Wednesday, the day before yesterday, I decided to put on my too-tight-from-winter-woolies big girl pants and do a serious conditioning work with Bobby. While it was sunny in Danville when I left, by the time I got up to Montgomery it was raining. (Which makes me love living in the southern tropics of my homely town; when we ent to look at the trailer in Loganton an hour northwest, it was snowing like crazy and 60 at our house.) But I have long since been prepared for rain with my way too big Walmart rainsuit. I put my vest on for the first time in....two years since I was working with an absolutely nutty, evil QH auction purchase that was eventually put down after some complicated circumstances. I have a Casel Equi vest, and I would not recommend it to others. The shoulders on the friggin thing come up to your ears. It took some getting used to again, but once I got riding, I didn't even notice it.
I put draw reins on Bobby, not really to yank his head in, but more as a "yoo hoo!" and a reminder that he can bring his nose in and round his back a little--which he did pretty nicely. We went out to the gamelands and went the opposite direction we usually go. I don't know how to best describe our workout, so this may not come out particularly eloquent. We trotted most of the way out and back; any place there was a grassy shoulder without trees hanging over, we trotted on that. We cantered where there was grass on the road, and walked wherever there was no shoulder or just too much debris from all the washouts and flooding this winter.
At the last field we were in before I turned around, there was a felled tree (does that sound bad ass, or what?) across the path. I trotted Bobby up to it and he jumped it with no problems. I took him over it a couple more times, and he trotted, jumped, and cantered off without an ounce of hesitation. There was a nice grassy path on the otherside of the hedgerow we'd come from along the length of the fields we'd passed, so I let Bobby hand-gallop up the looong grade hill. He was working that booty, and you could tell he was a little sore walking home down the road. His saddle had also slid way back; maybe I should have just gotten the other breastplate.
I did my first ever post-cross country aftercare program. I untacked him really fast, offered him some water (which he didn't want), and hosed him down while scraping the cold water off at the same time. I put his cooler on while I was walking him out because it was damp and chilly out. I hosed him off three more times while walking him out. Once he was cooled out enough that I felt comfortable putting him in his stall, I took his cooler off because I think it was holding the heat in. I gave him a little hay to munch on while I grabbed coolant and drugs.
I used my awesome linament instead of rubbing alcohol and rubbed it on on his front legs, hocks, stifles, and along his entire top line. I gave him a dose of Conquer and lots of cookies. I was sooooo tired after, I didn't even do anything with Red. And let me tell you, the next day my calves and inner thighs were sore. Weakling. I can't believe I used to be able to gallop 3-4 horses in a couple of hours.
Yesterday, I took Bobby for a nice, brisk walk then let him graze for awhile. A bunch of the calves from the amish farm came running over to see what Bobby was and we had an audience the whole time. They even followed us the whole length of the paddock as we headed back to the barn.
Bobby was prancing down the road back to the barn, so I gave him a carrot to get him to bend his head. Dang, did he look like a nice dressage pony with his head at a gorgeous level and tucked in, and his fancy feet going. At least I know now he CAN look pretty--just dangle food in front of him. I gave Red another thorough curry and shed out another ten pounds of grizzly bear hair.
Once more, I forgot to measure the ponies for the trailer, so I suckered Hubby into coming with me after he got home from work. Fran was there when we arrived, and not with good news. Her OTTB rescue, Pick Off, was in rough shape. He had a nasty cut on his LH when he came in and she's done an good job keeping it clean and getting to close up. It's still a good inch wide and long, though not very deep. It's nice and pink and clean, so not infected, but his entire leg from his pastern to his hock had exploded and was burning hot--like, his cannon area was as thick as my aching calf. She'd had the vet out twice already, and he gave her banamine paste and told her to wrap it with DMSO (which she didn't know what it was). The Vet told her he didn't think he needed antibiotics, but that she should be concerned about laminitis (which she called lamiGitis.)
She had just wrapped the swollen leg with a quilt and polo, which she told me kept sliding down. So I told her I had a few things that might help and had her put Pick on cross ties. I did a sweat wrap with my standing wraps, then used her linament on the other leg and, of course, wrapped that one as well. I rubbed his hock with some linament, too, and gave him the last of my Conquer. I told her to call the vet's office first thing this morning to see if she could get the other vet out for a second opinion, and maybe she could get it x-rayed. His feet weren't hot at all, but he wasn't able to put ANY weight on that leg and he kept lying down. I'd definitely be worried about laminitis occuring in the other foot, or him laying down and not being able to get back up. At least now, she knows to wrap both legs and how to do a sweat wrap, if nothing else. I also gave her a new bottle of corn oil that I had bought for Bobby, then decided to just buy my own grain.
I'll try to grab a pic of his leg today. Hopefully he's doing better. He's a mean, ugly asshole, but he is a TB so I have to root for him anyway.