The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

23.2.2022 Hilary, Max and Zen

A Guest Blog by Hilary Moses

Christmas came and went, with both horses enjoying a little time off. My daughter came to stay and has always ridden, so Max and Zen went out together for a mother/daughter hack which was lovely.

Then Zens’ training recommenced, firstly with his flat work, where I decided with a friend to enter a pairs dressage competition. Zen found it very unsettling initially, having another horse alongside him all the time in the arena. He knows the other horse so eventually he settled down and with a few practices we started to

improve. We won the competition, but that might have been because we were the only pair in it!

On the same day we did our second individual test. Having won in December with a very calm and willing horse, it was a shock when Zen misbehaved in the warm up and the test. He was spooky and refusing to go forward. We made it through the test but the score of 54% tells its own story. His halo definitely slipped that day, especially as he did the pairs class straight after and was an angel again!

Zen also did another online in hand Trec competition. This is great for his ground work. He’s so polite when being led, you don’t even know he’s there, and he’s willing to try anything, so he does well. These competitions are part of a league which runs until April,

when we’ll know our final placings. People from all over the world compete so it’ll be interesting to see how we do.

Max also takes part in these competitions but in a ridden class. He doesn’t seem at all happy in an arena but isn’t phased by any of the obstacles. His scores will never be great because some obstacles are judged by gait and Max won’t canter. But its good for him to take part, keeping him active and thinking.

Another thing which both of them have is physio, to maintain their health and fitness. At Zens appointment Sue discovered that he hadn’t held on to the improvements he made last time quite as well as hoped, so he’ll back again a bit sooner than we thought. He was tense and tender all over his back end, probably due to the fact that he’s being asked to use those muscles properly in his flat work, which he may not have done so much of before. Max was tense and tender in much the same places but not to the same degree and much less than he would normally be. He enjoyed his treatment very much, which he always does.

I had a lesson with Zen, where we worked on him not being so strong, a problem which had recently developed. I changed his bit and that helped, but we worked out strategies to stop him leaning heavily and refusing to slow down from trot to walk. We also went to our first combined training competition where he

scored over 70%, went clear in the show jumping and won! Needless to say, I was over the moon with him.

Max has been out hacking and I think we’re both finding that very relaxing as its time we can spend together quietly. I’d forgotten how busy and full on having a youngster can be!

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

February 23, 2022
Sue Palmer