Pole Work Session

For those of you who read my last post about Scottie’s back treatment, on Wednesday we had our first pole work session. Before this, we had a short session which I had Jack film just to see how he looked and felt. He felt good, a little more forward, but looking at the footage, his left shoulder has improved much more than his right shoulder, making him almost look a bit lame.

However, this is to be expected and I decided to start working on what the back lady advised and will see if there is any improvement in a week or so. Unfortunately, I did not have a helper for this session, so unless I wanted to keep getting on and off, I had to lay several sets of poles out. I had two sets of three poles, the inside three being slightly further apart and one pole by itself. This is because I expected Scottie to be tentative over the poles, so having one by itself would be easier to get over first.

I guessed Scottie’s reaction correctly! He really didn’t want to walk over the first pole. However, as soon as he had gone over it once, he realised it wasn’t going to hurt his shoulders and was happy to do it after that. We had another slight problem when it came to the set of three poles. Scottie wasn’t keen and kept going over the first and then backing off the second, scaring himself. After 2 attempts, I decided to try a new tactic. I zig-zagged him between all the poles before asking him to walk over each pole on its own at an angle. We were then able to walk over 2 in a row and then 3 in a row. This worked well, but Scottie had made a bit of a mess of this set of poles, so I decided to stick to the other set of three.  Scottie walked over this second, slightly wider, set of poles without any hesitation. We were then able to trot through these poles.

I also managed to film all the work we did over the poles on my Go Pro. Watching the footage back, I saw that in our standard (slightly lazy) trot, his shoulder movement had levelled out. In fact it was only really noticeable when I was pushing him forwards for more, which is an improvement from Monday. Scottie has also improved massively on the flat. Watching our session, his contact and outline has become so much more consistent so this months E Dressage test will be interesting, which I need to get on and film in the next few days!

I have nearly an hours worth of video from this session which I want to make available for you all to see. However, I want to cut all the bits you can’t see anything out, but Movie Maker keeps lowering the quality of the video. So I am trying to find a way around this. but hopefully it will appear below soon!

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