Mojo had his feet trimmed today – July 3rd 2020. This was the first time the trimmer had been since January. He was very good with all but the right side hind, he had a little bit rasped of that but not done completely. Mojo even held his front feet on the hoof stand, so very pleased with him today. All that rasping with him resting his feet on the mini blocks seems to have paid dividends.
Mojo had his appointment with the hoof trimmer. He was OK with the fronts and held them up well. However he was way over threshold by the time we got to the hinds. So Penny will come back and start with them first next time. He seemed to enjoy his red light therapy and was relaxing but still very protective of the hinds, even though he had been on bute for 4 days beforehand.
We have been training with a new head collar and really starting over with hoof care. I consulted and experienced equine behaviourist who came to see him a few weeks ago. Justine thinks it is pain related but how do we get to the bottom of this when he wont let the vet near his right hind?
We will keep on with the retraining and adding duration of his hinds legs being off the ground.
The yard has a visit booked from someone with a Theraplate machine so Mojo is booked in for that and a sports massage. He enjoyed the last massage he had and is OK with our physio too. So we will see how he is with a new person present.
May be we need to rent a few people to come and see him – so he can start associating new people with fun things.
Update 25th October 2019, I had Sally Ede out to do some communication and healing Mojo, today was the second session and she said he was much more relaxed this time.
He still is protective of his hind legs but was better when I picked out his feet before Sally arrived. I did the fronts as they are near perfect now and he holds them up well. Liz did the hinds whilst I bridged and treated, he lifted the left one as soon as she bent down and touched it, the right he lifted as soon as she asked him, held it up with no snatching at all.
He has been on Cortaflex and Buteless for around 8 weeks now, and Sally says he need to strengthening exercises, I have been backing him over poles and trotting over them too.
Long reining is the next stage them Liz will have a few ridden lessons with Sally. Then I can hop on board and continue with the pole work too.
The trimmer is coming the first week in November so hopefully he will be happier to let her trim them all, as long as we go at his pace.
The hoof trimmer came this afternoon, Mojo was more relaxed with him but unfortunately the trimmer feels he needs more frequent visits to be completely at ease with him, the trimmer lives to far away for this to be feasible.
3 feet were trimmed but the right hind is still a problem.
August 20th 2019.
Mojo was seen by the vet this morning, he was booked in for teeth and vaccinations so I asked her to look at his hind limbs. He trotted up fine but looked a little unlevel.
He was so good with the flexion test on the left leg, trotted away fine. Vet then went to do the right leg and he wouldn’t let her any where near it. Conclusion is he is sore on that leg, probably hock but as he isn’t very co-operative we can’t do any more tests. So the plan is bute for a week before any attempt to trim his feet, and for 2 or 3 days afterwards. He is already on cortaflex and buteless supplements.
Also I need to teach him to rest his hind feet on a stand of some sort so he is more comfortable.
So now just to find a sympathetic female hoof trimmer
We have been having a little trouble getting out of the field as there is a very friendly pony who always gets to the gate first.
Mojo was OK to get out of the field, I had Liz with me and she distracted the pony who keeps chasing Mojo away. I took him into the stable to groom and pick out feet. He offered all 4 feet with me just saying “lift”. This is the cue my yard owner has been using, so I need to keep the consistency. No kicking, snatching or putting them down before I had finished cleaning them. He was eating his lunch at the time but got a few more treats for being so good.
Then we went in the arena and I put out an L-shaped corridor. We did that one way and then he backed on cue a few steps with in the poles. I asked him to back over a pole which he did well but then I decided to try the corridor again but going the other way. He got a bit confused and thought I wanted him to walk over the poles.
We ended with him standing on the tarp and getting a handful of treats. I left him in the school whilst I put a few things away. I had bunting tied to the fence as the yard owner wanted to do some obstacle training with her son and his pony in the afternoon. As i was unravelling it Mojo came to have a look, he was very eager to touch it.
