What an amazing day playing with the horses! The weather was perfect, so I spent time with 3 of our 5 equines.
Poco was first up. I gave him a complete evaluation from nose to tail and touched up his barefoot trim. A bit of defense physiology work, some TTouch tail traction, and some flexibility exercises for his pelvis and sacrum completed our ground play. Poco has been on vacation for several months after some dental issues and associated weight loss. To help Poco regain his strength and flexibility, we are riding just 20 minutes or so several times a week. I set up some TTEAM obstacles to encourage him to flex his legs and bend his body.
First some simple ground poles…
Below are 2 shots of the labyrinth. The labyrinth has been shown to activate beta, alpha, theta and delta activity in the brain. http://wellness.barakah.farm/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2009/10/EEGstudyOfEquineBrainwaves2006.pdf The labyrinth builds calmness and focus and also encourages bending.
This variation of ground poles encourages the horse to find his own straight line through the center of the poles. Drifting to either side causes the stride to become uneven and uncomfortable. (I bumped the far right pole – the angles should all match)
In between playing with the poles, I asked Poco for turns on the forehand, halt-walk-trot-halt transitions, bending, backing, and direct rein and neck rein patterns. After all these months, he remembered everything and gave me perfect responses with the lightest aids.