Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hotter Than Hades, with Ground Driving

This afternoon when I was at the barn the temperature was 100F with a heat index of 107F.  Tomorrow looks like more of the same.  I can't remember the last time it rained, and the grass is dry and dormant and things are beginning to take on that dust bowl look - anytime the wind picks up dust blows everywhere.  The end is in sight - by the weekend we're expecting 80s, which'll feel mighty darn cool compared to the past several weeks of unrelenting 90s.

I jrought my horses in at around 10 a.m. (they go out in the early morning) to stand under the fans in their stalls.  Dawn was starting to sweat, Pie was soaked and breathing hard, and Red was cool as a cucumber.  It's always interesting to me how different each horse's response to the heat is.  Pie got a nice cold shower and seemed to really appreciate being in.  When I went to get Pie in the pasture, Red was his shadow - right next to him - almost like he was protecting him.  Once we were inside, though, Red really didn't want to be in, and made his displeasure known.  Any time I moved Pie or Dawn out of their stalls to do something with them, he screamed for them and even banged on his door.

I came back in the early afternoon, and had a good idea - even though it was blisteringly hot, I turned Red back out - he was happy with this and hung back away from the gate until the very end of bring-in at around 2:45 p.m., when he came to my call.

The vet is coming back on Friday to take some x-rays of Red's left hind hock - she's not satisfied with the progress he's making - the swelling is mostly, but not entirely gone, and he's not sound at the trot, particularly tracking right, although he's happy to move out and doesn't seem to be feeling that bad - he trots and canters in the pasture very freely.  I'm less concerned than she is - I don't thing the hock is actually the issue as he was having some short striding with that hind leg after his big trip/almost fall under saddle at the canter before the hock issue even came up.  If the x-rays are clear (we have ones from a year ago when I got him to compare to), I'll be having the chiropractor back to do some more work on him - he may have twisted something in his back, sacrum or stifle.

Regardless of his soundness, Red is a very serious horse and absolutely insists on working every day, even if it's 100 degrees.  So today we did some ground driving - it was his first exposure to that.  Here's a post I did a long time ago about introducing ground driving.  Today we worked - we had the arena to ourselves due to the heat - on leading by the legs, outside turns and then some ground driving on a circle.  I'd have to say that Mr. Red was a star - he didn't care about ropes around his legs or hindquarters, mastered the outside turn after very few tries, and marched along very nicely when ground driving in a circle.  If it takes him a while to get back to full soundness, this will give us a good way to do lots of interesting things together - he's pretty insistent on working almost every day.  He also backed very nicely - the only thing we're still ironing out is forward when I'm behind him, but I expect that'll come through in the next session.

Can't wait for those 80s . . .

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