Friday, July 10, 2009

Pushing Through

Two days off did a world of good for Spider, but he's still behind the leg and doesn't want to collect. So we've been doing a lot of transitions and lateral work to help him loosen up and get moving. With arthritic hocks (or any bad joint) it's important to exercise correctly and build up the muscle around the joint to help support it. I know it's the right way to go, but I still can't help but feel bad for him. I have arthritic joints myself, and while I always feel better after I exercise, getting going is always a pain!

For myself, I know that even though exercise will hurt in the beginning I can push through the pain and on the other side I'll feel great. But with my horse, I really have no way of getting him to understand that. So I have to kick him forward, then I feel that twinge of guilt as he hesitates to comply with my demand. He knows it's going to hurt, and he doesn't really want to go forward, but he does it for me anyway. And I know that as we work his joints will warm up and pretty soon he'll be flying around the ring in true Thoroughbred fashion. But that little bit of guilt is still there.

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