Our next step was shafts. I use the term loosely. I found a curtain pole broken in 2, tied it into the tugs, and bumped the ends against his flanks, rubbed them over him, dropped them, let them clatter down beside him ... when he rested a back hoof and yawned at my antics, we went back to the car park to repeat our figure 8s, circles in hand, then long reining. And then we paraded up and down the road, repeating all our previous steps.
And then ... noisy stuff! I long reined with 1 hand, and dragged tin cans behind me; a bucket, an old branch, a tyre.
And then the biggie! Asking Rebel to pull something. We started with the branch - light and quiet. And then added the bucket. And tin cans. We had a few spins, where I just dropped the weight, comforted him, praised him, started again. Added in the shafts to bump his flanks as he pulled the weight.
Little and often, sometimes twice or 3 times a day just for 10 minutes, or as much as I could physically manage. We had days off when I literally couldn’t get off the sofa
And sometimes we just went for a graze on the lakeside, or a walk in his head collar.
And finally! We pulled The Tyre!
Rule 10: slowly slowly catchy monkey!
© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021
Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion