Monday, January 31, 2011

Studded Shoes Are On, But Now I'm Worried About His Teeth...

I've never been one of those over protective, worrier 'mothers' :) but I must say I think I'm beginning to sound like one. Rogo and Savanah's shoes went back on today, complete with studs and snow dams. A second benefit to having the studded shoes is that I've found their stall mats get slippery, which is kind of upsetting.
I lunged and rode Rogo (it was cold, -10) and the trot is slowly improving. He's tracking up and there's a bit of cadence at times, but I know he can do so much more. All in good time.
He was very sweet and well behaved and was bending nicely both ways, doing nice circles and figure eights, etc. He could be quicker in his responses but we'll keep working on that. They aren't terrible and at times they're good. May have been complete coincidence, but it felt like he was moving better with the shoes on.
The last time I rode him I noticed for just a couple of seconds at one point that he might have been grinding on his bit. This was a first. Then I heard it again today, just for a moment, when he was doing a lot of changing bend to the inside and outside when on the long side. Hmmm. Then in his canter he was kind of all over the place at times - engaged, then on his forehand, then engaged again, above the bit, then connecting, then above the bit... then he started throwing his head - he's never, ever thrown his head up and down. What's up? I talked to Joan about it tonight, wondering if he could be having any age related teeth issues (he's five). She asked how long it had been since his teeth had been floated - I can't believe it - I completely forgot about getting his teeth floated! It's been about a year and they should be done, so I'll call the vet tomorrow.
It will be good to get all this done. Now, while I'm on a roll,  I should check the worming schedule. It's probably close to that time. A little early yet for shots, but  soon...
Lately I've been ending each ride by taking Rogo's tack off in the arena and leaving him at liberty while I do clicker work (play) with him. He learns pretty fast. After only about 4 or 5 sessions he's standing on one spot quite well and turning his head alternately to the left and the right for a treat. My first goal was to get him to bend to the left and right on his own - self stretching exercises - he loves it and is soooo cute! It's a nice way for him to associate the ring with treats and a variety of activities, not just drilling dressage :)

10 comments:

in2paints said...

Sometimes I'll dismount in the arena and pull tack too... then I'll work with Lilly on something completely random. I think it's a nice break for them and it keeps them guessing! Arenas aren't just for riding! :)

My mare is at that age where she seems to need her teeth done at least once a year, so that's always the first thing I check when she starts having issues. Hopefully all your guy needs is a good filing.

horsemom said...

Has he had his wolf teeth pulled? Usually if they are going to have issues they get pulled as soon as they come in around two, but don't quote me on that! When AJ was young the vets always said every two years and then at least once a year when they get older for floating. Definitely worth checking if there is grinding.
Good news about the trot, sounds like he's getting there:)

Hurricanes12 said...

your cool down sessions sound fun, rogo must be a very mentally happy horse :)
i swear every time i read one of your posts, a little light bulb goes off in my head. oscar flicked his head a few times the other day when riding, and it didn't even cross my mind to check his dental records. after reading your post i've just realised he's 2 months overdue :O
thankyou carol, haha!

juliette said...

I love the clicker games for Rogo at the end. And it reminds me to get back to the clicker games I started with Pie and Sovey before all the excitment of Foggy!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like the shoes are working out fine. It's a good idea to have his teeth checked and done regularly if you feel there might be something amiss. I think it's great that you play with him in the arena after work, it's good for his mind. I give you a lot of credit for riding in these cold temps.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

What a productive session - in the saddle, horse maintenance-wise and the after work liberty play... fun!

Ditto what GHM said about the cold weather riding. I admire your dedication :)

achieve1dream said...

That's smart thinking doing clicker in the arena so that he has pleasant associations and doesn't think it's work work work work in there. :) Very nice.

There is probably no need to worry excessively (don't be like me lol). Just have his teeth floated and check that you aren't doing something differently with your hands or position. If those don't help then maybe look into the bit? I'm sure it's nothing huge . . . but I would be careful about letting him do it too much or it could become a habit (not sure, just guessing). Good luck and keep us updated!

Dom said...

Sounds like a fun and productive way to end riding sessions :)

Carol said...

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciated!

Jan said...

Carol, What a good session overall! Good to note what you see him do and look into teeth floating. I do it religiously every year (but I have a much older horse). Love your post-ride exercises as well! You are very creative and Rogo sounds so smart!