Last week Prophecy was not ridden due to weather and schedule issues. We did manage to get his trim in on Wednesday, which was 6 weeks, due to Paige having hurt her shoulder the week prior and needing to reschedule. His hooves are really coming along nicely and had just finally begun to flare - whereas before you could notice it at 3 weeks post trim. He was much better for her for the whole ordeal - except on the right hind. He was having a bit of difficulty keeping it on the hoof stand in front of him and only easily allowed it to be held up to the rear of him. This made us a wonder a bit about his hip again or something else that could be causing him the discomfort. I went to Bull Run with no intention of pushing him beyond what he could handle, physically and mentally, heat or hoof related.
He has gained a bunch of weight rather quickly with the spring grass coming in, so he now has a grazing muzzle and I had a vet consult to make a few other supplement changes, including the addition of Thryo-L to address any insulin issues. I think that weight change did not help our saddle fit on the previous ride and may have caused some discomfort.
|Hanging out in camp Friday|
|Post ride Friday|
|Finding greener grass|
That picture is about the worst he was, other than grabbing a string of bailing twine that was tied to one panel and lifting straight up! I went over and took it off after that - I think I need to bring him a toy next camping trip.
Saturday he got more electrolytes in his breakfast (which was absurdly early for not being an endurance ride as all the horses were up asking!) and extra helping of a few soaked alfalfa cubes to coat his stomach before tacking up later in the am. It was going to be a hot one and I knew it. I had brought lots of water for me, but realized I could only carry one bottle and forgot the pommel pack to be able to carry our snacks, etc. Lynne to the rescue! She had a fanny pack that I was able to fit 2 of my water bottles, phone, carrots, and a dose of electrolytes with a syringe if we chose to go the longer loop after the lunch stop. During the process of tacking up he stomped my left foot pretty good with a back foot, I can't even remember why (evading something most likely). Ouch. We got things situated and then he was all amped up and difficult to get to on. His two buddies from our barn that I had been hoping to ride with became out of sight and well, many spins, backs, small bucks, pop-ups, etc were had trying to get out of the camping area. The same spot he spooked at the night before became a huge issue, and after a good 5 minutes of trying to do something other than spin or buck/rear, I decided it was time to just hand walk out of camp on the trails until he could settle down and focus. And that is how I spent the first hour+, hand walking him. I used Dee's "i" method so if he got ahead of me, around in a circle he went. He did a lot of circles around me in that hour! I knew I couldn't walk the whole ride, but at least we were heading out this way.
Unfortunately for me, as I led him across a muddy spot that I underestimated, he ended up on top of my right foot when I got stuck. Not really sure if he came down on it or just that we banged into each-other as I got out of the mud and he stepped down. If I had realized how bad that spot was I would have sent him first rather than try to lead. He was still pretty loony at that point and probably rushed the crossing too. A while later when we reached a good fence I decided to get on. A group of riders stopped and 1 rider dismounted to help me with keeping him at the fence and fixing the saddle (which the cinch was now pretty loose); she was very understanding of the green horse moments and telling me she had been in my shoes before. In fact, everyone who past us would ask if all was OK and many would the commiserate with the "amped up horse" moments. Once I mounted again we went off at a controlled trot down the gravel road and ended up with a group of gaited horses that took us under their wing, only to find out that Janet knew several other local endurance riders already - small world sometimes :) Janet and her Search & Rescue horse Cali started blocking Prophecy to fall in with the group and try to settle him down. He really never settled, occasionally he would relax some - so we spent a good portion of the ride in a decent jig - easily keeping pace with the gaited gang! A few times I was able to let him move out, and he led and followed. He really took to the mares of the group of course! We left the group a few times, always to end up back with them. Very thankful for them and taking us in to help us through this ride! And Janet got some great pictures of us too: (I do have some video taken on my helmet cam that I need to edit yet too!)
He completely lost it again upon entering camp and I had to fight to keep him sane for a moment long enough for me to get down with my bad ankle. It was a long slow walk back to the trailer, the rough ground making it even more difficult for me. I removed his tack and washed him off at the trailer. It had become a bit difficult to wiggle my toes and I actually wondered if I'd be able to drive everything home Sunday, but some ice, Tylenol, snacks and Mango Rum drink made by Bonnie, and my makeshift ankle brace of vet-wrap helped a bunch! I was walking better, albeit slow, later that evening.
|Later Saturday, actually looking tired and resting in his pen|
|Sunset on Saturday|
|lunch stop munch|
I had actually already scheduled him for a check in with Sarah from Hands Hooves & Hearts for Magna-wave and/or massage upon our return Sunday. Well, I got to use the Magna-wave on my
|He liked to peek in on me while getting his massage|
And I still love the Ghost saddle for myself too! Very secure for his antics, comfy seat for me. My inner thighs are sore, but because I was dealing with the jigging more than anything else.
So I learned a lot... He has major anxieties about leaving and returning to camp. He does great in small group riding, and in woods, but I'm not sure if the Go-Go-Go attitude on the trail is out of competitiveness or insecurity. He is strong and forward, but did not give me or himself blisters from pulling. He is way more fit than I thought and could have done a Sunday ride if I hadn't been hurting.
My next step is to decide one of two things... 1) Cowgirl up and let him go full steam ahead until he figures out that is not how to take care of himself, or 2) find someone who wants that forward of a partner. He has tons of potential as an endurance horse - definitely has more Go and forward drive than I was seeking - my goal is to complete, not necessarily race/top-10 mentality, and I think he is naturally pushing that latter button right now. I don't see myself doing #2, except maybe for a short term thing to have someone else take him on his first 50's or something. We have a long time to work at things together yet; I'd love to get him to a ride again this fall, but we will see how it goes.
Other items learned for my fellow Greenbeans:
-Lady's Anti-monkey Butt Powder is your friend! I wore the wrong undergarments on Friday lol... did not make that mistake Saturday.
-Vet-wrap is a handy stickier version of an Ace bandage that you can use on yourself!
-Baby-wipes only go so far for us primitive campers. I need to get some "dry shampoo" to feel a bit more human! (and maybe a bag solar shower until I replace my battery and can get the cowboy shower working again in my trailer!)
Tuesday morning I am off to the Orthopedic Sports Medicine doc to have my ankle checked out... it is getting easier to walk, but I know I could have done something to it under the surface that might need more attention than ice and a brace. Then I can figure out the next bit of my plan, which might include a ride on Mother's Day to teach him a bit about the mountains!