Elise and her pony, Bellissimo de Blonde (known as Bello), have been together for the last 4 years and are preparing for their third season of dressage competitions. When Bello became injured, Elise turned to the Horsecom to aid her throughout Bello’s recovery.
Elisa shares her thoughts on what it’s like to use the Horsecom kit while lunging to recovery:
At first, I wasn’t sure how I would know what music my pony likes or doesn’t like; I began by testing several songs and observed Bello’s reaction to each piece of music. When one particular song played, he would stop and wave his ears about, telling me that the song I just chose had left him puzzled! Through this process, I was able to easily discover what music was a good fit for my pony, I could easily read his body language and know what he was thinking.
Bello is taking it easy during his period of recovery: our lunging sessions allows me to evaluate how he is behaving and what we still need to work on.
Objectives of the session, improving: concentration, response, cadence, and attitude
We began our session of lunging; and as I watched him, I was surprised to see that Bello was walking in tempo with the music. We continued on to a trot, and it’s then that I can see how weak my pony really is. I return to a walk and change the music to a song that has a pronounced beat and is exhilarating. A bit later on during our session, with the aid of the music, I motivate Bello to adopt a more energetic trot: but I don’t push him and have him return to a state of calm and relaxation.
Objectives of the session, improving: calm and concentration
After working on lunging, and following Bello’s improvement, I finally allowed Bello free range within the lunging ring. I encouraged him to pick up a trot: I stay with him, and regulate the cadence by placing the crop close to his chest or hindquarters. I repeat this with several songs that have variations in rhythm and have Bello adopt the corresponding cadence.
Objectives: relaxed, gentile, and still
When the vet came to check in on Bello, she examined his circulatory and respiratory systems and took a blood sample. Even though Bello likes the vet, I still slipped on the HorseCom bonnet and chose a relaxing soundtrack to make the visit even more enjoyable. Even before using the HorseCom, I had discovered a song that invited a relaxing and calming vibe, and was a song I could easily sing: for Bello, this is Latika’s theme song played in Slumdog Millionaire. Every time Bello was in a place of relaxation and calm, I would hum or play this song, which allowed him to associate the music with the pleasant moments of relaxation. During this visit with the vet, I played this song on repeat: Bello presented the physical signs of relaxation and did not even move an ear, even when taking blood.
Because of the calming and relaxing effects that are achieved by using the HorseCom, and the ability to help regulate Bello's cadence by using music, my pony is recovering beautifully. I'm very optimistic with his progress and think we'll be back at it and riding soon!