I’m so excited for tomorrow! Batman and I are going to attend to a clinic with Arne Koets, a jouster, historical European martial arts practitioner and instructor, knight, gladiator and of course – international dressage instructor! (How is that even possible …)
I don’t know what it is that surprises me the most here; that I’m going to ride for Arne Koets, or that I’m actually going to ride for a trainer! (Or ride at all)
It has been ages since the last time we attended to a clinic with Bat, and when we discovered some terrible news regarding Batman’s suspensory ligaments after a mysterious lameness last year, and the vets said “keep him in a small paddock, and restrict movement as much as possible, to spare his legs”, my world fell apart, and I was certain I would never feel Bat’s smooth trot again, and definitely not attend to a dressage clinic! Everything after that day feels like the greatest gifts of all.
It’s almost been a year now, and well, Batman is actually alive! That’s great. And he is not only alive, he is not lame, not in pain, he is playful, goes for adventures in his mega-forest, will easily canter and trot by my side and enjoy short hacks with me a couple of times per week.
The past year we have engaged a number of experts to take care of Batman’s body, and one of them is the one and only Ellen Schmedling! Ellen follows up Batman’s muscles, back and pelvis region with chiropractic treatment on a regular basis. We brought Batman there yesterday, and his body was actually quite mobile and in better shape! He was also very calm during the treatment and responded well. That’s great news. His diagnosis remains unknown, but we keep DSLD/ESPA in our minds. Whatever it is that is causing the weak tissue in the tendons, it does not get better if you give up! ;) So Batman gets the best care available, and now his muscles feel better.
Today I had a short groundwork-session with him, and asked for shoulder-in and haunches-in for the first time in a year. I did not know what to expect, but Batman gladly showed some beautiful movements in walk. The exercises will do him good now, and it was amazing to see how body work that well. Thanks to Ellen’s magic, we did haunches-in over the diagonal, changed direction, into some small pirouettes, shoulder in on the circle and work in halt. I kept him in an open, low frame and let him stretch forward and down.
It feels like Batman is right now the only horse on this planet that does benefit from not putting more weight in the hindquarters … More pressure on the hind fetlocks is the last thing we need, so we are aiming for the ground – literally.
So it will be very interesting to attend to a classical dressage clinic with a horse I want to put more weight on the shoulders! And to make the situation even better – I have not had any rein contact in over a year, and my horse has basically gone completely bridleless.
I therefore brought a cordeo, a hack, a bridle with a curb and a sidepull and a halter, and I have no idea what to not put, or put on his head tomorrow!
To be continued – over and out!
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde