How To Recognize Problem Muscles #1

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by smash, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Smash - thankyou for your reply (Hon sure does .. I can hear her already calling for more massage!)

    Paddling doesn't effect me so much, I just want to make sure that if I can help him and his body in any way to help cope with the extra stress, I can. I've had a few nasty comments said to my face, and behind my back, about taking on a horse that paddles, he'll never make a good horse, etc .. it's a bit disheartening, but I see HIM as a whole, not just the leg.

    Agreed - I'm trying to think of his whole body, inside and out, not just his leg. It's taken me a while to figure out a feed that works for him, and to get to know him better - and now I can start aiding him with regular massages, a better feed, and a farrier who is willing to work with me on good trims. I don't want to just focus on his leg (incase I miss something else, like you suggested) - but deffinately just trying to help him in everyway I can .. just like Hon has feet issues in the winter - I am working on her as a whole, not just her feet .. if that makes sense?

    Smash your reply was helpful and informative - thankyou for giving me some more confidence that I'm doing the right thing by him :) He's deffinately not complaining LOL

    I'm off to go get some pictures of him and Hon right now (I don't know if you'll recognise Hon with her hair cut and 'extra' padding lol) - and I'll give it a go at circling any tight spots on them (on the photo, not using a marker on the horses LOL)

    Thanks again smash :D
  2. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Hey Cheeki...if it helps you any...there are a LOT of TOP dressage horses that paddle quite badly! Not every horse moves as straight as a die;)
  3. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    so true babe,
    cheeki maybe those that felt the need to make nasty comments about his paddling, may wish to chat to say, some ANDALUSIAN owners ???
    they paddle, and their achievments are amazing.
    pffft all horses have some shortfall, if we only owned "perfect" conformed horses, no one would have a horse LOL
  4. Babe

    Babe Well-known Member

    Totally agree Smash! Even the most perfect looking horses have a flaw somewhere..its what makes them so individual;)
  5. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    for those that this may interest.
    This is a lunging video, that I use for various reasons,
    1) into work
    2) training horses to respond to aides
    3) during training as something different
    4) horses that need to build up muscles due to muscle problems
    5) seeing WHERE and WHY a horse may be having difficulty in doing something
    My aides are
    WALK for walk (bet no one could work that out) lol
    KISS for trot
    OK for lengthening the stride
    STEADY for half halts
    WHISTLE for canter
    And this horses FAVORITE aid = whoo for halt (this aide is the quietest said aide, and is only JUST heard in the last halt) but by gosh HE can hear it (selective male hearing)
    In the first bit, I let the horse “warm up” his way (head can be anywhere) and just do a figure of 8 UNTIL he starts using his inside hind and balances HIMSELF (you will see he looses rhythm on the first few turn and is runny, due do being unbalanced. Don’t interfere with this, just keep doing a figure of 8 and they will work out how to BALANCE THEMSELVES. I am trying to encourage him to stretch his muscles to work long and low, but his muscles are not warmed up enough to stretch for a true long and low. (NO OUTSIDE REIN)
    The next bit is the canter warm up; just let them plod along in their fashion, RELAXED. When warming up in the canter, I like to change directions when I come back to the trot, as this is when they LOVE falling on the forehand and go runny, so instead of “trying” to correct this, I make it “difficult” to go fore-handy and will do half a figure of 8 or continue a figure of 8 until HE FINDS his balance again and pop in different transitions to help him concentrate on his lesson.
    The next bit is to show that you can practice all sorts of things, counter canter for this example, some working canter also, lengthening the stride at trot, some half halts, a walk (he was hoping that was a halt aide) lol
    Last bit, is when he starts to truly work long and low, with nice balanced change of reins and a good rhythm, (NO OUTSIDE REIN) and of course his favorite transition, the HALT.
    Hopefully, some viewers have picked up the nice knot on the neck on the near side?
    This does not mean you halt all training/work. It just means you take that into consideration and understand why he is “twisting” his head and such, and is why he was never asked to collect in this lunging session, even though, that is what I had planned to do.
    Now his conformation is suited to the work I WISH TO DO but he has had plates and screws inserted and removed from the off side knee, so I have some extra work involved with massaging to help him maintain a “evenness” with his muscles and some thought goes into the “snowball” affect this can have.
    Also has minimum vision with the off side eye, due to an injury, and the ever so helpful neighbors dog NOT!!! To contend with LOL
    None of these things are an excuse NOT work or misbehave, they are apart of life, which he must trust my judgment to DEAL with it. If he makes a bad choice, I just make that choice uncomfortable = figure of 8s, but NEVER is he told off.
    I hope this is helpful to those that may require this kind of work.

