"Post from the past"
March 22nd, 2008
This week, we’ve been putting scarlet oil and granulex on Chico’s cut. It has really changed, and not necessarily for the better. The stitches have all pulled through the skin, so that the cut has opened back up. The very edges did hold together, but the wound is opened back up exposing the muscle beneath. The stitches in the muscle are now visible, and it’s awesome to see that the muscle has healed back together. You can’t even tell that there was a tear there. The one good thing is that the skin around the edges of the cut do look like they are starting to heal. After the picture, I pulled the stitches out and they slid out easily. I think that the scarlet oil and the granulex are helping, but it sure looks awful. I’m not so worried about it though because it’s not infected, and there are no flies to worry about, and I watched Houston Animal Cops tonight and they showed a horse with a huge wound in its neck from a stallion bite…huge wound with maggots in it, and that healed up great. There was just a dip in the muscle in the neck and a T-shaped scar. Most of the skin had hair except for the thin line of the T. So, I’m not so worried about Chico’s wound. It’ll heal up. It just looks really ugly right now.
I also trimmed up Chico’s front hooves using the rasp and my new hoof stand (got it on Ebay for $65…it’s really well-made). His front hooves were really unbalanced in the beginning of the year (uneven wear on snow). They were shorter on the inside than the outside. They are now coming close to being balanced. I also trimmed his left back hoof, but I decided not to finish his right back because it was hurting him to hold his hoof up like that…my leg was rubbing on his wound. Amazingly, he doesn’t gimp on that leg at all. He walks almost completely normal. The initial extreme lameness was due to inflammation in the muscle. He was on bute the first 2 weeks, and since then has not been on it and not shown any lameness. That’s why I felt it was okay to trim his hooves up, even the off back hoof, which meant he was standing with all his weight on his injured leg.
I saddled Catlow up after I put Chico away. She is getting fairly comfortable with being saddled. She took the bit much better today, but she did try to back up. I just repeatedly asked her to lower her head, and retreated when she let me hold the bridle up over her head. In the round pen, I worked her off the lead line. I wanted her to get a chance to feel the reins flopping all around her face because it seemed to bother her last time. She did pretty well this time. I also got a lot of cantering out of her. I think she’s getting more muscle and more confidence about moving out. I mounted her, then we did walk and turn and walk and trot for quite a while in the round pen. She did pretty well. There was no spooking today. She was also much better at moving forward off leg cues, although the very first time I asked her, she did try backing up first. I also got a couple rounds of trotting, but we really need to work on getting her to continue trotting until I ask her to stop. She’s really bad about trotting a few strides, then putting on the breaks. She did so well in the round pen that I decided to ride her outside around in the driveway. First I led her down to the end of the driveway and back twice, to expose her to everything, then I mounted her up near the barn, spent some time flexing her (she’s getting really soft), then we started down the driveway. I walked her in serpentines to get her steering and listening to me, then we did figure eights and walked circles around the spruce tree and the wagon. She spooked at Todd's dad when he was getting stuff out of the car, but she only panicked a bit and it was not out of control (just skittering and then freezing)…she needs to learn how to spook and know she’ll be okay, so it was overall really good for her. We did not trot in the driveway, but that will come later. She was really calm afterward when I was unsaddling her. I was thinking about taking her for a walk after that, but I’d worked her for a while, and I wanted to end on a good note (I was hoping that she’d trust me more when on the walk now, but I wasn’t sure). She is such a pretty horse.
I rode Cody after I worked Catlow. We went out to the neighbor's field to see how wet it was…it was good on the edges, but I didn’t want to mark up their field, so I decided to go down the road and up the trail that goes behind the property. The trail was pretty good, but when we got to the top, the snow was really deep, almost unpassable, so we turned around, then went down Dry Creek Road. We went up a side trail just before the creek. The side trail was great, and Cody does so much better on trails where there is more to keep her occupied. I was beginning to get irritated with her because she wanted to turn around all the time. I also discovered that if I keep contact on her mouth, she stays soft and more focused on me. It was fun. I’d like to try dressage with her….I bet she could be a pretty dressage horse. She was also having explosive green poos with undigested grass in them. I’m worried that she may colic again. I’m going to give her some yogurt tomorrow, and I think I might look into buying some good grass hay for a while…at least a few bales. They are still on the crappy hay that I think caused her to colic last year. I really don’t want to treat a colicky horse again. It was awful and expensive last time.