Friday, July 12, 2013

Still recovering or maybe just lazy

So I’m not going to Bandit Springs today. Too many things were iffy already, and my bank account settled the decision. Only a crazy person would pay for a ride and all its attendant expenses with a credit card. No amount of scenery or camaraderie should come between me and the downpayment Brian and I are trying to save up.

And anyway, Blue has been different since Sunriver. Not bad, exactly, just… not himself. When I finally got him out of the pasture after his two weeks of total freedom, I noticed that he was looking a little thin. He’s on very poor pasture at the moment, and I don’t think he got what he needed in the two weeks to fully heal. I asked Bob to increase his hay for a bit, and the hay itself is much improved now, too. Blue looks better today than he did a week ago.



The thing that has been on my mind more than the weight loss is his movement. He still isn’t back to a steady trot. He is happy to march out at a good walk, but he isn’t willing to maintain a trot for more than maybe a dozen strides before switching to something else.

Slow evening ride at Silver Falls.

I can’t SEE anything wrong. In the round pen, on the line, loose in the pasture, his trot seems normal. His legs are tight and clean. But when I mount up and ask for steady movement that isn’t a walk or a canter, he just isn’t offering it.

  • Maybe going the additional distance at Sunriver has him thinking about conserving himself, lest I ride him 50 miles on a whim every time I saddle him. Mustangs are smart like that, and he was certainly more apt to pick up the pace on the way back to the trailer than on the way out.
  • Maybe his right hind leg isn’t back to normal yet. I’ve been trying to either sit the trot or ride the other diagonal since Sunriver, but his inconsistent moment is making it REALLY difficult.
  • Maybe his whole hind end is out. He was stiff as a board when I rasped his hooves last week. Sadly, Sarah moved to a different barn, so it is a little harder to arrange for bodywork. (Assuming that I could afford it.) (Which I can’t right now.)
  • Maybe there’s a stone bruise or an abscess getting ready to surface. Possible. I’ve been riding him completely bare an awful lot.
  • Maybe he can sense that I’m hesitant to ask him to really move out because I’m mulling these things over in my mind. And he’s totally taking advantage, the little skunk.
  • Or maybe he’s just tired and needs more recovery time.

At any rate, in my effort to be more responsible with my money and kinder to my horse, I’m not going to Bandit Springs this weekend.

I hate this feeling like I’m missing out on something, but seriously, would you go if you were in my shoes?


  1. That's the very definition of "not quite right" and you're perfectly (sadly) correct to not go, money aside. Poor guy, hope he works out of by the time you get your money straightened out...

  2. I wouldn't go either. I hope he comes out of it soon- better safe than sorry, and all....

  3. Good call. Not an easy decision, but a good call. Maybe Bare Bones?

    How do his feet look? Wearing evenly? Angles normal?

  4. Here's my two cents:) I've had a lot of success with a very simple technique off of Jim Masterson's Equine Massage DVD. I know your funds are low, but if you can swing $20, the DVD is on sale here: I see there is a new one out now, but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Anyway, there is a technique where you basically just run your fingers along the horse's bladder meridian very, very slowly and watch for signs of stress relief like fidgeting, yawning, chewing, stretching, or even blinking. Anytime you see a big response, you stop at that point, and just hold your fingers there until the response fades. Then you move on. The technique seems to really relax my horse, who is not crazy about getting massages, and I've been able to identify areas of his body that are stiff or sore. The technique is easy to do, doesn't take much time, and yields a lot of information. The very first time I did it on my horse, I got a huge stretch from his left hind leg, and guess what, he'd been having trouble crossing over behind with that leg during leg yields. I still perform the technique every few rides to check for potential issues and I love just watching my normally "up" horse relax and enjoy my touch. Regardless of what you end up doing, I hope your guy feels "right" again soon!

  5. Hey, Kettle... you're black!

    Just wanted to say I wish you blogged more often.

  6. Sounds like you made the right decision for multiple reasons. I hope you figure out what's up with him very soon!