he hasn’t got boots on. I know it’s worth persevering with – I have no plans to stop any time soon, and Vikki talked some sense into me via Facebook messenger. She’s good like that. I’ve just got to be patient and remember I’m doing this for the greater good – so I can enjoy Bruce well into his twenties, and he can live a long and pain free life. Bless him. I do love that horse.

L.

Tuesday 23 January

Three weeks of barefoot – first Equine Podiatrist visit

[I’m actually writing this on Friday – cheating, I know. I really wanted to write this on the day it happened, but our internet went down and then I was too busy for the rest of the week. I can’t remember all of the details now, but I’m going to try my best to recap! L.]

So – as we know – Bruce had his front shoes taken off on 02 January. That is three weeks ago today. I can already see changes happening in his hooves. Today he had his first appointment with an Equine Podiatrist (EP) called Vikki Fear. I have been so excited for this appointment, to find out more about his hooves and how I can help rehabilitate them. I wasn’t disappointed! Vikki was at the yard for 2 hours – she talked me through everything she was doing, asked loads of questions about his diet and gave me some great advice.

Let’s have a look at his hooves first… All photos are actually from a few days later, on Friday 26 January.

Left fore

Overall score: 3.8/10

Comments: bouncy soles, walls chipped up to clench holes, flare bottom 2 cm, seedy toe

LF 260118

Bruce’s fronts, as we know, are pretty compromised. The widest point of the frog is too far forward, his heel is under-run, his sole is flat rather than concave. The shape of his hoof is like a saucer – flat with a rim – rather than like a bowl – concave with a gradual curve. He also has seedy toe in this hoof – but Vikki is not overly concerned about this and thinks it should grow out as new, healthy hoof horn grows down. She thinks it has happened due to stretching of the white line – possibly caused by mild pre-laminitic symptoms in the summer (I had noticed he had a hard, cresty neck on one occasion – it went down as quickly as it came up, in a day or so, but I was concerned at the time). She did say, when she first looked at his hooves, that she was somewhat concerned by some of the growth rings she could see, which could indicate a bout of laminitis. The hoof wall has separated from the inner hoof capsule and this has allowed dirt and bacteria in, causing infection.

Treatment: Vikki took the absolute bare minimum off. She did trim the bars – which surprised me – and took some off the hoof wall, getting rid of the flare. She may bevel the edge more severely next trim, to help get rid of that seedy toe and get him stimulating the heels more, but she didn’t want to do anything too drastic this time, until she knows Bruce better. Vikki also packed out the seedy toe hole with Red Horse Hoof Stuff – this should stay in until she next sees Bruce.

Left hind

Overall score: 5.8/10

Comments: frog leaning laterally, frog bridge, overdeveloped inside bar, m high

LH 260118

I expected Bruce’s hinds to get a pretty good score, as they’ve always been barefoot since I knew him, and I have never seen them cause any problems. Certainly they look much better than his fronts.

However, Vikki was disappointed with the amount of soft tissue above his heels, making up the digital cushion. I did think that they didn’t look all that different to the fronts, but thought this must be my novice eyes. It seems I was right. Also, this hind in particular is asymmetrical, with the weight being loaded to the outside of the hoof – and there is a “frog bridge”, where the frog is actually growing into the bar on one side. The hoof does have much nicer concavity and the bowl shape we are looking for. Vikki noted that Bruce always seems to stand with this hind further forward than the other, for which she said there is probably a reason. Sounds ominous.

Treatment: Again, Vikki took the bare minimum off – but she did cut away the bit of frog that was growing into the bar, and the bar on either side, to try and give it a chance to grow properly. Having read the Rockley books and blog, I thought that the reason a hoof might grow like that would be to give support where needed – but this is not always the case, apparently. Vikki did this trim so that when she sees Bruce in six weeks’ time, she can see how the bars/frog have grown. If they start growing as they “should” then it was a previous trimming issue. If they continue growing in a bridge and asymmetrically, then there must be something else going on – this could be anywhere from the sacro-iliac joint downwards. Vikki also commented on the tubules on the sole near the bars – they were elongated, rather than dots, indicating the horn is growing in the wrong direction (I think?!). By trimming, it is hoped that they may start to grow in the right direction.

Right fore

Score: 3.9/10

Comments: Bouncy sole, some wall damage. Flare bottom 2cm

RF 260118

Similarly to the left fore, this hoof is flat soled – saucer shaped, with under-run heels. The damage to the hoof wall isn’t as pronounced on this foot, with no occurrence of seedy toe.

Treatment: The same conservative trim as the left fore, minus the seedy toe treatment.

Right hind

Score: 5.8/10

Comments: As per left hind but less so

RH 260118.jpg

So this foot was a bit better than the left hind – but was still load bearing to the outside. The frog bridge was less pronounced on this side, but still present.

Treatment: Again, Vikki trimmed conservatively but took the frog bridge away.

Gait analysis

Bruce is walking OK on concrete – but he is treading carefully and trying to land heel first or flat to protect his toes. So currently it is his toe that is causing him bother – rather than the under-developed heel. Vikki seems confident that we can fix this fairly quickly.

Feed

To recap – Bruce is currently on:

  • Speedibeet
  • Hi Fi Lite
  • Micronised Linseed
  • Equimins Advance Complete
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder

Vikki suggested that I swap the Advance Complete for an alternative balancer. Out of the three she suggested, I’ve opted for Forage Plus Winter Balancer. She said that Advance Complete is good – but very high in Vitamin A, for some reason; if taken long-term, it could cause problems, as it is way over the recommended daily allowance.

Vikki also suggested that I start Bruce on Hilton Herbs GastriXHilton Herbs GastriX; to support a healthy gut. I already know that a lot of horses have ulcers – and even if they don’t, they can have inflammation of the gut. This stops nutrients from being absorbed effectively. Vikki has noted a marked change in her horses’ feet – and the horses of her clients – after starting them on this product. She thinks this could be contributing to the lack of digital cushion on his hinds, as there is no other reason that she can see. So I’m giving this product a go too!

Vikki did question whether he’s on hay or haylage. When I stated haylage, she warned me that – although she has had no direct experience of this, and it doesn’t make sense to her as haylage is lower in sugar than hay – some of her peers have found that haylage causes footiness in certain horses. We decided that for now, I’d keep him on haylage and review this at Vikki’s next visit.

Exercise

Until I have a saddle, groundwork, lunging and long-reining is all I can do. If he’s going out on tarmac, he must wear boots on his fronts; and go out for no longer than 30 minutes. Once I have a saddle, I can ride on an arena surface as usual for flatwork; no jumping though, and always booted for roadwork.

Back and saddle

Vikki recommended a myofascial treatment for Bruce, from her Equine Muscle Release Therapist, Sue Connolly. I’ve got her booked in for this Sunday – can’t wait to see what she has to say about Bruce’s back

Once his back is sorted, I’m hoping to have another of Vikki’s recommendations out for a saddle fitting – her name is Jo Clark. I haven’t contacted her yet, but Vikki rated her very highly. I’d like to see what she has to say, in comparison to what the other saddle fitter told me; and make my decision on what to do from there.

In conclusion – a very interesting and informative couple of hours. I’m putting all the things Vikki said into practice, so hopefully in 6 weeks time we will have a more positive update!

I will still post my four-week update and hoof comparison photos next Tuesday, along with updates of any groundwork we manage to fit in.

L.