Sunday, January 29, 2017
Ranger is Back
Ranger is Back
I am glad to report that Ranger’s most awful abscess is fully healed. With the cooler weather, he breathing problem is greatly improved, so Ellen decided it was time to start riding the old guy, again.
She barely rode him all summer because of his breathing, and only rode him lightly the previous spring. She did ride him once in the fall, but he seemed off that day. He also seemed troubled by his inability to see clearly. One of his eyes has a cataract. Just a few days later, he came down with the abscess.
She rode him a few minutes last weekend by herself. He seemed fine. Yesterday, I was with her when she wanted to ride. With his vision, he seems much more comfortable when he has someone next to him. We think it gives him a sense of security. She was going to ride him outside on the loop.
He seemed unsteady--not physically unsteady, but confidence unsteady. We just talked to him as I walked next to him--handing him treats. She may have ridden him 10 minutes, and she got off to lead. Immediately, he walked faster and with confidence.
Today, we planned to do the same thing. It was snowing like crazy. Ranger always seemed to like snow.
Ellen climbed aboard, and I slipped him a peppermint. As he moved off, he was a completely different horse from the day before. Actually, he was like his old self, again. I still gave him some treats, but he didn’t have to walk right next to me. He wandered off to the other side of the trail. He even said he wanted to go a different direction than I did. We let him have his way. He was walking his normal speed with a spring in his step. It was so nice to see Ranger being himself, again.
Ellen only rode until she got cold, and then she lead him to keep warm.
We think he is about 27. All we know for sure is that he was an adult when Ellen got him 22 years ago. After today, I think we can change his status from retired to semi-retired. Go Ranger!