Thursday, October 10, 2013

Better Than Wonderful

Pie's been absolutely fine since his colic attack last weekend - it was probably the weather.  I in fact dewormed all my horses on Tuesday, using Equimax.  I like to wait for the first frost to do this, but the first frost is getting later every year - the average first frost date for our part of the world used to be October 4, but we're way past that for the past several years, and there's no frost in sight for now.  I love it that all my horses are perfect for deworming and meds by mouth - Red tosses his head up and down a little bit but that's all - the other two don't even move.  Dawn used to be "hold on to my halter and I'll throw you around the stall" but my daughter taught her to stand still using approach/release a number of years ago when she had to have antibiotics by mouth every day for over a month due to a tooth abscess.

I've been taking care of my friend's (who had the fall and the broken scapula) horse.  He is fairly ouchy in the hindquarters, particularly the right hind, and somewhat snatchy with his hind feet when I'm picking them, and a little stand-offish.  When I tried some massage on his right hind, he tried to kick and was clearly very unhappy.  But lately, he's been coming around.  Yesterday for the first time he nickered at me and allowed me to do some massage on his back and right hind - he seemed to appreciate it.

This morning, Dawn had the morning off - our rides over the past days have been just wonderful, including some very nice almost-collected trot work and some very good sustained canter work.  I rode both Red and Pie this afternoon - gorgeous weather in the 60s with sun - around the pastures and then in the outdoor arena.  Red is very sound again and moving well.  He was wonderfully forward and soft at the same time, and he offered some very nice trot and left lead canter work - his left hind was the leg that was injured so we're not doing right lead canter work yet.  We're not working long - only about a half hour - and he was tired by the time we were done.  He needs to rebuild his fitness after two weeks of only walk work, but was very willing and an absolute delight to ride.

Pie and I also had an outstanding ride outside.  His trot is reliably engaged and soft, and his canter work just gets better and better.  He canters around and around in the outdoor arena - the track goes a bit up and downhill as well - with a lovely cadence and balance, and when I ask for more softness and engagement, it's right there.  Then we did a tour of both pastures, and Pie actually asked if he could herd a group of geese - I left him to it and we had some fun.

Better than wonderful!

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