Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The importance of surfaces - Brigitte's 6 week update

Brigitte has been here for 6 weeks now - she arrived at the end of November following long term lameness which blocked to the palmar hoof. She'd had long spells of box rest and (like Peter) remedial farriery plus some drug treatment but she had failed to improve. 

She has not been quite as fast as Peter to improve her landing on hard ground and filmed on concrete she is still landing flat or toe first but she is making big changes to her way of going and on a more forgiving surface she is definitely landing better and feeling more comfortable than she was. 
This is a still taken from her initial circle footage - we waited a few days after she had arrived to film her in the arena as it would have been asking too much for this level of self-control immediately off box-rest. Although she is keen to get going you can see that she is not fully extending in front which is typical of a horse landing toe first (though most horses will find it much easier to land correctly on an arena surface than on concrete). 
Its tricky getting comparable stills from video footage but I hope you can see that her movement now - as compared with 5 weeks ago - is more relaxed with a longer stride and more even footfall. You can also view the footage itself below, which gives you more of an idea. 
You can see the same on the other rein - longer stride and better reach through from behind as well as more suspension. 
Brigitte has made good progress even though at the moment she can only work on easy surfaces and so therefore has a long way still to progress. Her next challenge is to develop a strong enough heel and frog to show this sort of landing even on tough terrain. More on her soon! 

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