Monday, October 10, 2011

Three-peat and Worried About Pie

Yesterday was glorious again, and once again I rode all three horses. Due to the holiday weekend there were lots of people, bikes and dogs out and around, and it was also somewhat windy.

Dawn was good, although never completely relaxed.  We did some good work, including some very nice spiral out and leg yield work at the trot.  We're still searching for relaxation, and we'll get there - she needs to be in consistent work again.

Drifter was very up - there was a big piece of plastic that a community gardener had put over their tomato plants that had come partly loose and was doing its best imitation of a sail, and the goat had visitors, but Drifter held it together and we did some nice work, including some work on him moving off my leg to the side - his turn on the haunches is pretty nice and his leg yield/spiral out work is coming along although he struggles when we're bent to the right.  We didn't canter since I wasn't getting enough relaxation or consistent attention at the trot.

Then Pie and I had a nice 40-minute walking trail ride with Charisma involving various excitements - a motorcycle starting up right near us, children playing badminton in their yard and another child on a swing, although with various other things - running children, bikes and lots of shrieking children as well.  Pie was reasonably forward and was able to keep up with Charisma pretty well, but he was a bit "punky" later in the evening - the first time in over 10 days.

I had of course been hoping against hope that whatever was the matter with Pie had just gone away, but it hasn't.  Our p.m. barn lady texted me about 7:30 p.m. to say that he was standing in his paddock, not eating and looking uncomfortable - not his normal evening self.  When I got over there a bit later, he was lying down on his mat.  He wasn't groaning but his breathing was a bit labored - he clearly hurt and had that "far away" look horses get where they're preoccupied by how they feel.  But he was fairly responsive to me, which meant that although he was hurting it wasn't as bad as he'd been on some previous occasions.  I sat down on the ground by him for a while.  Then he started to pass some gas, so I thought walking around might help.  I got his halter and he willingly got to his feet and we marched around his paddock in the moonlight for a while.  That seemed to help and when I left him he seemed more comfortable.

I came back later to check on him and he was nibbling the scant grass in his paddock - a good sign.  He'd snarfed up 3 flakes of hay in a couple of hours that evening, and it's clear that that much hay in that short a time creates a backup somewhere in his system - hence the discomfort and gas.  His digestive system clearly has limited capacity, so I'll be trying to spread his evening hay out a bit more to see if that makes him more comfortable.

This morning he was his normal cheerful self and went out happily to the pasture after breakfast.  I spent some time later in the morning just hanging out with him in the pasture while he grazed.  He gets blood drawn again on Wednesday so we can see how his liver is doing.  For now, he's pretty happy most of the time and that's a good thing.

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