Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Rides and Watching Drifter Go

It was fairly cold and windy today - wind chills in the mid-40s - although the showers held off until late in the day.  I rode all three horses and we had an enjoyable time.

Dawn was somewhat careful, although not obviously sore, on hard or rocky surfaces, so we only worked at the walk in the arena.  But we got a lot done anyway - shortening/lengthening work, starting to work on a more collected walk as well as a more extended free walk, some pole work - Dawn is gradually getting over her pole phobia and went over them a number of times today with only a few times where she hesitated or rushed.  And then we did some spiral in/out work and then started some shoulder-in work, starting with a small circle touching the rail and then continuing on down the rail for a few strides with the same bend.  And mixed in with the work, we also did some standing around - she did this very well today - Dawn is such a quick learner and once she knows what you want she's happy to oblige.

Drifter had felt so odd at the trot yesterday that today I put him on the lunge line for a few minutes to see what was going on.  Most of the time he was noticeably short-striding with the right front/left hind pair, although there were times he wasn't.  Part of the short-striding was him slightly dragging his left hind toe and part was a lack of push as the foot moved back.  I'd already gone over him carefully - he's not sore, hot, swollen or tender anywhere, including the left hind leg and foot.  This sort of toe-dragging apparently is quite common with EPM.  He's also started taking up a "parked-out position" on the cross-ties, which is also a common EPM symptom - he stand will his back legs fairly far apart and somewhat behind his body, with his front legs fairly close together.  But his walk under saddle is still just fine, so we worked today at the walk and had a good time - just working on shortening/lengthening, poles and some leg yield work.

Pie's gaits are pretty good right now, although somewhat stiff.  We did some walk and trot work in the arena and then took a short tail excursion.  He is very crabby though, on and off, with lots of ear-pinning and ugly looks, although he's fine for grooming.

Tomorrow morning Pie and Drifter start their 10 days of pasting with Oroquin-10.  They'll also be getting some Banamine on days 3, 4 and 5 to help with any inflammation that may develop due to EPM organisms dying off.  I'm supposed to keep a careful record of any changes in their symptoms or behavior, or anything else I note, for the benefit of the researchers.  Here's hoping that things go well and the treatment, plus the 90-day follow-up feed treatment, does the trick for both of them.

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