Planes aren’t so Plain…

So besides the fact that I am very behind in my classes for massage, one of my current struggles continuing with my secondary equine education is with directional terms and planes. So many things have different definitions relating to humans and to horses and each one has about 5 different names for the same thing.

Like for example a sagittal plane and a medial plane are pretty much the same thing…till you start dissecting limbs. And I’ll be honest all this is pretty relevant when it comes to X-Rays, but I’m not sure how relevant it will be for me, yet.

Plain old Planes

Another thing that bothered me about horse anatomical directional terms is leg terms. So above the carpus and the tarsus, aka knee and hock, you only have to remember two terms: cranial and caudal. Simply put, the front of the leg is the cranial and the back is caudal, for both front and hind legs. But below the carpus and tarsus, it’s a whole different story. The front of both sets of legs is dorsal. But the backs of the front legs are palmar and the backs of the hind legs are plantar.

It’s all based on humans and the fact that our feet point up and the horses front legs are pretty much human arms, but still. How to confuse a 20-year-old in two simple steps. Step 1: name one thing at a certain point. Step 2: literally right after that single point, change everything. Either way, now I can read equine x-rays.  Cue me losing my mind.

And I start the skeletal system next, and boy will that be interesting. Did you know horses have 205 bones? One less than a human. All well and cool, but Arabians have 203. Don’t know where all the other horses managed to find 3 extra vertebrae but they did. Those dang primitive Arabs. Which I wonder if its just Arabians are still considered a more primitive breed or selective breeding created that loss of the three bones. I’ll find out eventually.

The Week of 30 and Below

As I am writing this, it is currently 23 degrees, with a low of 11 degrees tonight. Holy crap it was cold this week. This has been the coldest day by far, when I got to the barn, it was about 16 degrees according to my little corolla. Trainer C’s truck told her 14 when she got there. So in short, its freakin cold here in Massachusetts. Then again, what did I expect living in a state very far from the equator. At least it isn’t Maine.

It has been cold here since about Wednesday, and will stay cold till next Tuesday, when the high is 40. Yipee. But I got to spend some quality time with some quality ponies this week so points there.

Lets start with Mr. Bently. The current school horse enigma. Bently is half arab, half saddlebred show horse we are leasing off his owner. She had another horse she was working on and he wasn’t getting worked a lot, and we needed a spare school horse that could double as a show horse. He has been at our facility for about three months now, and basically got the month of December off.

Thursday night, I was at the barn and decided to hop on him. I’d ridden him the day before and on Tuesday so I thought it would be a good idea to continue the streak. We had been riding for about a half hour, and Trainer C was teaching lessons to her cow ranching students. I was trotting down the long side, and all of a sudden, I had no right hip. Like at all. It felt like he had literally lost the whole leg for about 5 strides before it came back. Trainer C and I are theorizing there is something going on, but most likely he did something in the paddock. Hopefully the chiropractor and the farrier might have something to say too. Bently got the day off Friday, and because he can be cold backed, and it was literally 15 this morning, he got today off too. Even though he got two days off from work, its impossible to not go give him attention and cuddles. He will love on you all freakin day long.

how can you not love this face

Friday was a lesson with Trainer C on Hamlet. I got to play with all his buttons essentially. Arab classes apparently ask for gait extensions and collections so we played around with those, while fighting Hamlet’s grumpiness. He isn’t a fan of working in the cold, and will fight everything. We got fantastic collected gaits, and holy smokes my abs were burning after the collected trot. I also got to hand gallop him which was a big whee moment, and I had an absolute blast. I think Trainer C got a photo but I haven’t hounded her about it yet.

Saturday consisted of cold horses and cold humans. I warmed up a few lesson horses, working their cold kinks out before the little kids got on. Shaarin gave me a run for my money, trying to unseat me a few times in pure spite. I swear that mare hates my guts. Mikhai got a lunge session in a cooler, as I felt bad for his fat shaved self. He was an absolute turd on the lunge line. We lunged the scary half of the ring, partially because he needed to get over himself, and partially cause it was the only space. He was running all over the place, spooked at the most random stuff, and was just a fruitcake. Again, very thankful for such steady school horses at the barn as some of the boarder horses might have gone running for the hills with him in there. Maybe I worked some fat off of him for once. And of course Bently cuddles after lunch

He was licking my ears at this point

Again, as it was too freakin cold to much else, Trainer S and I ended up doing chores to keep ourselves warm after lessons were finished. We first managed to reorganize the hay barn and make more space for boarder storage. The hay barn is still full of crap from the last owner, so we found ourselves moving old lockers, cat boxes, trash, insulation and more. I was very satisfied with the removal of the old lockers as I had been glaring at them since we moved into the property and wanted to throw them out.

Surprisingly so much better then before

Of course after that was picking paddocks till Trainer C came back, and bringing in and feeding, but it was an interesting few days, as well as a few cold ones. I am holding out for Tuesday for the 40 degree weather now.