02-04-2012, 05:00 PM
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He came to the barn I found him at off auction so I dont' know where he was from the time he left the track, his last start was September of 2008, and when the barn got him back in June/July 2011 timeframe.
The horse isn't completely lacking muscle..he just needs more :) and according to the vet, he is only down about 50-100 pounds. I did increase his grain and pellet ration tonight; added an extra quart per day.
Now, I went and got the girth and the pad. I put the next smallest gullet on the saddle and immediately I could see a better fit when I placed it in position on his bare back. I added the pad, girthed up and got on. Definitely a difference. Where before I couldn't get my finger under the saddle at all, today I was able to put two fingers between his withers and the saddle. I did a very thorough check once I got him untacked and there was no indication at all of further abrasion to the rub already there. Hair is starting to grow back in already :)
In working the topline, I took a full week off from riding in order to heal up the rub, (and am feeling it right now) and worked on the ground lunging up and down the hills in one of the larger paddocks, using a balancing system to work that way, just doing some free lunging to let him stretch out.
I am taking a full day off tomorrow with both of us and I have a clinic on Monday. Once that is complete, I will go to a 3 day groundwork to 3 day riding schedule, increasing the riding and decreasing down the lungework as he gains weight and builds more muscle. Even now when riding I am not pushing too hard..doing more stretching out and down with little collection except for the transitions..I still have to set him up and get him balanced before we go into the canter. Today was actually funny. I have been working so hard to get his trot down in prep for the Intro tests at a show in March, I completely forgot about the other hard transition..the halt (for the salute). We did a lot of walk to halt work today, trotting down the centerline and trying to stop not only somewhat square but do it without him dancing, wiggling, sidestepping and generally evading the stop request.