Sunday, February 17, 2013

Finally, a Ride

Last Tuesday, sometime during the day, I tweaked my back.  I had three very good rides, and did all my regular chores, but noticed that as the day was going on I was getting stiffer.  By the evening, I was pretty sore and tight through my back.  I used to have, regular, terrible back trouble, but it's been much less of a problem since I've been riding more, with proper posture - I think my core is stronger now.  By Wednesday evening, I was still stiff, but the stretching I was doing constantly seemed to be improving things.  So no riding Wednesday or Thursday morning.  Thursday afternoon all three horses got trims.  My farrier/trimmer is a good guy, but I have to supervise him closely to be sure he doesn't mess too much with the feet or take too much off.  He's pretty good now about not messing with the soles - our ground and arena are very abrasive, and my horses pretty much self-maintain their soles, and frogs rarely need much.  Dawn usually hardly needs trims - just a touch up, and Red only needs a bit as well. Pie grows an enormous amount of foot, even in the winter - he's got very hard, thick hoof walls and they don't wear much, and they grow a lot.

My farrier's usually been pretty good lately about not over-trimming, but this time he was a little too aggressive.  Pie was fine - he's always fine - but Red was slightly sore behind and Dawn was very, very sore behind and couldn't hardly walk on the concrete barn aisle.  I was pretty unhappy - the problem with both Dawn and Red wasn't so much the trim as the bevelling he put on the hind toes.  Dawn has thin soles, and her toes really don't tolerate much if any bevelling.

All three horses got Friday off, although I could have ridden Pie, and both Dawn and Red got some bute.  Saturday, Dawn wasn't much better although Red was improving.  More bute for both of them.  Again, I could have ridden Pie, but our neighborhood chili party was that night, so no time for that.  Sunday, today, Dawn was still sore although somewhat better on the hard surfaces, so I went out and bought some Venice turpentine and painted it on her soles (not frogs or heels), and she got one more gram of bute - I don't like giving bute that many days in a row, but she really needed it.  She also came in early so she could be on the softer shavings in her stall - the ground outside is frozen hard.   She seemed happier by the time I left this afternoon.

Red was still slightly sore, although improved.  I could have ridden him at the walk in the soft arena footing, but decided to give him a Venice turpentine treatment and one more day off.  No bute, he didn't need it.  He wasn't happy about having to go back in his stall and did a lot of looking at me and nickering.  Pie got ridden - he'd had four days off but was as good as gold.  We had a very nice ride at all three gaits, and he was very forward and responsive.  His canter work was particularly nice - I worked on "thinking us light" - this helped my back too - and he responded in kind.  My back seems to have tolerated the ride very well so far - keeping fingers crossed.

Tomorrow, I expect Red will be rideable.  Dawn will probably take more time - I'm extremely annoyed with my farrier/trimmer and will have to watch him even more closely next time.

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