As dvm2012 pointed out to me in the last post, a horse is not sound unless he's sound at all gaits. So after my video from last Monday of him demonstrating the crazy manoeuvers that made me second guess allowing him to be turned out, he was "not limping" at the walk. Which is not sound, I know, but even though he had run slipped enough to make himself sore he was trotting out so nicely the next day that you couldn't notice a problem unless you knew where to look for it. So barring anymore crazy slips or antics in the pasture, he's officially on the mend! Here's his progress for the week:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday rain rain RAIN!
Sunday, was clear finally but still very wet all around. I picked the driest flattest spot in the pasture and trotted him out to see how he was doing... not limping! So off to a good start. I went ahead and tacked up both horses and I rode the old mare and ponied him all tacked-up. He was certainly walking out big today with all his pent up energy after three days of rain. We went down the back roads for just over and hour. He did really well passing the two goofy pet cows that always charge past bucking and kicking whenever they see us (first obstacle), he did spook slightly at the horses on the dirt road (second obstacle) which is something he's fine with normally but one of them shot out of his stall into his run when he heard us coming, so that's fair enough. We got through the gate perfectly (third obstacle and one that I'm very proud to say I do on a regular basis, I can open the gate and get the two through without getting off!) We passed by the less friendly cows and crazy donkey pasture (fourth and usually final obstacle) and he was just fine. Then we came to the point where I normally turn around. Bear has seen the llamas once before, and he wasn't a big fan! So I was cautious approaching the first llama gate. They were really far off so we missed the two in the south pasture, but the majority of them are in the north pasture and we'd see them 1/4 mile later when we got all the way around the property. On the way we came across 6 arabs turned out in a pasture on the other side, and the all ran around like crazy! He did well, he just got a little quick and excited. Then came the llamas!!! He might have been fine to stop and stare at them if it hadn't been for the fact that another horse came galloping up to the fence line on the other side of the road. So we were sandwiched in between the terrible long necked creatures and the crazy bucking horse that kept hitting the fence and spooking him! Then my old mare starts squealing! Yep, she's one of those menopausal mares that has weird emotional heat cycles with no reason. But after circling a few times the other horse stopped harassing us so we could get down to some good staring! So we past them a few times, then turned around to go back. Final test was stopping and having to stand quietly so I could talk to a neighbor for 10 minutes while his dogs ran all around. Bear had no problem, but the old mare kept reminding me it was time to go home! We passed everything just fine the second time, and made it home safe and sound. I love having this route when its wet because after the 100ft of main road (which is still a rural road), I turn down a side road its totally safe and very remote roads after that. Plus from a conditioning stand point there are some pretty good hills.
Monday, took him for a walk in-hand for about an hour. We pretty much did the an abbrieviated version of the route we did on Sunday due to time. He walks quite a bit faster when he has to keep up with the mare, so the half hour mark came up fast and we ended up stopping before the llamas. He was very well behaved today, and only spooked at the flock of ducks taking off from the pond. So over all great! Still trotting out fine for the little "tester trot" at the beginning and end of our workout. Its just still too wet to trot him out for any sort of exercise.
Tuesday, off to class! I tacked him up and lunged him walk-trot-canter and he looked great! Not just not limping... he was sound! Hurray! So I at least got on him and walked him around for a bit then got off. He felt just fine. Of course we're not ready to start trotting again or anything like that, but the soft indoor arena was going to be the best place to get on again, so we went for it. The great thing was that despite the fact that he's not been ridden for a month, and really he's had less than 30 rides on him total, he was better behaved and more in control than half the horses in there! It is a training class, and I shouldn't compare him, but he is awesome.
Well tomorrow I plan on either lunging if its dry enough, or ponying off the old mare. I figure I don't want to push my luck by riding on uneven or slippery surfaces just yet. So I might try it again Saturday, but most likely will end up waiting to get on again until next Tuesday at class, till then we're back to the regular schedule!