Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What we've been up to...

Still sound, still going strong!

So Friday's work out was very similar to Wednesdays, lopsided lunging to jog along the dry flat easy parts of the pasture, and using the hill to walk up. I actually wasn't planning on going out at all since I had so much to do at work, but my day had been so stressful that by 3:00 I was going start yelling at people if I didn't get out into the sunshine for a little break! So I kept my time out there short and sweet. I did get about 15 minutes of trot work when I added it all up, and at least as much walking. Then we worked on the trail course a bit: turns on the haunches, stopping over the poles, and backing a circle (I'm hoping this will help him back straighter in the long run). Called it a day, and rushed back to work.

Saturday was an unexpected blessing. I scheduled myself to go into the office for a few hours to train interns (it always sounds good when I'm in work mode, but then I'm always mad that I gave up even 15 minutes of a sacred Saturday when I start getting ready to go), then I also had commitments that night. Luckily I was able to sneak out of work earlier than planned, and the night stuff was pushed back to much later. So I got out right at the warmest part of the afternoon which and I was able to ride in a T-shirt the last day of January! When I got there Bear was already sweaty from chasing the mare around, and then had rolled in the muddiest part left of the pasture. So I figured I would use the sunshine to my advantage. I saddled up the old mare and ponied Bear around the pasture and we used the gentle hill for some trot workout. We went up about four times, then just trotted some big circles around the upper pasture for about 10 minutes with a breather in between. He did great! He hasn't always been a big fan of trotting alongside the other horse, and used to get lazy and fall behind, but he kept right up and wanted to trot faster. So I used the sun and warm horse to do a quick rinse down to get the sweat and mud off. After a quick scrape, I hopped back on the mare and we ponied him down the back roads until he was totally dry. We made it all the way to the llamas again! MUCH better this time. It really helped that the horse across the street was only standing quietly instead of pounding against the fence and bolting off! So we were able to calmly face the llamas, and walk past them, then turn and head home without any drama. I'm so glad he gets over things fast.

Sunday afternoon I skipped all super bowl parties and went out to see my horses! My sis and I hooked up the trailer and took the two out to the easy flat trails. I walked along behind for about 15 minutes until he was nice and warmed up, then hopped on for the 15 minutes back. So only the second ride since the injury, but still very slow and limited. He was fine! Its also our first time riding out there, but he's walked it so many times now he's really comfortable. He tried jogging a couple times to catch up with the mare's super walk (I still swear she was an accident and her daddy was actually a Tenn. Walker!), but he was responsive to me when I asked him to walk instead. The best part: the few times he did jog, he didn't feel off at all! I am pretty good at feeling anything funny, better than seeing it, so it was a good test.

Monday I never made it out because I was already taking off early from work for an appointment, and then we didn't go to class tonight since I'm feeling really sick and can't quite muster up the energy to deal with hooking up the trailer, the occasionally wild horse, and standing around in the cold. What I normally love seemed like a huge hassle tonight.

I'm still not ready to trot him under saddle until I feel that he's really been conditioned back up to it, so the real test is still a couple weeks out. Its been 5 weeks since the injury, and the last 2 weeks have been progressive conditioning without any limping. I'm figuring on another two weeks of creative conditioning: longer trotting sets, hills, tons of backing up, before I can finally sigh a HUGE sigh of relief that we're done with all this! Everything from there will but common sense for his age. Because he's only 3 I'm not going to be jumping, galloping, spinning, sliding or really doing ANYTHING too long or too hard that would really be taxing on his body or joints. So I figure the rest of the rehab conditioning and restrictions that I would do over the next month or so with an older horse, falls into his training plan for the spring anyways. That's the good thing about him being young, there is no hurry to get him doing anything very hard. I'm looking forward to a Spring of walking lazily down the trails, and starting some walk-trot classes at the schooling shows, and progressing to W/T/C classes by early summer.

So far he loves being handled and loves to go for rides. I think a horse's attitude is a real indicator of when they are being pushed too hard either mentally or physically. Here's to a spring of sound mind and body for BOTH of us!


fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like he is progressing . Slow and steady.

dvm2012 said...

awww! So glad to here he is doing so well! Keep up the good work, you'll thank yourself for your patience in the times to come! Need new picturesx!!!