After the shoeing demonstration (which was courtesy of Daisy, Sue's futurity mare, who yanked off a shoe in some deep sand the night before), Sue showed us how to polo wrap a horse's leg.
I hate to admit this, but no matter how many times I am shown how to polo wrap a horse's leg, I still hesitate to do it.
I could probably be persuaded to do it as a standing/hauling bandage, but am not comfortable wrapping the leg properly enough for working. I have heard (and Sue reiterated) that it is easy enough to bow a tendon by improperly wrapping a leg.
So l just don't want to do it.
Now, I'll also tell you this, I do use Professional Choice SM boots on my horses for competition, however I have never felt that they really give a leg any support. Essentially I have used them (and bell boots) as protection against an inadvertent hit.
Sue brought out the boots she uses. Iconoclast Double Sling Support Boots and showed us how she puts them on and I will be ordering me a set of these boots for all 4 legs. The double sling support just makes so much sense. You can put these boots on and really snug them down. The double sling support also equals out the pressure on the fetlock and that is a good thing.
Here's a link to them...Iconoclast Boots
I think Pro Choice makes a double sling boot these days, but I'm ready to try something new.
After a workout or a run-Sue always braces a horse's legs to tighten everything up and help reduce any inflammation/soreness. She said she has had good luck with the Sore No More products-both the liniment and the mud (I've been wanting to try those products anyway...now I have a good reference...You can bet I'll be ordering them). The added benefit of using the mud is that is also requires hydrotherapy to wash the mud off. Cold hosing a horse's legs, knees and stifles has long been known to be beneficial and I sometimes think we forget about how simple things have worked for decade after decade.
After lunch, we got down to the business of working horses. Jumping on our own was not to be..yet! One of the girls had a young horse there and Sue used him as a demonstration horse to show everyone how she 'gyp's' a horse.
Essentially, 'gyping' a horse is using one of Parelli's 7 games, The Circling Game. No matter what you may think of Pat Parelli these days, initially, the man came up with some really interesting ways to work a horse on the ground. I have used parts of his 7-Games techniques for nearly 20 years now and always got a great response with them. As with anything, the key is to get the response you want and move on. I'll do a little video demo for you guys soon (if anyone is interested or does not know how the Circling Game works). It's a fantastic way to get a horse who is stiff and unresponsive to moving his front-end, ribcage and hip.
Once the horse is freed up in the front-end, responsive to the whoa and begins to drive off of the hock, Sue moved on to tying a horse's head around. This is no Clinton Anderson, tying their heads around until their nose touches the cinch crap either. EVER! Again, this is better shown through a bit of a video demo. The whole point is to just apply enough pressure that the horse can easily find release-first with just one rein through the cinch ring, then both reins and then between the legs. The horse is gently asked to move forward (either loose in the round pen or on a long line) until they get the feel of it and then they are asked to work up into the bridle. Again, the point is not to drill a horse to death. The point is to get a horse traveling up underneath himself and let him find a release.
The poll is directly linked to the hock. When a horse breaks a the poll and stretches into his neck his is then able to drive from his hock. EVERY horse needs to learn how to drive from his hock. Honestly, I can't think of a single breed or type of horse that does not improve his gaits when he is driving from the hock. If I am wrong, someone please correct me! Barrel horses absolutely need to drive from the hock. Their front ends need to be free and they need to carry their head in a relaxed position but 'bridled up'. The motto should always be...Drive from behind! You want to push the horse into the bridle, not pull him off of it.
A horse's head should never be tied so tight that he is behind the vertical nor have to get more than a degree or so behind the vertical to find his release. The stiffer a horse is, the more he will have to be driven from behind and the more he will probably have to work on this. That doesn't mean longer sessions...It means more sessions.
I've got a bunch in my crew that need these very things done to them. It's not that I didn't know about these exercises...I had just kind of forgot how beneficial they are.
Then it was time to mount up on our own horses...