Well finally got Mojo in the school to do some pole work and short lining. We haven’t managed much recently apart from grooming and a little targeting on the yard. I used my new short lines from Whinny Reins – they were brilliant, very easy to hold and didn’t get all tangled up like the feather lines, I must take a photo next time.
Anyway Mojo was very good, he walked well over the poles from a “walk on” cue and stopped on a “whoa”. He went to the frisbee I threw for him and even had a little trot, must now get the trot on a reliable cue. Only did a few minutes and now must build it up so we do more and then some ridden sessions.
Due to cataract surgery I haven’t done anything with Mojo – apart from pulling some twigs out of his mane. Today he was in for a rest from the wet fields, with a big pile of hay in his hay bar. He popped his head over the door and looked at me out of the corner of his eye. That is probably due to his unruly forelock blocking vision. I went in his stable and groomed him – well the bits that were dry, then put on my treat bag and loaded it with grass pellets. We went out into the yard and I groomed him a bit more, pulled the twigs out of his tail, sprayed it with “Mud Away” – not sure it does any good but we will see. He had a few pellets to nibble on in a bowl whilst I tidied up his tail and mane – scissors and a solo comb. I got the frisbee I use as a target and did his stretching exercises. He stood quietly whilst I switched on the small trimmers and just walked around the yard. We then did some targeting of an umbrella – just to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything. It is amazing with these horses that even after doing nothing but being a horse in a field for nearly 2 months he was still enjoying touching a moving umbrella.
My plan in the next few weeks is to get him happy to go in the lorry and be driven around the block.
February 11th 2019
Mojo had a flu booster today, all was good the vet was superb, she hugged him and as he was wondering what she was doing the injection was done and he never even flinched. Plenty of treats followed.
Before the vet arrived I groomed him and did some stretching exercising with the target. Also I had the trimmers on and walked all round him, he even let me touch him with the back of my hand whilst the holding the trimmers which were on. The battery is dying so it wasn’t very loud but a few weeks ago he would had have just left.
A couple of snippets from our 2nd lesson with Sally Ede. Mojo was calm and relaxed and focused. I used my body and a slight open rein to turn. We used scratches as reinforcement and he was forward going so only a slight touch with the leg to indicate ‘yes” that is what I want.
I now want to add verbal cues to the rein cues but that will come after I get more confident riding. At the moment Mojo doesn’t seem bothered by my riding and as long as he is under his emotional threshold all is well.
I did feel a little guilty as I wanted to use more positive reinforcement in our ridden sessions but I also need to know he can be ridden by anyone, as he will most probably out live me.
Well we only managed one session of training last week, but Mojo was much calmer at the top of the arena. I used the cones to settle him and get his attention away from the mirrors and scary pigeon producing hedge.
He was very good at his cone touching and then he stood at the mounting block and turned his head rather moving backwards for the reinforcement.
We did the mounting block at the top, middle and bottom of the school.
Here is a little montage of the session at the lower end of the school.
Another lesson with Sally Ede on Friday 17th so hope all goes well.
Mojo and I had a lesson with Sally Ede – a Ride With Your Mind coach, and great confidence giver.
We worked on getting Mojo standing at the mounting block – due to me not having done much mounting block training recently he had reverted back to swing his quarters towards me. He was at his emotional threshold once we got in the school as we worked at the top end in the shade. It just goes to show how important generalisation is in our training. He hadn’t been up that end much in our training sessions.
As he was at his emotional threshold all it took was a pigeon flying out of the hedge to tip him over in to a flight response.
This a very bad video of the event, the video was too far away and I had no help to reposition.
By the end of the lesson Mojo had calmed down and was beginning to stand still and not swing round.. I managed one foot in the stirrup a couple of times and then added some weight in the stirrup. So my homework is more mounting block training and to so this in other areas of the school.
Also to remember to breathe and do my grounding exercises before and during sessions.
To this end I have written a shaping plan. I am often too lazy to write them but it is a good idea to have a written plan. Having also just complete an Advanced Animal Training course I ought to know and do better!!