Saturday, July 9, 2011

No Riding

Robin and I got up nice and early (for a Saturday), enjoyed our coffee and breakfast, and then got to the barn before 9.  We hung out with our barn owner for a little while and watched Whisper and his mom NOT interact with all the new horses they were turned out with.  With as interesting as that little guy has been on his own we thought for sure things would get more exciting when he met the others.  I guess today was not the day for that.  Later in the morning we did see him try to play with Chewie, a big thoroughbred, but Chewie would have none of it and put Whisper in his place.  After that he looked very docile.

The morning was nice and cool, and we enjoyed the breeze while we tacked up at the hitching post.  Early on I noticed a cut above Bear's right, front knee.  It had a little bit of dried blood underneath it, but it didn't look too bad as it was on the fleshy part above the joint.  However, his knee was a little puffy.  It must have happened Thursday evening or early Friday, because it was very crusted over.  I decided to leave it for the time being and give it a thorough cleaning after a light ride.

But we didn't end up riding.  When I put Bear through some light groundwork I noticed one stumble on that front leg and a little bit of favoring it at other times.  There was absolutely no reason for me to push things, so I just left Robin and Steen on the strip and we went back to the hitching post to get his would cleaned up.

Bear was a pretty good patient.  Lately he has been especially sweet and endearing.  Like he just can't get close enough to me.  So he was quite good when I started rubbing soapy water over the wound.  It certainly irritated it some and he would occasionally pull his leg up on reflex, but he knew I was trying to help him.  I also hosed it down with some cold water, and I think that helped the swelling in his knee a little.  We finished things up with a little neosporine and then went back to the strip to get a few shots of Robin and Steen.

They were having an OK ride, and the light was not great for photography, so I mostly just let Bear graze.  I used his distracted state to get a somewhat decent shot of his wound.

Depending on the swelling in his knee, I probably won't be able to ride tomorrow.  Either way I'll want to check things out and make sure it is clean.

I did manage to get a little more productivity into our day.  Bear really didn't need to eat more, and I was getting bored, so I decided to walk him down a narrow strip of grass that has corn on one side and fence on the other (with big silos and farm equipment on the other side of the fence).  We sometimes take this way to get out to the trails and what we call "the second strip."

Bear was pretty good with me leading him through this.  His head was up and his ears were forward, but he wasn't extremely comfortable.  It was funny to think back on our first rides together when he wasn't phased by anything.  But I just don't think he was with it enough to notice what was going on.

At least today he was looking to me for direction.  And when I asked him to walk in a few circles, stop, and go backwards, he was watching me very closely and responding in good time.  All in all we only did this for about 7 or 8 minutes, but I think it was effective.

Oh, and the fly-boots.  I think they were good.  He was still wearing them and he did not seem at all bothered by them.  Also, while we were tacking up he only stamped his rear feet once.  That is a huge improvement.  So I put them back on before putting him out in the pasture.  He only gave us a few goofy steps before returning to his normal gait. 

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