Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......Select Rider part 2

Despite the tight poll, Legs and I had managed to garner a top five in the select rider championship class. I was really disappointed in my ride but still delighted to have a top five. It is my first top five in the western pleasure division. It's been a long time coming for both Legs and me.

Later, I checked the judge's cards. We actually were ranked third in that class out of twelve (I think. I was excited because in my book we'd have gotten the gate. I figured at the most we had barely made it in there. It was good to see that the judges liked my horse that much. It'll help in making the decision about nationals.

Once I got my horse back to the stalls I began looking him over carefully, looking for some reason for him to brace at the poll. I ran my hand over his back and checked him on both sides. It was on his right side that I found the culprit.

The horse had a hard knot right at his coupling. It was as big as a grapefruit and hot to boot. No wonder the horse didn't want to roll over. He was hurting.

The only reason I could think of to cause this was the new work we'd been doing with that right shoulder. The horse was finally moving correctly and the muscles were sore from being used differently. I guess I should have seen this coming but I hadn't. Legs has rarely responded that dramatically to a change at home. Yet, thinking about it, he doesn't get worked nearly as hard at home as he does at a horse show. It had just been too much too soon.

To get my horse some relief, I began looking for Marc DePaolo. He is the "resident" chiropractor/acupuncturist at the Region 4 All Arabian Championships. I thought he would be just the guy to help with what was ailing my horse.

When I reached Marc he was already on his way home. He'd see Legs first thing in the morning. Since my next ride wasn't until the afternoon session, the treatment should be soon enough to give my horse some relief.

Friday morning is the usual time the whole group from the barn goes off to the pancake house for breakfast together. By the time things were wrapped up at the barn and they were ready to leave, Marc still hadn't arrived. I'd heard from the chiropractor and expected him anytime so I passed on the barn tradition to get treatment for my horse. I have to admit as I watched them pull away, it was hard to be left behind. Still as I waited there by myself I knew I'd done the right thing. Legs needed some help if I expected him to go another class.

When Marc did arrive he went straight to work. He found the source of the soreness was indeed in Legs' right shoulder. The effect had trickled all the way down to his hip and upwards into his neck. Pretty much everything was on the right side. He did some adjustments and then an injection at the site of the knot in his hip. With each step in the process my horse got more and more relaxed. It was a relief just to see his response to the treatment. Maybe we'd have a shot at a good ride after all.

To be continued..............

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  1. You and Legs seem to be getting better and better together, and if that's how well Legs did when in pain, I can hardly wait to hear how well Legs and you did the classes after Mark relieved Legs. And good thing you checked him and got him what he needed.

  2. Marc is our chiropractor as well - He is awesome! My Arabian always feels 5 years younger after his visits.

  3. Now THAT is is how I see Legs...all decked out in rosettes!!! And he looks quite pleased with himself too!!!
    I love watching the horses respond to feeling better, you can just see the tension in their face and body melt away.

  4. Wonderful about the top 5 placement. I can't wait to see how he does with the red horse in the class and if that oblivious woman gets a clue.

  5. That's wonderful about Legs - the top five that is! Congrats!!!

  6. Marc and Miriah -- two of the best in the area. Lucky horse to have such a considerate owner.

  7. Hey, thanks for your articles. Really like your writing. Really like the photos of the horses too so keep them coming... Keep up the good work!

  8. I was there the day you got your top 5. Since I remember you (I have a hard time remembering anything) you had to be pretty impressive :)

    Marc is a great chiropractor. My horses love him.

  9. Congratulations, MiKael. Glad your show experience this year includes a ribbon-y highlight!