Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chrome's Third Workout

Sorry for the old picture.  I couldn't take pictures today because of the threat of rain.  I didn't mind if I got soaked, but I definitely didn't want my camera soaked.  As luck would have it, it didn't rain, but better safe than sorry.  Also sorry for not posting yesterday!  I totally forgot.  I will get it done tomorrow since it will be raining all day.

So I decided to do his workouts every other day instead of three days a week, since this is a workout routine for a three year old and he's almost five.  Today was the third routine.  It was a fairly easy one which was great since his stifles have been sticky since his last workout.  I was worried he was in pain, but he was trotting around out in the pasture, practically floating off the ground, so I'm guessing he's fine lol.  I'm also having him trimmed at the four week mark since his last trim instead of waiting six weeks, just to see if it makes a difference for his stifles.

Today we started out with a walk on the roads.  We only went 1.69 miles, but there is a hill at the end going that way and it's fairly sloped all the way up that road.  Good workout for all of us (hubby went again).  Chrome was super eager and had his head in the clouds for most of the walk.  The new direction there were horses out and they were galloping around, excited to see us.  Chrome flagged his tail over his back and his walk got super springy, but he managed not to break into a trot.  Good boy!!  He was about as high as a kite, but he contained himself well.

We continued past the horses and went up over the hill, down the other side, turned around and came back.  Next time I'll add a couple more back and forth loops on the hill, but I don't want to overdo it.  It's a pretty steep hill.  One of the exercises on today's routine is hill work, but they want the horse longed at a trot on a hill.  I don't have a place for that and circles are bad on stifles, so I'm just going to walk back and forth in a straight line on the hill work days.  Straight lines up and down hills are the best thing for stifles.

We headed back home and after we went by the horses again he started acting balky.  It only took two times before he gave up, lowered his head and walked home in a relaxed manner.  Dork.  On our next walk I'll probably just walk him back and forth in front of their pasture until he calms down.

After the walk it said to step over the hay bale again. Since his stifles are still sticky I just took him over it three times, then called it good.  I don't want to overdo it, but I know I have to push a little or he'll never get any muscles.

After that was tail rotations and a tail pull.  On the tail pull, you stand behind him, take his dock in both hands and gently pull straight back keeping it in line with his spine.  You hold the pull for twenty seconds and sloooowly release the stretch.  The book said if the horse clamps his tail, stamps his feet or shifts side to side that he probably needs a chiropractor for spine issues, but Chrome stood like a statue and didn't move.  Yay!  The tail pull is gradually built up to two minutes!! I don't know if I can pull on his tail for two minutes lol.

The last exercise for today's routine was the TMJ massage.  It tells you to start at the top of the jaw.  If you draw a line down from the ear and over from the eye it shows you where to start.  You make small, gentle circles with two fingers and then press firmly for a few seconds.  If there is no response you move down an inch and do it again, then down another inch and do it again.  If the horse shows a release (yawning, blinking, sighing, etc.) you do it again.  I did the first spot, nothing, moved to the second spot, nothing, moved to the third spot and got a HUGE yawn!  Did it again, nothing.  Did the other side and the exact same thing happened.  :)  The yawn means he was releasing tension in his jaw.  This is one reason I love this book because it uses a lot of massage techniques that you would find in the Masterson's massage work.  :)

Chrome was doing one weird thing today... rooting his nose whenever I put pressure on his halter.  I think the reason is because I let him graze for several hours yesterday and he was wearing his rope halter since I haven't fixed his nylon halter.  He kept stepping on his rope, pulling against it and then yielding and stepping backward off of the rope.  I think he made his face sore where the knots sit, which is probably why I got such a great release on the TMJ massage.  I'll probably do that massage again when I feed him later.  I got the clip I need to fix his halter so I'll only use it for grazing from now on.  I feel bad he made his face sore.  :(

There is one more new routine that we will do on Tuesday, then it will be just repeating all of them so I won't be posting all of the details after Tuesday.  On the nineteenth I'm going to do his assessment to get baseline information and then I'll use it to track our progress throughout the workout program.  The prep phase, which is what we're doing, can last from one to two months.  Then we move on to the basic cardio program.  That's when I'll be doing a lot more riding and things will get more interesting hehe.

P.S.  I was going to ride today on our road walk, but with the threat of rain I chickened out lol.  I really, really need the exercise too, so it's not that big of a deal.  The prep phase is supposed to be ground work only anyway.  I was just going to cheat since he's almost five and I've been riding him off and on for two years.  I'm also going to start working on our CTR obstacles again soon too.  I've just been really, really busy working on some of the stuff that wasn't finished on our house!  Jackal is going to have a dog door yay!!!  I also discovered today that Chrome's likes the inside of his ears scratched just like his sire!!!

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