|Tracking up, sure. What's the big deal?|
Here's a picture of Saxony walking with K the other day, cooling down, eyes half closed. We'd just finished a 25-minute longeing session in the still-damp riding ring. Saxony burned a winter's store of energy at the end of the line; at times I felt I was wrangling a swordfish leaping high and powerful under the sun. I really wanted to let her go, but the gate and its posts were blown down in a blizzard and have yet to be repaired and the fencing is low enough in places that I fear she might sail over the rails in a moment of unplanned, entirely justified esprit.
I was celebrating even before we started to work, though. She tracks up now, well up. She did not have that range of motion when I bought her. She wasn't hampered, particularly, but neither did she reach. K followed us into the ring, watching Saxony's hoof prints overlapping in the sand. Honestly, we squealed like preteens over it.
I see a dramatically extended range of motion in Saxony's walk and trot and an evenness, smoothness and uniformity in the rise and fall of her hips. Before the Cosequin ASU, her right hip did not lift with the stride as fluidly as the left. Her resistance to picking up the left lead has changed, too. She counter-cantered circling to the left, but she also found the left lead and settled in to it from time to time, which reveals a new willingness to push off with her right hind. K still sees a tiny hitch there, but only in the canter. We agreed that basic suppling gymnastics and muscle-strengthening work could erase it.
I think Cosequin ASU has been a complete success. I'll keep her on it while we work up to a regular riding schedule, but I'll be tempted to stop it for the summer months to see whether she still needs it or not. It might have been the perfect thing to bring her back to soundness, but may not be required beyond that. I'll look to my vet for advice about it after putting Saxony through her paces during the spring barn call.
Watching her circle around me, I saw a beautiful, balanced, easy trot, effortless really, like she could go for miles and miles. But she couldn't go for miles, of course not. She was tired after having bucked and played in both directions and then done a work session of 10 minutes walk/trot, walk/halt, trot/canter, etc., each way. Therefore, her sleepy cool-down walk with K, which I took way too many pictures of.
Because I will have to learn to see past her winsomeness to focus on working with her. I get so drawn in by her expressive face, I end up standing there slack jawed, all tasks forgotten.