Friday, May 20, 2011
Riding, Lunging, Washing, AND De-worming!
String it all together and it sounds like a whole lot of fun, don't it?! Rather a lot of pushing, pulling, rearranging, posting, lead rope juggling, and paste and water all over me. But damn it, I love it.
Yesterday the sun graced us with its presence again and though I wasn't feeling completely up to par (I'm still not, have a cough and a little congestion) I had to get back in the saddle. Blaze hadn't been out in 5 days and that was quite enough, thank you very much. Due to this equine herpes outbreak I am trying to be good and stay home (I'm used to trailering out 4 times a week!) so I rode on the dirt road above our property. I only did 6.5 miles because after a while of some shade trees and niceness the road turns into a big open dirt path in direct sunlight with nowhere to hide so I turned right around at that point. Also just wanted Blaze to get a little leg stretch before anything too serious. I don't think I'll be able to do many miles a day for the next week or so due to staying home but I figure getting a lower and varied (one road is hills, one is pretty much flat) mileage every day still counts. I'm really having an issue with that interference cut on his left hind. That big bulb he must have gotten from interfering badly in the past sticks out a good inch so its pretty much impossible for him not to hit it with his right hind, considering how sloppy he can be with his feet. Anyhow, I am trying ointment, gauze, then vet wrap, then a splint boot to try to keep it clean and unharmed. He hits it even loose in his paddock so just not riding him won't help. He isn't lame at all from it but I know it hurts when he smacks that open sore! I am nervous to wrap the vet wrap too tightly because it compresses and I don't want cut off his circulation just trying to keep a cut clean. Soooooo. Right now he just has gauze and vet wrap on coz I had a theory the splint boot was helping the vet wrap wiggle down out of place. I don't know. Its just in such a shitty spot.
Yesterday morning I picked up grain and Safeguard dewormer before I rode Blaze. So yesterday evening was time for baby's first de-worming. I had more trouble with mom than with the filly, of course. Desire is highly suspicious of the tube and snorts and flares her nostrils and generally acts like I'm going to murder her with a small plastic tube. I Jedi mind tricked her pretty good though, I rubbed her face with the tube getting closer and closer to her mouth and talked to her; she was calming down and starting to like it then BAM I slipped the tube into her mouth, pushed the plunger, and had it back out and stroking her face before she even knew what happened. I was pretty proud of my sleight of hand. Better than the wrestling match I had with her last time. Filly of course has curiosity on her side so it wasn't too hard for her to try nibbling on the end of the tube. She didn't have a CLUE what was coming so I was able to get the wormer in there and then watch her face register "woah! Something in my MOUTH!" and start chewing away at it. Pretty cute. She wasn't too bothered by it, I scratched her and she just sort of gulped it down, slightly bewildered. Of course mom and baby managed to wipe their mouths on me.
This morning I managed to get out the driveway on Blaze by 9. It seemed uncompromisingly WARM for 9 am in the spring, especially considering it was cold and rainy two days ago. Luckily the first part of the road is well shaded. If there is just a breath of a breeze I can handle it but the dead still warmth (I won't call it heat yet) is what gets to me. I headed up the road which is about 1.3 mile of pavement (ah slippery madness) with lots of barking dogs, then it turns to dirt. The entire thing is UPhill. A pretty steep ascent at some points. Once we got to the safety of the dirt road we started jamming. Blaze can trot/canter about 3/4 of the way from bottom, start of the dirt road, to top, way up high with a view, before he stops to walk. I start at a trot and let him naturally break to a canter, then when he slows back to a trot I push him a little more to maintain it and then let him break to a walk when he's ready. I figure being stuck riding around here will at least give me some concentrated hill work and get to where we are trotting/cantering up the whole thing. He doesn't stop to rest on it at all, by the way, just slows to a walk and finishes the hill at the walk. Anyhow we did 8 miles up and back in an hour 40, slightly slower than I intended because I had to re wrap his interference sore and dither walking a bit (arg). Plenty more sun in the forecast though! It was a nice morning ride as well, a big black and white butterfly followed us for at least a couple of miles and there was a breeze at the top of the hill and lots of birds singing.
When I got back our friend Jason was around so I enlisted his help to hold the filly while I tacked momma D up in the cross ties. There just isn't a safe spot to hard tie the filly at the tack area and she is too small for the cross ties. I saddled momma with western saddle just in the off chance she did something silly I didn't want to risk my endurance saddle. Our jaunt down to the arena was pretty comical as filly was zipping back and forth on her lead line like a little nutter. She never hits the end of the rope hard she puts a hard stop just in time and the goes the other way, but only for a minute. It seems like uncontrollable happy baby energy and she comes back into her manners quickly. Mom did great lunging under saddle, she responded to stopping and changing directions better this time and walk trot cantered off my voice. Filly ran around like a nut job so at the end of fifteen minutes she was absolutely slathered in sweat. Momma was sweaty as well but nowhere near like filly! Jason was around to help again when I was done so after I sprayed off momma D I decided the sweaty filly needed her first bath. We had rather a lot of squirming and silliness but in the end she did get a full light hosing. Two big firsts in two days! Now I'm already tired and not even 2 in the afternoon!