Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So Many Horses to Ride
Now, a quick update on my rides. My niece came out on Saturday and she rode Dante in the arena. He listened very nicely to her. As she made corrections to her riding, he improved. We finally got a horse that she can learn on! My horses generally won’t listen to anyone except Ellen and me. Ranger isn’t a whole lot better. They are just too used to us and won’t take anyone else seriously. I remember Cruiser just walking to the corner of the arena with them and refusing to come out.
She rode Ranger on the trail with me on Cole and Kevin on Starry. It was a very chilly day, so we were only out just over an hour.
Sunday, I got to the barn early and rode Dante in the arena. He was such a good boy, and I know I am going to like riding him while Ellen is recovering. I then rode Cruise in there for the first time since he colicked. He was all over the place—wanting to look out windows and generally not listening well. I did trot him under saddle for the first time, and he is as sound as he was before the suspensory injury. (He hasn’t been quite right since the bowed tendon in the same leg.)
I then went to take Cole on a trail ride with Kevin and Starry, but Starry kept coming up short. Kevin took him back, and left me to go on a very slow ride with Cole. It was in the low 20s, the ground was frozen solid and only suitable for walking. Cole didn’t like it, and went very slowly. I ended up leading him all the way home to stay warm. I really didn’t enjoy myself very much.
I planned to ride Ranger a few times on the hill, but I didn’t want to freeze anymore, so I led him. It was about a half hour. He was in a very perky mood. The frozen ground didn’t bother him in the least!
Monday evening, I worked Cole in the arena, and he was just horrible! He bolted 3 times and did a lot of jumps and spins. I don’t know what got into him.
My next horse was Cruiser, and I was impress on how much more focused he was than the day before. He behaved like a gentleman, went straight and bent correctly on all his corners. We kept it at a walk, though. There was another horse in the arena with us, and I didn’t want to push my luck.
I then took Ranger for a spin. I haven’t ridden him much at all in the arena, and at first it felt so strange to be on such a big horse—and so wide! In the end, I really had fun. He has a few basic things that need to be smoothed out—like bad circles. We worked them at a walk and trot, and I did see some improvement. At the end, we did some clicker fun. I decided to try to teach him turn on the haunches. We got a number of correct first steps to the right. He loves clicker, and I bet next time it will be a lot easier.
Then, it was time to doctor up Starry’s hoof. I thought he had busted out an abscess a few weeks ago on the pointy part of his frog, but when his farrier looked at it a few days later, he said it was just a shedding frog. So rather than cutting it out a little further, he told Kevin to put iodine on it. I was shocked that I could possibly be wrong. Mingo had that bad abscessed hoof that we struggled with for years—including 2 operations a year apart. He also abscessed in his other hooves. I know abscesses. When Starry had trouble on the frozen ground, I thought it was an abscess after all. Probably the original didn’t finish draining before it sealed. Kevin had a different farrier look at it, and he agreed. It is a very deep one that he didn’t think he could cut out. He told Kevin to do the soaking routine. By yesterday evening, it was much worse, and there was no doubt that it was an abscess. Starry wasn’t’ compliant with the soaking—it hurt too much, so I talked Kevin into a poultice. I helped him with it, and hopefully it will drain in a few days. I think it will be coming out of his heel, since it seems sensitive—and it wasn’t on Sunday.