Junior has been out of work for quite some time from a mild tendon strain. I turned him out one day after a rain storm and I watched him and Wheels skitter around for a moment and then busy themselves with their hay. I didn't think much of it. A couple days later, I noticed a mild swelling so I did the usual cold hose and wrapped for a couple days. He was completely sound. I rode him and he didn't feel "right" to me, but bystanders thought he looked fine. A couple more days and no change in the swelling forced a call to Burlington Equine. Low and behold, there was some injury to the superficial flexor tendon. I treated Junior with laser and Surpass over the week and kept him quiet. We've been riding at the walk for several weeks now. First, he got really fat, but now, with the lack of exercise and his busy brain, he's worried himself skinny. Thankfully, he's fully recovered and is heading back on track. We're not able to train, yet, due to zero fitness; but at least he's working and happy! I'm hoping to be back on track for HITS, but we'll have to see what the summer brings. Quite a bummer, but thankfully, he's healthy and sound!
That's given me extra time to focus on all the other kids. Wheels is working quite well, but submission is not always his best attribute. We're working really hard to develop the strength and fitness he needs to perform quick, balanced simple changes. I want to be able to step into the walk and canter away with an almost invisible aid. Wheels would rather lean into my hands, drop his shoulders, stop forward motion and use the ground for brakes. There are days I swear my guts might ooze out my belly button. Ugh! The upward transition turns into more of a discussion about what lead, my head goes where? and "I'll get back to you on that." Good grief. He has, however, performed a couple more clean flying changes, but they are few and far between. The stars need to be aligned just so in order for me to even want to attempt one.
Spider is definitely the sleeper of the group. As a baby, he was very timid and shy. He would over-react at things he thought were scary or plant his feet and refuse to move. Things have changed! He's extremely laid back and confident when he's carrying a rider around. You can see the pride beam across his precious face when someone mounts up. He's taken Kelly for hacks in the fields and woods, works like a superstar in the arena even with other horses misbehaving in the ring. He's forward, comfortable and tries his heart out for you. He's going to make someone an unbelievable horse! He's really big, so finds it hard to organize all his parts, but he's such a baby, it doesn't matter one bit. As long as he keeps his crayons on the paper, he can do whatever he likes at this point in his training. We'll teach him to stay in the lines in another month or two.
Flagg is going really well. He's forward, light in the hand and accepts contact much better. He's not nearly as wiggly in the hand as he was a month ago. He's beginning to grow into his legs, but still can't keep shoes on. His long hind legs sometimes get the best of him. He's working on all the basics of the training scale, rhythm, suppleness and contact. He works on changes within the gaits as well as transitions between. He leg-yields and halts square from trot. Such a good boy and always eager to play. He's a joy to hack alone and will march any where you want to go. The only "problem" with him hacking is he thinks he's a giraffe and loves to eat leaves off the trees. He'll grab hold of anything he can and rip off a mouthful. Sometimes, that causes the branch to come back and smack me! That's no OK, but he's really quick to take a bite, and sometimes, I'm just not as fast.
Keep you eyes open for Liz and Doc. They're tearing up the Region 8 selection trials for NAJrYRC. Maybe we'll be going to KY next month? Fantastic!
Well, off to ride with Pam. We're going to put together a rehab plan for Junior so hopefully, he's ready for HITS in August! Check back soon for updates on how the clinic goes today. Cheers!