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The Beautiful Skye: 'Finding her hooves' - weeks 6/7 update

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you are having a great start into 2017...praying it will be a healthy, successful and adventurous one for you all :)

Having enjoyed a much needed break for family time & reflection over Christmas & New Year, work's now back in full swing... I have to admit: the extra early mornings (especially at weekends) to fit stable duties into my daily routine are tough, and I am really looking forward to lighter days & milder nights to make our routine a little easier... some way to go...sigh :)

After removing the stable mirror from Skye's stable wall, I'm pleased to say that lasting peace and harmony have been fully restored. No further rise for concern.

I've also started with some leg stretching prior to exercising, for the same reason as we should stretch before exercise. It helps loosen, warm up & strengthen muscles and tendons, potentially preventing (some) exercise-induced injuries.

At first Skye found these stretches strange, but now she quite enjoys them and offers up her legs voluntarily[/caption]

I am so pleased with Skye's progress to date. I've continued working on the LFS, always starting with lateral bending in stand-still. As we're working on improving her lateral bend, especially to the left, I'm beginning to see small improvements. Where bending her neck about 15-20 cm to the left caused her to tilt her head (due to tightness/stiffness in her left hip/pelvis), she can now stretch to about double that distance, without any tilting at all. That's huge in my books...

Her right hind leg is a very 'pushy' one, over-compensating for the lack of power in the left hind, so she over-reaches as a result. Therefore I've been working on slowing her walk down, asking for a bend through her whole body, shifting her weight from her forehand to her hindquarters, and asking for that right hind leg to step forward and under towards her point of mass, thus becoming a more weight-bearing leg too. She finds that difficult and tries to rush through the movements. So the key is to keep her concentration and motivated by praising her often for even the slightest effort and correct movement and offer her lots of little breaks/downtime in between the exercises. That's working great.

We can learn so much from our children, never dismiss them and make time to listen!

I also got my two sons Elijah & Aryeh involved in the training process, because I believe that this is the best way to raise a new generation of great horsemen & women, developing their skills & awareness from a young age. I am so proud of these two as they've made some great observations over the past weeks and we've had some very interesting conversations about Skye's journey. The boys noticed the difference in stride length & rhythm and were able to articulate the benefits of the LFS on the circle ( I had not discussed this with them before) - I could not have put it in better words myself! You may say I'm biased as their mum... well, perhaps I am a little, but I was impressed none-the-less :)

We all can learn so much from our children when we are willing to listen and give them a platform to shine...

Skye has such a big heart and just loves to explore, her inquisitiveness makes teaching/ working with her so easy and such a pleasure.

And last week she greeted me for the first time with a little neigh in the morning as I entered her stable...that was such a special moment :)

So we are on the right track, and I am very hopeful for Skye's future.

Blessings until next time :)


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