Poco & Ben – week 3 of getting my senior horses back into shape

Poco and Ben are into their 3rd week of their reconditioning program. Because they are both in their late 20s, we continue to take this slow and easy, adapting as we go.

The first week was ground poles at the walk on a slight hill. 5 minutes each direction. We added poles and changed the spacing/height during the week.

The second week, I added a couple more walking poles, and started trotting, 3 sets of 2 laps each direction.

Both guys are making very fast progress. I’ve had to add and change poles several times during the previous weeks, and increase trotting time at their insistence. I’m still starting our sessions with the polarity clearing, chest and tail points, running the bladder meridian, and finishing with Dr Golob’s back exercises. In week 3, the differences between Poco and Ben are starting to show.

Historically, Ben has had issues with his hocks and with his ability to go round. So in our 3rd week, I’ve been using DNR Draw (no longer on the market) topically on his hocks daily. I have kept him on the gentle hill, and we’ve added trotting time. We are up to at least 5 minutes of trot each direction, and a few laps of canter both ways as well. We cool down over the ground poles. Ben has gotten very frisky, and insists on trotting or cantering for most of the time he’s on the lunge. At this rate, he’ll be under saddle by this weekend for some short rides. His back exercises are improving also.

Poco had navicular/ringbone/sidebone in both front hooves when he was 12. So I am watchful for any front end issues. Additionally, he had been weakest in his stifles, and was prone to sacro-illiac issues. So, rather than increase his trotting time significantly, I’ve moved Poco onto a steeper hill at the walk to focus on stifle strength. I allow him to trot on the flat if he chooses, which he usually does. I’m not pushing the trot yet though. I’m using DNR Draw on his stifles and sacrum, and also putting my favorite balm on his front pasterns and coronet bands anywhere that I feel old calcium deposits. I’m keeping a close eye for heat. I’ve gotten more aggressive with Dr Golob’s neck telescoping. Poco’s stifles have improved already (he isn’t ducking the back exercises), and his topline is filling in. I noticed him cantering down a steep hill out in the field today with his hind end engaged. If he continues to improve, our next step is ponying off Ben on the trails at the walk.

Update:  the program continues

Interested in learning more about the senior nutrition program I am using?
January international teleclasses, recorded for convenience!  
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(c) copyright 2016
All TTEAM and TTouch terminology is copyrighted and trademarked by TTEAM. These statements are not intended to diagnose or treat disease, and have not been evaluated by the FDA or AVMA.

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