This week has unexpectedly been a really good week!
Last week I wrote of my suspicion that Jack has ulcers, well I decided to treat him as if he did without getting him scoped at this stage. I much prefer a natural approach to treating both myself and Jack so I did some research and found a lot of info on ways to treat and then prevent ulcers with natural products. From this I ordered an all natural charcoal based supplement - equus health gastro-kalm and some dengie healthy tummy both designed to help reduce excess acid production, sooth inflammation in the stomach and aid digestion. I have to say so far I am very impressed with the effect they seem to be having on Jack in just a week, he is much happier, no ears back/face pulling or head throwing when I do up the girth and is also more forward when I ride, since I started feeding him them he has not done his usual trick of not wanting to do the first walk - trot transition. So in terms of the experiment so far so good. I'm not ruling out getting Jack scoped or a course of treatment with gastrogard in the future, if he needs it then it will be done but I'm really pleased to be having such positive results already.
Following Jacks crashing fall just over a week ago I had planned on giving him an easy week and time to recover but surprisingly he had other ideas, perhaps down to his tummy feeling better??
As in my last blog I gave him a little lunge and some nice easy stretch work on Monday, other than a little stiffness on his left hind Jack appeared pretty much unscathed from his fall.
I had arranged to go and view the images from my recent photo shoot with Chrysalis photography on Tuesday after work so Jack was going to have the day off anyway, usually I would have been bothered about giving him the day off but as he was a little sore anyway I was happy to give him the time to recover.
On Wednesday evening I decided to give him a little loose school as I often do on a Wednesday, if he had been reluctant or looked uncomfortable I would have stopped but there was not a bit of it, Jack bucked and kicked around the school and flicked his toes all over the place - obviously not feeling any ill effects and probably in need of some work!
Based on his performance the night before Thursday I decided to ride, there were a couple of people about to watch us and see if they thought he looked uncomfortable but Jack seemed happy and more forward than usual. I just did half and hour but he worked very nicely, particularly in the canter where he felt much more up through his shoulder and rounder in his neck, coming through better from behind and was really on my seat aids and lovely and soft through his back. Also of note - there was no hesitation in the first walk - trot transition :) I was so pleased with how he went, it has to be the best canter we have had so far so an awful lot to be happy about!
Friday I decided to go for a little hack on our own again, time to face our demons down the canal path! We headed out and Jack felt relaxed and happy, I wasn't sure if we would canter down the canal path after what happened last time but Jack was up for it so we did a controlled canter, he was a little spooky just where he fell last time so I brought him back to trot for a bit until he settled again then cantered home happy and confident we had put the previous experience behind us - another good day.
Usually on a weekend I like to avoid the ménage but I couldn't get to ride until 6pm Saturday so I had no option as the light was already fading fast! I took Jack in the ménage for the 2nd time in a week (the first time I have done so during his rehab!) I hoped he wouldn't be too upset at being schooled again! I needn't have worried he was on fire and he worked beautifully. His back is feeling strong and supple and he is much more forward and on my aids. I was able to spend time refining what I was asking him rather than just trying to get him to go forward and long and low. The work he produced was definitely the best he has done post op, he is just getting better and better at the moment and I'm really excited about how well he is responding and his attitude at the moment. It seems like its all falling back into place at long last!
I wish there had been someone there to capture some video of me riding so I can see if it looks as good as it feels!
The plan next week is to take him to a show jumping training show on Friday and I'm now really looking forward to it :)