Friday, 11 January 2013

Big Dave and bodywork

Big Dave has been here for nearly 8 weeks  - for anyone who has joined the blog since he arrived, we cal him Big Dave because he is over 19hh and completely dwarfs all the other horses at Rockley. 

Dave is the gentlest soul and is obsessed with our 6 month old foal, Bryher (currently 13.3hh), who likewise adores Dave and is never happier than when Dave is either grooming him or picking him up by his rug. No, I don't have a photo but will try to get one...
Dave arrived (the photo above is on day one) with soft tissue and bone damage diagnosed to his RF but a major problem for him was also the fact that he was - as you can see - very weak behind. This was partly a function of his size and age - he is only 7 yrs old  - but was something we needed to try and improve to allow him to get back into consistent work.
As you can see from the photo taken yesterday, he is still weak behind but is, I think, stronger than he was on arrival and he also seems to be coping better with hills and turns. These photos are a good illustration of how fundamental feet are to the comfort of the whole horse - bodywork can only be truly effective once feet are healthy and can properly support the horse. 
His front feet were landing heel first when he arrived but he wasn't loading evenly - instead landing laterally and tipping onto the medial side. Its hard to compare the photos because his feet are admittedly muddier in the lower photo but he is sounder on his RF than he was initially and I hope that this, together with a stronger hind-end, will make a big difference. 


Molly's hoof blog said...

would love to see what happened to the lateral bar!!

cptrayes said...

I know he is stood differently but I think it is still very indicative that on the day he arrived he is standing VERY roach backed, and in your later photo his back is a much more pleasing shape. Even with a hind leg forward, that upwards curve in the back half of the spine is not at all normal and to me is always indicative of back problems caused by foot pain, since I saw it in my own laminitic eventer.