    YouTube - lunge
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  6. Beauvelour

    Beauvelour Well-known Member

    OK i have another question/theory for you smash.... When i first got harry he wouldnt canter on the right leg, after you suggestion, i got him massaged and found that his sholdour and knee were in quite bad shape. He then started picking that lead up a little and now he will change to his left leg (so ends up disunited as he changes in front)

    Now i know this is hard without seeing the horse or watching him being ridden, do u think he may be afraid of feeling pain, sort of gotten into a "way of going"?

    I have started massaging using the techniques you have shown. I need to get some recent pics, for me i feel as though he is building up but his bum looks as though its "wasting away" I feel his problems come from knots near the hips. (I promise to get photos this week to show)

    Also i am not the best rider and i need to work on my position and the way i ask for canter so im not sure if its a mixture of things......hehehe sorry bout the babble but do you have any theories? ( i say theories as i have no pics or vids to back it up)
  7. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    ha ha beau, welcome to the world of Analyzing LOL
    you see it is hard to work out what comes first, the chicken or the egg ???
    is pain causing him to do this ?
    is balance causing him to this?
    does he have an understanding of what is being asked of him?
    is the rider causing him to do this?
    you can go on and on, but in all reality you need to STOP, and re-valuate the situation.
    first, eliminate the pain element
    second, is there a way you could teach exactly what you want him to do
    thirdly, is there a way to help him balance
    fourthly, is there a way to help you feel more confidence as a rider
    these are all decisions everyone has to make, and by arming yourself with knowledge and understanding of WHAT YOU WANT will help you make better decisions.
    as you are the only one responsible for your desicions.
    ask ANYONE a question WHY they do something the way the do, and if the blow up and try to belittle you, you know they have NO IDEA, but if they explain the reasons they are doing something, you can DECIDE for YOURSELF if that will HELP YOU on your road to gold (so to speak)
    wow how is that for a lecture kiddo LOL LOL
    now when you are ready, pop your photos in here, and we will do the best we can to help you babe
  8. Mayasmum

    Mayasmum Well-known Member

    Smash you are so very talented!!

    You make that 2-line lunging look so very easy - that is actually a Parelli level 4 skill...reserved for only those who have impeccable (sp?) feel and timing!!!

    I still get tangled in one 22 ft line, I'd hate to think what would happen to me if i used 2 of them!!! LOL :eek:

    Anyway, that's where I aspire to get to and for now we do our figure 8's with just one line and a carrot stick!

    Its SO nice to see someone lunge a horse without doing endless mindless circles chasing the horse with a whip!

    People like you make this forum great, thanks again!! (I've been a real suck but your information is just so worthwhile!!)
  9. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    ha ha mayasmum, you made me blush lol
    hells bells and i make kids lunge that way LOL wait till i tell them they are level 4 LOL
    but you might of noticed that i use different coloured lunge reins LOL
    *i cheat*
    i just like this way of lunging, because you can teach the horse all about change of frames (like you do when your ride) and by picking them up, and lowering them, bending them, you get them to use a whole range of muscles, as most lunging, it is left to the horse to go "his way" and that means they will only use the muscles "they" want to use *naughty little buggers* LOL
    but thank you for your kind words, i am just happy that you are able to pick up some things that may be suitable for you.
    i always like options myself
  10. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member

    okay smash!
    got some pics of the paddock nag last night. Now this horse gets minimal work, will on the odd occasion go on a casual trail ride if somebody wants to come out with me but I am hoping to use her a bit more in the near future.

    I gave her a wash and did some of the stretches/rubs you showed us yesterday and boy did she LOVE IT!! I thank you for pointing out what has been in front of my face for so long, it was just a matter of knowing what to look for. She is quite sore in some areas, and GOOD NEWS!! Went to the stockfeeders last night and there all these pamphlets advertising a local horse masseuse!! Hoorah!

    First I will post some naked pics, then the ones with where I think her problems/knots are. Please excuse the construction site that is my yard - the shed and yards are going through a major upgrade! and she has some shiny bits where I put Quit Itch on her Qld itch.



    not the best photographer........
  11. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member


    maybe this one is better?
  12. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member

    now this is where I think she is sore....constructive criticism greatly appreciated!


  13. Beauvelour

    Beauvelour Well-known Member

    OMG troppo she looks soooo much like my bloke!!

    Yes thankyou smash! i feel like im going around in circles lol. I know that now i should be asking more clearer my inside leg tends to slip back when i ask, so now i have to really really concentrate on that. Good news i have pics, but will have to post them tonight when i get home from work. Thanks so much!

    *p.s i have a video of me riding him in the horseriding section finally*
  14. Sim

    Sim Well-known Member

    Smash - Thanks so mush


    Thank you so much for this thread, I have just spent over an hour sitting here soaking up all the wisdom you so graciously bestow on us! The massage stuff is great, my boy could definitely benefit from some of your techniques and the lunge video is great. Thanks again.

    Better go, my two year old son has been whinging for about twenty minutes now, poor thing, I guess that's what you get when your mum is addicted to horses!

  15. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member

    hehe I love her, she is so sweet, she was falling asleep after she got a rub down, she was so relaxed ;)
  16. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    WOW TROPPO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you HAVE DONE A FANTASTIC JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    well done, that is VERY IMPRESSIVE.
    the two areas you have circled on her rump are caused from her hips, but you have impressed the hell out of me.
    yep get someone out who can "see the horse in real life" pump them for as much information that you can, then between you and your lovely girl, you work out what works for you both.
    THAT IS JUST FANTASTIC TROPPO, you did a wonderful job. THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!

    beau, that was a lovely video in the other thread, and i look forward to seeing your photos.
    thank you sim, i am glad others have a chance to understand what to "look" for, and hopefully, can get more enjoyment from their beloved 4 legged children
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  17. SexyRitzy

    SexyRitzy Well-known Member

    Smash- i think if my horse would know how to use a computer he would personally come on stockies and thank you. I had a good look at him last night and "Saw" the sore spots and muscles knots that he had. I gave him a quick massage before i rode him and he was in heaven. I gave him a light ride and OH MY GOD! he was a different horse. i could actually feel him swing more through the back. I will get some photos soon for you but its too dark by the time i get out to see him. I know some of his sore spots are due to his saddle not fitting 100%., which is being fixed as we speak. saddle fitter will be out this weekend :))I'm also going to buy a second lunge line and give the 2 rein lunging a try **)
  18. Troppo

    Troppo Well-known Member


    Thanks Smash, I just did what you said and looked for unevenness in the muscles, and areas that aren't 'smooth'. Like I said, these things have been staring me in the face for so long, it just took somebody to point out what to look for.

    I will get the horse masseuse out as soon as I can.

    My horses thank you very much! If I'm ever over your way, I owe you a drink!
  19. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    well that is FANTASTIC to hear SR, and good on you for NOT MAKING KNOTS AN EXCUSE to not work!!!!!!!!! your horse clearly appreciated your understanding of what limits he had at that time, and you both enjoyed what you were doing.
    it really is wonderful to hear,
  20. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    oh troppo YOU ARE ON FOR DRINKS
    he he
    boy the chiro/massues/bowen therapists are in for a hammering LOL
    just remember, you are armed with the knowledge of YOUR HORSES problems, so dont let anyone take you for a ride. check your horse YOURSELF, BEFORE and AFTER they have been seen to, and discuss what you feel, has not or has been done, WORK with the person of your choice, as an owner has more resposibility for the horse than the person you are paying.
    oo drinky poos LOL FINALLY !!!!!!!!!!!!

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