Friday it was 4 weeks since December came home and I have great news...still no signs of any actual illness. We’ve continued the routine of turnout all day as long as the weather is good, then she gets put up in the barn at night with her pellets and beet pulp. She continues to seem perkier every week and now she’s tearing around my pasture at a gallop when she’s feeling particularly good. She’s still too skinny but no where near what she looked like when she came home. I was even brave enough to take off her blanket before I turned her out on Saturday without worrying I was going to have animal control ringing my doorbell. I’m hoping in another month we can start some leisurely trail rides and I’ll decide what to do with her from there. I’m wondering if she could make a nice trail horse for my husband now that Grace is gone. He seems to like her judging from the number of bags of carrots he’s bought in the last 4 weeks.
She has managed to pull one of her shoes off and I’m not sure what to do about it. When I had her before she wasn’t sound without shoes in front and we even had to do pads. The trainer leasing her put Natural Balance shoes on her which I have heard some very bad things about, however, she is completely sound without pads and moving better than I’ve ever seen her move. Now I’m torn. I’m doing some additional research but if anyone has experience with these shoes I’d love to hear about it.
She also managed to cut her leg somehow and now it’s pretty swollen. I cold hosed it for 15 minutes last night, cleaned it with an antibiotic and wrapped it. I also gave her some bute. Looks like I’ll be cold hosing at least once a day for a while.
Saturday we had some lovely weather and I got a chance to ride Tax and Charlie. Tax was pretty darn good. Tried cantering a really low fence a couple times but he kept getting to strong and fast over it. We went back to trotting it and he was an angel. I think I’m going to try cantering poles a million times until I can rate his speed better. I asked one of the other boarders, J, if she wanted to ride him and she said sure. Their trot work was beautiful. She commented on how nice he was to ride. She said she could tell he’s had some good training and J rode him well. I think Tina, his trainer, has done an amazing job and has never done anything I wouldn’t have done myself if I was her. She’s slow and steady but has built an amazing foundation. He’s very responsive to everything you ask for and wants to please. He seems happy with his work. J has ridden with some big trainers so it was nice to have her acknowledge that she was impressed.
The trade off was I got to ride J’s Irish Sport Horse. He gets really wound up when they jump and I spent some time just seeing if I could get him to relax. I didn’t get the softness I was hoping for this time but I got a very nice forward trot and we worked on some bending. I think he’s a very fun horse to ride and I’m hoping I get a chance to work with him more just to see if I can figure out how to bring him down a notch and help him relax. J thought he looked nice though and asked me for some advice I what I was doing to get that trot from him. It was fun trading horses and ideas with someone.
Charlie and I have been taking it slow. He’s definitely far more temperamental than Grace. He’s got a lot of TB in his breeding and it shows. He kicks at me on the lunge line which infuriates me but I’m trying not to lose my temper. Each time I just drive him forward until he wants to behave better. When he acts up he gets more work. I think it was a good idea to go back and start slower. I’ve still been getting on but I only push for a little improvement each day. He’s been spooky and stubborn and not wanting to move forward. On Saturday I rode him for longer than I’ve attempted in the past and there was no balking at all. He moved nicely and we even loped a couple of laps each direction. He was so good I called it quits at that. I’m hoping we continue in this direction.
I also got to spend some much needed Sister Time at the barn my sister is keeping her horse at. Promise is fat and happy and his personality is so very different from the horse we bought. He comes right up to the pasture gate whenever anyone comes out instead of cowering in terror. She even managed to find a farrier who could get shoes on him which due to the slight rotation in his coffin bone is probably a good thing for him. I helped her with her chores around the place and fell even further in love with a pretty little barrel horse named Bullseye. She reminds me of Grace but she’s a dark dapple gray. Mmm….gray. We all know I like a gray horse. I do not need a barrel racer, I do not need a barrel racer…reapeat after me….I do not need a barrel racer.
Have a good week everyone. Looks like we have some serious storms coming in so I probably won’t get to do much riding but I’ll update again soon.