Lacy - new filly in for training!

This is Lacy, a very cute buckskin mare. She is 3 years old and was sent to me a few weeks ago to be started undersaddle. She was in training for several months elsewhere, that proved not to be working out so well. That trainer kindly suggested to the owner that she should try sending Lacy to someone different.

I have found that Lacy has a lot of body issues that I believe is the cause of her not progressing with the previous trainer. She has some mixed up muscle memory causing her to be very unbalanced, especially at the canter (constant swapping leads, front and back). She is reluctant to move forward at all gaits with her head raised and just seems mentally fogged over. She has had issues with saddling, not breathing and "blowing up" when saddled or when ridden (she has about 10 rides from previous trainer). Her hind feet were not in the best shape either. Not any heal and very run forward toes with shoes. Her whole hind end seemed tight and uncomfortable.

Speed forward to today. She has the hind shoes pulled and is being trimmed as often as Lacy needs, which is about 2 week intervals. This way we can keep up on the maintenance, not letting those toes get away from us to help the new hoof grow correctly. In addition, we changed up her diet to support healthy hoof and overall well being. She has been started on California Trace, which is a vitamin/mineral supplement, not a grain, that has no added Iron and increased levels of Copper and Zinc. This is a great supplement because not many other products out there exclude Iron, which most horses are already over supplemented in their hay and water alone. The problem with this is that Iron competes with Copper and Zinc absorption. Copper and Zinc are two of the main components that help grow and form the hoof. Without proper levels, hooves are weak and and tend to be more sensitive in my experience.

We have also been doing body work by a local Equine Chiropractor. We found that Lacy is blocking at her wither, causing everything else down the spine to be tight and uncomfortable. She will be seen a couple more times in the next month and a half to help get things loosened up. This will be essential for her body to be able to adapt and change to a correct way of moving!In the beginning of her training, we had to establish some expectations. Go means go now, and not later. This was very hard for Lacy because she was not comfortable moving forward in her body. Despite this, we were able to get her feet moving and she understands the commands. Now, we have dialed things back and are working towards moving correctly, and in a relaxed manner. There has been extreme improvements in these last two weeks. Lacy is very obvious through facial expressions, feeling out these new ranges of motion. Lips twitch, eyes blink and we are now getting some deep breaths, snorts and lowering of the head. She is getting stronger on her correct leads, but I am careful to ask too much, as it is easy for her to revert to old habits quick when she gets tired or worried.

We are not positive why Lacey got to be so uncomfortable, my guess is too much, too soon, on a young horse. Our goals are to get Lacy mentally relaxed, strong and moving correctly between now and November. She will go home for the winter, grow into a four year old, then come back in the spring and we will reevaluate her body condition and look at getting her going undersaddle. This little mare is so sweet and has a bright future. I am looking forwa

rd to helping Lacy and her owner meet their goals! Stay tuned for updates on this little mare.

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