Kingsley on arrival, in his wedged shoes. He is now considerably hairier but also considerably sounder!
As Wiola wrote in her blog in August, when he first came down here he was physically unable to trot a circle. On the lunge he would try a strange running walk - or "bunny hops", as Wiola described it - if you asked him to trot he simply couldn't, because he was unable to use diagonal pairs of legs at all. He was bad on the left rein and even worse on the right rein. After nerve blocks in August he was better but not sound and on x-ray he had also deteriorated. At this stage his prognosis was very gloomy indeed.
When you look at this early footage of him walking, its easy to see why he couldn't trot - his back and spine were twisted to the right and he had developed a hollow, kinked way of going which made bending, and particularly a smooth trot sequence, impossible.
Kingsley is a perfect example of why any rehabilitation worth its salt needs to look at the whole horse, not just the feet; conversely, any schooling can only be successful once feet and limbs are sound and healthy.
As Kingsley's hooves have begun to improve so has his way of carrying himself but he had also got into a habit of being crooked and it took some intensive re-education before he realised that there was an easier, more comfortable way of moving. The time that Patrice Edwards spent down here in October was enormously helpful and she taught both Kingsley and I some invaluable rehabilitation exercises.
Since then we have been able to gradually do more and more, and finally yesterday, in an only slightly frozen arena (if you look at the ground you will see there is very little give :-0 ...), I managed to get some footage - thanks to Sam for filming!
I put Kingsley's theme tune on the footage as well - if ever there was a horse who would keep on trying and get it right next time, its him; its one of the main reasons he has made such great progress. Of course, there is still lots of room for improvement but its certainly a start :-)