Friday, March 9, 2012

Dinah trots

Dinah is now trotting under saddle! Today was my fifth ride on Dinah, and I feel good about the progress we are making. Darby helped me work out some of the problems I was having on the longe line, and she is now longeing all around the covered arena, walk, trot and canter, both directions. I have been riding her on the longe line, in case she panics, Darby has the longe line as a safe guard. Today I longed her and then I got on. I started by practicing walk halt transitions, using voice command she already knows and bit pressure which she already knows about because of the longe line and side reins. She is very sensitive! But also amazingly smart, and such a quick learner. I also started asking her to move forward from leg pressure, she knows how to move off of pressure, but not from leg, so that is a new thing.
Dinah also had a visit from the chiropractor last Tuesday. It was very interesting to watch and suprising to me how much Dinah enjoyed the process. She kept looking around at Amanda (the chiropractor) and seemed siprised, like she was saying "wow, that feels a lot better now, thanks!". She started with Dinah's head and neck, moved down her back, worked on her hips, and her hind end. I will post a picture of the evaluation she wrote up, which identifies all the areas she covered. She said she was surprised
Dinah had been so well behaved because her right hip was very out of place. She also said that Dinah's humerus in her left front had dropped down, so it was not sitting correctly in her scapula. I will post a photo of this joint so you can look at it. After the session, Dinah seemed happy and relaxed. The chiropractor was very generous to do this session free of charge, and she is going to see Dinah one more time on Wednesday. Another thing Dinah need to have done is she needs her teeth looked at. When horses are born they have deciduous teeth or milk teeth which fall out when they are around 2,3 and 4 years old. Dinah has her middle permanent incisors, but her middle and outside teeth are still baby teeth, soooo cute! Horses are also sometimes born with teeth in front of their first pre-molar, just where the bit should sit. Not all horses have these teeth, called wolf teeth, but if they do they must be removed. When I was at cal poly I helped remove wolf teeth during a castration, it was really cool. I am waiting for a call back from the equine dentist. There are so many things to do to prepare a horse to be a good riding horse for the rest of its life. I am going to ride Dinah again today, and maybe take her out on the trail.


  1. Make sure your dentist is a veterinarian, licensed in California. In our state dentistry is considered a veterinary procedure. A "technician" may perform the procedure as long as he is under direct supervision of the veterinarian, meaning the veterinarian is there, watching.

    There are good reasons for this besides keeping your veterinarian friends happy :)

  2. I'm really enjoying reading your blog. I enjoyed the part (a few posts back) about her not wanting to go forward when you walked her on the right, and how you learned from that - and got advice and found a way that worked by ignoring the undesired behavior and praising the correct behavior - a very generalizable principle indeed!! I like your writing - you should write an article about this for your local paper maybe? I'm sure Dinah will get a great home after all the work you've put in. She seems very willing and smart. (I'm Laura's mom btw.)