Undiagnosed ‘choppy stride’

Today Scottie had his back done. Not because there was anything wrong, more just as a routine check up session. I used someone I haven’t used before and had a very interesting discovery. This lady thought he was very ‘choppy’ in front. Meaning he is taking shorter, faster strides rather than lengthening. However, it is hard to see because he has so much swing in his lower leg, the choppiness is all in the shoulder. He is doing this because he is sore in his shoulders and wither area.

This surprised me as we have never thought he has had a problem and no one else has ever picked it up. This being said, where he has had quite a rotated pelvis in the past which has now levelled out, it might have been masked. At first I thought it must be a new thing, possibly caused by his saddle. But I have looked back at all the videos I have of Scottie, including the first time I ever rode him and he has always had this choppiness in the shoulder. Because of this, I think he must have always had it, but where I am starting to ask for a bit more from him in the school, it has become more noticeable.

Despite it being a total surprise, it does explain a lot recently! It would explain why he is stopping at small jumps and why we are struggling asking for more impulsion and longer strides. It might even be related to why we struggle with our canter leads!

After treatment today, there was a visible improvement. So he will have tomorrow off before going back to normal work, depending how he feels. We will be doing a lot more work with poles to encourage him to lengthen and shorten his strides. I have also been given some stretches to do to help stretch his shoulders. The back lady will be back in 6-8 weeks to see him again and it will be interesting to see if there is an improvement or not. During this time I will try and get the saddler out just to rule out any issues there, but since looking back at old videos, I think it is a long standing thing which has only become noticeable now.

Hopefully now this issue has been noticed, it shouldn’t be too hard to fix and we will start to see a lot of improvement soon!

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