Monday, June 29, 2015

All Aboard the Abscess Express

So, just last week in the land of unicorns and rainbows, I was having thoughts of videoing a training ride soon for evaluation and then videoing the Rider Test at a First Level in the next couple of weeks.  The pony has been going well, all the principles from When 2 Spines Align have been really working for us, and several things I didn't like about our last version of RT@1st are much improved.

Jet must have ESP, because no sooner than I thought it, than he was three legged lame the next day.  Horses!  Seriously!  He is recovering just fine from a front foot abscess and will have this week off getting his foot dried out enough to put a shoe on next week to cover up the resulting hole.  Bless the people who invented poultice pads to replace soaking in Epsom salts and a Davis boot to replace endless wrapping and re-wrapping with layers of duct tape.  Talk about a couple of great inventions I HIGHLY recommend.

After last year's foray into abscesses(one from whatever and one from a hot nail to put a shoe over the first abscess-yeah) I feel like I have the management thing down for the recovery and my bigger question is how the he-double hockey sticks I am going to keep shoes on his feet in the endless rain and mud we have had.  Maybe it will magically dry up?  It is almost JULY after all. Anyway, I am also debating about whether to put the boy on a foot supplement, with the vet saying biotin and the shoer saying he has great feet and a topical foot hardener might be the way to go, since both abscesses have been close to the white line in really unusually moist conditions.  Any thoughts or experiences from readers most appreciated if you have dealt with this problem.

On a positive note, just like last year when Jet was out of commission, I have hauled out my retired 25 year old Hanoverian mare Oreo Cookie for something to ride while Jet goes through his foot dramas.  This mare is amazingly still quite sound at 25 after doing lower level hunters, eventing, and dressage through 2nd Level, all with me, since the age of 6.  She and I have a love/hate relationship that only those who have had a hotter than hot, emotional, super talented warmblood cross MARE can understand.  She has always been such a difficult horse, who demanded good precise riding that I wasn't always capable of giving, and I have learned so much from her while being simultaneously driven crazy by her moodiness and just general abundance of nerve endings.  After having a late in life foal she has been mostly retired but hacked out once in a while as I have focussed on Jet because  he is less truly talented but oh so drama free with his pleaser personality.

Anyhoo, last year I rode Cookie a few times while Jet was laid up and was pleasantly surprised with how well my improved biomechanics worked with her and how a few things I could never get quite right previously were easy-peasy.  She was also actually happy to be ridden and have some attention as well.  The thought did cross my mind as soon as I knew Jet would be out of commission this time that it would be interesting to see how the further biomechanics and ideas of When 2 Spines Align would work on the old bat.  In a word, fabulously.  She is a little stiff, as she should be at 25, but wow this horse has never worked this well AND been this happy.  As per the usual, if the rider rides properly using the right exercises, the horse goes well.  Amazing how simple it is, but how hard it is to do.  Really nice validation of all the position work I have been doing all winter and spring.  Hopefully I will have some video of the old girl to share if it ever stops raining...

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