New to the forum. Hello everyone.
I have a seven year old appy gelding that I've owned since he was a yearling. Before I started him at age 3 I had his hocks xrayed. He didn't have the greatest confirmation so I thought I better check before putting him to work. At that time there was lipping of both the upper and lower tarsel bones of both hocks. On the advice of my vet and my farrier they both said even though his hock motion is limited and he will never have alot of foward motion and or strength from behind that I should ride him. He's turned out to be a really nice little horse. I keep him on a good supplement and use precaution when riding and he's never come up lame on me. In fact he's quite athletic regardless of his confirmation challenges.
I don't like to make excuses for him when he has his "I don't want to pay attention" moments and it has been a challenge for me to get his brain working without doing lots of transitions, changes in direction, rollbacks,and smaller circles which of course would not be good for his hocks. When he's in one of his appy moods it can sometimes take quite some time to get his brain back without the bag or tricks I would use on a healthier horse.
I am always searching for a good article from one of the big trainers on some advice for those of us who have physically challenged horses who need a mental makeover without damaging them physically.
Any suggestions or advice?