Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fly Crescendo

A crescendo in music can't go on forever, can it?  Monday afternoon, all of a sudden, the flies - or some type of fly - got just plain terrible - a couple of us tried to ride outside and the horses were kicking at their bellies, and just plain beside themselves, so we went back in.  Pie grows a lot of foot - we're just at 5 weeks since his last trim, and there's a lot of extra hoof wall already - I've never met a horse that grows so much foot - and while he was stamping in the aisle (concrete with no rubber mats, unfortunately), all of a sudden he was going stamp, muffled "squee", stamp, muffled "squee" - at first I couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from.  He'd clearly made his feet sore stamping, poor guy, so I gave him a 500-lb. dose of Banamine before I left.

I didn't ride any of my horses yesterday.  I went to the barn in the morning to ride Dawn, and when I drove up, no horses were visible in the pastures - where were they?  I looked, and both the mares and geldings were clustered at the gates, desperate to get in - this was about 10 a.m. in the morning when they would have usually been out in the pastures grazing.  The horses were sweating, and upset, and stamping and swishing - the very bad flies were still at work.  Red was at the gate with Pie, and insisted on coming in right away.  Dawn even whinneyed to me in her desperation.

All the horses ended up coming in - they were really upset - some had bloody spots all over their chests and bellies.  A number of other barns in the area had the same 24-hour problem, with horrible flies and horses driven crazy.  Last night the flies were much better - just normal flies - and the horses were happy in the pastures all day today.  We suspect some sort of unusual flie hatch - perhaps a specific fly species - we're just all glad they're seemingly gone.

Yesterday Pie's left front was all cracked, with a large piece about to break off.  My farrier/trimmer can't come until Thursday, so I was lucky to catch another farrier who was at the barn yesterday and get him to rasp off Pie's broken piece. Luckily, the crack went no further than the sole, and taking off the piece should stop the crack.  But I didn't ride him today.

Dawn is back to normal - we had an excellent ride this morning where we did some nice walk/trot/canter work, including some nice loose rein and also softening work.  She seems to be accepting me again, which is a good thing . . .

Red and I did more walk/trot work under saddle.  He's still a bit stiff starting out in trot, but is working well and is very willing and able to move out.  I'm delighted with his enthusiasm and work ethic - he absolutely insists on doing something with me every day.  As soon as he can walk up and down our steep hills under saddle, we'll be starting tours of the pastures in preparation for trail riding . . .

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