Oakley was marvelous again yesterday. We worked over canter poles and I learned a few things: first, he has a big step (duh.) Second, he has a hard time compressing it (double duh). Third, he is a real trier: even though he was super tired with sore butt muscles by the end of our ride, he never said ‘no’, tried to be naughty, or simply ignored me. There was a lot of wiggling from side to side instead of rocking back on his haunches, but it was an honest effort. Good job, big man! You’ve earned your day off today, and then some!
I’m really crossing my fingers that Oakley maintains this good attitude as his workload increases – I’ll need to be careful to intersperse with chill days, so he doesn’t start hating his life. Also, it’s nice to have a horse that has all the basics in place in a way that I like, but who needs a lot of finessing through gymnastic flatwork, which tends to be my strength as a rider (jumping is another story, ha.) Poor Oakley, I have many, many flatwork exercises percolating in my brain for him. Though I’m also really excited to pop him over some jumps next week!
Trainer A impressed me once again during this lesson. He thinks that once a month has passed, we’ll be able to see an improvement in his weight and muscle and then be able to make a long-term plan for his progress and maintenance. I think at that point I’ll also have the vet out to look at his pre-purchase x-rays and see if we need any intervention in his hocks right now.
Anyway, herewith are the extraneous issues that are preoccupying me for the moment. Help me, blog readers! Please share your wisdom!
1. My locker: It’s basically a blank slate with a saddle rack in it, and all my crap stuffed in. I have a portable bridle hook hanging from one door right now, but it’s not ideal, as now the locker barely closes. I have learned from my
creeping investigations that most people have a series of baskets and hooks installed on the doors and walls – maybe I could also do little portable shelves? Any organizational mavens feeling inspired by this?
2. Pastern Dermatitis: Oakley came to me with this (better known as mud fever) on both hind pasterns.
I’m not as worried now as I was earlier in the week, as one leg is looking a lot better. My vet told me that the first order of business was removing the scabs before any treatment would be able to work, so my post-ride routine has been to hose them in warm water for a few minutes, scrub with iodine shampoo, cover with Vaseline, and let the legs dry completely. Earlier in the week some of the scabs started coming off, and yesterday and left leg lost its scabs completely. My regimen for the non-scabbed areas has been to rinse with Betadine, apply Hibitane (an antibiotic ointment suggested by the vet), then spray with Aluspray aerosol bandage to seal it off, all while wearing medical gloves to decrease odds of contamination.
A quick foray through the Chronicle of the Horse forums turned up a lot of weird remedies, mostly involving the kind of things that are really embarrassing to buy at the drug store. If anyone has experience with mud fever, I’d love to know what you did about it!
3. Side reins: Trainer A has suggested I longe in side reins a couple of times a week. I haven’t owned side reins for ages (I’m not a big longe-er) – what are all the cool kids using these days? Is it still all about those leather ones with the rubber doughnut? Or solid leather? Or elastic? Help!