We think that the neck injections have had a positive effect! I say “we” because I’ve been asking for outside opinions. The first day back on (after four days off to let the drugs stay put and work), I had Steph, my “jumping instructor” watch Tonka go. She said he looked super. Looser. Two days later, another experienced horsewoman at the barn said that Tonka’s canter looked great – less braced than it had been. She didn’t know that Tonka had had a veterinary treatment, so that’s sort of like a double-blind opinion!
For each riding session, I start out with twenty minutes of a forward, swinging walk (at least that’s what I hope to achieve.) It’s good to do this outside, both to combat boredom, and also to add in slightly uneven ground. This first week after the injections, out in the field, Tonka felt balanced, even up and down the hill.
However, when asked to trot, he still braced and inverted his neck.
Whether that’s because there’s still discomfort, or whether that’s become his default and is unconnected to his physical state remains to be seen. I think it’s the latter, because it doesn’t take much to get a trot this nice going. From his ears to his knees, the picture is, as Steph said, “looser.”
What’s also encouraging to see is that although we didn’t do any treatment to his rear end, I’m seeing more articulation in his hocks, too.
I’m being careful not to get carried away. Fifteen to twenty minutes of this sort of ring work is plenty. The weather has helped. It’s been glorious which means that heading out after a job well done is rewarding to both of us.
So far, ten days in, a rather good report!
Hope this really works for Tonka, will be interested to see if it lasts longer than the injections that we have for trapped nerves and stiffness. My daughter has 3 deflated discs and a trapped nerve in the top of her spine she has to have injections every 6 months and they have said eventually they will not inject any more and she will have to have an operation which she does not want to do because of the risks, so we are trying to find other alternatives.
What your daughter has sounds painful! Tonka’s condition is far less severe.
Since you haven’t mentioned doing so, have you tried asking for the trot from shoulder-fore? I’ve found that upward and downward transitions all benefit from this position. Might take the bracing away.
Great exercise! Shoulder fore has been part of his training. Will be gently adding it back in.