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Steve and Fergus - Week 11

Getting Fergus used to the float and float loading has been one aim of this week. I’m not up to shutting him in yet, I will do that once he wants to be in the float himself rather than me directing him in. To see the results, go to this link:

From the riding side of things, I am working on Fergus tilting his pelvis so that his hind feet are more under his belly. With his back flexing well left and right I need to continue to re-purpose his topline muscles to successfully bare a downward weight. This I am doing on the ground.

He has had two very short led rides this week which went well although in the videos you can tell that it took a couple of goes for Fergus to transition from his hind into the trot. For this video go to this link:

When Fergus first came to me, his thoracic vertebrae, (the vertebrae situated directly under the saddle) were quite close together because of his hollow posture. If he is ridden too early before his topline and hind feet can hold his barrel and the rider up, I will cause him to hollow which will in turn cause him pain in his back, poll, pelvis and shoulders.This can lead to behavioural issues such as bucking, tail swishing, biting, girthiness, won’t go forward, rearing, pig rooting and plenty more. Kissing spine is one example of a permanent injury caused by early riding before the horse is physically built up for weight bearing.

The riding so far has been about Fergus understanding how to carry the burden correctly through walk and trot. Fitness will come later.

Two sign’s that his topline is getting to where it will support the rider is as he raises his head his back is holding up rather than hollowing and his trot is starting to rise and be elevated rather than going flat and forward.

Once he can carry the rider, my riding will solely be stretching forward and down on both reins at walk and trot to continue building the strength in his topline and hindquarters.


Go to Steve's  week 10 ... week 12

Go to Steve and Fergus' Page