Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dawn Drinks, Pie Goes "Pooh pooh" and Red Trots

Dawn is now drinking again - I figured out that she'll drink if I fill her buckets with the hose from the wash stall rather than the individual line that runs to her stall - I think the wash stall line has had all the nasty red, rusty sediment flushed out whereas the individual line has not.  Who knows?  Perhaps we just have fussy mare syndrome - with Dawn it's certainly possible.  I've also been giving her a dose of electrolytes once a day to encourage her to drink.  She's back on dry hay, and so far all systems are normal.  I've started riding her again in the early morning when it's still cool - she's been very full of energy and we had a fun ride this morning.  No forward lacking with that girl!

Pie and I went on a nice two-hour trail ride with two friends today.  It was getting very hot - it was over 90F by the time we got back - but Pie coped very well with the heat.  And he was very sensible - there were some large concrete culverts sitting by the side of the trail, ready to be installed on the new trail extension.  The other horses were all snorty and dancing around and Pie just walked right by as if they didn't matter - good Pie!  Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to be much hotter - it's supposed to be almost 100F tomorrow and 102F on Tuesday - without the heat index.  I took the opportunity to rinse off Pie's Diamond Wool pad and the mohair cinch - the cinch had dried in the sun by the time I was ready to ride Red that afternoon (Red has his own Diamond Wool pad).

Just to see how we were doing, I put Red briefly on the lunge before I rode.  Before I did that, I did his massage - he's really enjoying it - lots of yawning and chewing, and he's taken to moving his body around so that I massage exactly the areas that he wants.  He's still off at the trot, but interestingly enough, he's now sounder to the right and slightly more off tracking left, which is the reverse of how it was before.  I suspect, and my chiropractor confirms, that the massage may be loosening muscles that have been tight for a long time, and bringing others into play that are now tight.  I'm to make sure my massage covers the muscles on the side and front of his left hind leg as well.  On the lunge, he also moved much better when he did a more forward trot.  We did a nice walk session under saddle - his walk was fluid and he was even and reaching well under his body with both hinds.  He was very interested in doing a little bit of trot work, so we did - only on straight lines - he had no interest in trotting around corners.  Red is a very smart horse, and has shown that he will self-regulate in turnout to only do what he is comfortable with.  As on the lunge, when he started, he was short-striding on the left hind, but as he moved out the gait smoothed out.  We suspect that he may have some adhesions between muscles, and some residual muscle fiber tears, that are still interfering with his movement but that are beginning to break up - like physical therapy after an injury.  I'll give him a rest day tomorrow and then see if he's better or worse.  It may also be that he's starting to have some arthritic symptoms from the lower hock joint - in which case aspirin (I use Aspirease) may be of benefit.  Red seemed pretty happy with his brief trot work session - we only trotted a few straight lines for a total of a few minutes.

I'm hoping the heat wave passes quickly - we've already had way too much extreme heat and it's only mid-July . . .

Update Monday morning - Red is trotting and cantering with ease and complete soundness in the pasture - keeping fingers crossed . . .

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