saturday was such a happy day at NSCS! the rain held off while me and auto had our inaugural dressage lesson there. i have been riding at Concordia Dressage, in the neighborhood of NSCS, for about six months–really learning from Martin Arnold’s methodology and benefitting from riding his schoolmasters. with auto at NSCS, where he teaches once or twice a week, auto will now benefit from Martin’s instruction!
not sure if auto was sound for the lesson, i warmed him up on the longe. he looked fine. so we decided to go ahead with the lesson. as he had in the last two rides, he got really crabby with me tracking right. but instructor encouraged me to work through it. we got some really nice work, and he felt that auto is just being crabby to the right leg. he got on for a few minutes, they looked so good and i feel really great about our next steps.
after the lesson, auto had a bit of time to kill in his stall. so he munched some hay and supervised BO decorating his stall. i think he was chuffed.
then it was time for his visit with Dr. Jack, animal chiropractor. not surprisingly, auto really need an adjustment. in the picture below, you can see that auto was a bit worried. but Dr. Jack was so compassionate, and really homed in on his issues and shared his knowledge with me and BO.
after a general look-see, dr. jack started in on auto’s right hamstring which was very tight. his sacrum was out of alignment, and a more than a few vertebra were misaligned. his right scapula was locked, too. all of this could contribute to his crabbiness to the right leg.
two interesting tidbits: issues on one side in the hind equate to issues in the vertebra on the opposite side, which impact front end issues back on the other side, and poll tightness again on the opposite. this all played out in auto with right hind and front misalignment, and vertebral issues on the left back and neck, and poll tightness. in the video below, you can see good range of motion in the left hind. he had half that in the right hind.
dr. jack asked me “has his mane always been split?” i said “no, it started last year.” he nodded and explained that the appearance of a new split in the mane can indicate an issue in the vertebrae causing the muscles to contract in that area and pull the mane over. the split in auto’s mane absolutely lines up with significant tightness in the C6.
after about an hour, auto was all adjusted. i tucked him away in his sheet, to keep his joints and muscles warm while he adjusted to his adjustment. i think he was feeling pretty good.
today he was a total love bug. i gave hime some rich green grass and gorgeous vitamin d. tomorrow he gets body work and then we’ll get back to work.
he was resting his weight on me and leaning in for snuggles. it was such a sweet moment. too bad i panic when there’s a camera. i swear i was really feeling the love in this moment. #hesmysqueeze