This blog is a little follow on from my previous blog ‘dealing with set backs’. During our setbacks it’s become so apparent how important it is to have a team of people around you that you trust and know will do their best to help both you and your horse. Over time I have slowly been building up my team of professionals that I know I can count on. I have a fantastic osteopathic vet, without whom I wouldn’t have gotten to the bottom of all our problems, as much has it has been a tough journey, I know now we may be starting out on the right track.
I then follow up his treatments with a muscle-skeletal therapist who specialises in massage to relieve muscle tension and fascial release. These are both so important to run alongside each other, if you are correcting any part of the skeleton then the muscles are going to react and become sore as they are being used in a different way.
Next I have a trainer who understands what we are trying to achieve, he helps me with three aspects, groundwork, ridden and mobilising exercises and stretches. We cannot expect the osteopath to just pop everything back into place and ‘fix’ the horse. We need to go away and use that as a starting block, to build the horse up correctly from there, if we didn’t do this you would most likely end up back to square one. This is where it is great to have trainer you can work with both on and off the horse.
Now there are four more important people that I feel you need as part of your team, three of which I can now say I am happy and confident I have found, and have so far done an amazing job to help me. A dentist is one of them, although to some it may not seem that crucial as you may only see them twice a year, but any small issue in the horse’s mouth can cause heaps of problems. It is especially important that your dentist sees your young horse regularly, I would recommend at least every 3 months, just because their mouth is changing so much. When they lose a baby cap quite often the tooth underneath is sharp, this is something you need to have treated before a bit goes in it’s mouth.
I have also learnt the importance of having a great farrier, farriery isn’t just about trimming a foot or putting shoes on, the saying no foot no horse is really very true. Now bumble has had odd feet since he was born but it wasn’t until my vet took X-rays of his feet did we find out just how unbalanced they were, my farrier has now been working closely with both the vet and my osteopath to help correct his feet, he’s had bespoke shoes that all slightly differ on each foot but should in time begin to correct him.
This leads me on to talk about your vet, a vet is someone that no one else could replace, they have years of training and experience and they really are someone you need to trust and be confident in. You really are putting your horse in someone else’s hands, and if you not happy doing that with the vet you have now, then it may be time for a rethink.
Finally, what will be the last piece to my jigsaw puzzle, a good saddle fitter, Bumbles current saddle doesn’t fit him, I think from making so many changes to his body, he’s using it and building up muscle in a different way. So for now I have gone back to my trusty Wintec which has been checked and I know fits him, and when we are ready I will be on the hunt for a new saddle!
From this I want you to ask yourself just a few questions, who do I have on my team? Do I have everyone I need? And most importantly, do they work together, are they willing to work alongside each other? Communication and team effort really does go a long way to the whole horse approach.