Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Long But Good Day

It got hot today - 90F - but it wasn't too humid and it was breezy (although also very dusty due to our drought conditions).  My day started with an early-morning ride on Dawn.  We had an excellent work session in the outdoor arena, staying on the grass center rather than the sand track, which was just too dry, deep and dusty.  I concentrated on trying to offer a soft spot at the point of resistance, and we made some good progress at walk and trot, and did some nice transition work.  Then, for a change of pace, we left the arena and went out into the mare pasture - the rest of the mares were nibbling grass there - and did some trot and canter work there - I believe this may in fact have been the first time I've cantered Dawn outside an arena.  She did great and we did a number of good canter loops in the more level parts of the pasture.

Then it was Mr. Pie's turn.  I hiked out to the pasture to retrieve him and Red, and brought them into the main barn.  Our usual barn is the small barn, but it wasn't available during the day today as hard-wired fans were being installed by a two-man crew who worked all day to get the job done before the 100F temperatures we're expecting tomorrow.  Both boys coped well with being in an unfamiliar place.  Red was on cross ties so I could ice his leg and hock, and stood like a trooper.  His leg is looking better - there's no tenderness, the small nicks and cuts are no longer weeping serum, and the leg is not sensitive and isn't very warm.  There's still swelling, although only on the outside of the hock and lower leg, and it's now hard and not soft which means that it's probably no longer actively swelling.  Pie was tied to a ring down the aisle and also dealt well with the new environment.  Once Red was done with his icing and was turned back out, Pie and I had a good work session in the arena.  There was a lot going on - the arena isn't that big - one lady was doing groundwork with her horse, another lunge lesson was going on, the people installing the fans in the small barn were making terrible noises - clanging from the dragging of conduit and shrill noises from drilling into concrete, and one of the barn workers was dragging a grading attachment off a tractor in a turnout nearby, making loud scraping sounds.  Pie was nervous about all of this but I asked him to cope and he rose to the occasion - we had a very good walk/trot/canter session with lots of transitions and some very good canter work at the end.  I just kept my focus on what I wanted and that's what I got.

At 2 p.m. when the horses came in from turnout (they go out very early in the morning), I was there to be sure the 11 horses who are in the small barn went in the right pens to wait for the fan project to be completed - the barn manager couldn't be there and asked me to keep an eye on things.  Dawn was in a paddock opposite Red and Pie, who shared a paddock.  The two boys did very well together, eating from the same pile of hay, and standing very close together - this is wonderful, considering how hostile Red was to Pie last year.  Red got brought in at one point to have his leg washed and then had another icing session.  Dawn kept saying (politely) that there must be some mistake . . . My three got their dinners in the paddock, and Red ate almost all his SMZ tablets - I used some cocosoya oil to get him to eat the rest. The fans were finally done at 6:30 p.m., and Dawn and boys came into their stalls for the night.  Tomorrow it's supposed to hit 100F, so I'm glad the fan installation got done.

Tomorrow I'll bring my horses in early, and probably clean some wool felt saddle pads and brushes while the weather is hot and sunny. All is well . . .

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