My husband's friend and his son are visiting this weekend so I didn't plan any lake riding adventures, but when the boys went to the river to go fishing this morning I had a few hours to ride from home. I'm keeping Blaze on at least 20 miles a week at this point so it was his turn to go for a spin to the Wildlife Area. I hadn't ridden in there in a while and was feeling the need for speed.
I'm getting pretty handy at swapping out the fitting cushions/shims on the Specialized these days. Now that Blaze is back in action I have to switch between his and Desire's set ups fairly often, and I'm pretty happy with how it's going. Both horses backs seem happy under moderate to heavy riding, can't ask for much more! I noticed Desire's thinner fitting cushions have already compressed quite a bit and I'm wondering how long they'll last that thin or if the fit will start to suffer. Time will tell!
Shiny boy--shut up he is not fat! He's big boned..hahaha, okay but he IS big barreled.
The wind is coming in strong sudden gusts today, probably 30 mph at the fastest. Even steady old Blaze was pretty spooky heading out, eyeballing everything and spooking at lizards and leaves and anything else that might move a little here and there.
Those ears say "Horse eating leaf!"
More uncertain ears, at the jangly bell-wearing cows that always scare Desire:
Standard flower picture..it's just a beautiful time of year..
It's just over 3 miles to the Wildlife Area where I can either turn left and head out the dirt road past our friend's house, or stay straight to go into the WA itself. Today we tiptoed over the cross bars on the side of the cattle guard and out into the peaceful fields.
Such a beautiful grove of trees with lichen and new leaves positively glowing!
Blaze has been trying to convince me he has never and shall never cross water in our last few rides, and today was no different. His ears say, WHAT IS THIS WET MADNESS! Oh, the same stuff I just crossed before..BUT IT'S MOVING!
Anndd we walked on through, both surviving unscathed.
It's beautiful and peaceful out there, it's kind of a valley ringed with trees and was in a lull from the wind, totally okay with me!
There are a couple of different dirt tracks heading out in the WA in different directions, they are only about half a mile long each, some shorter, so it's a fun place to go for some blasting trots and canters, since there are no vehicles and open spaces with good footing. We had a long trot out to the farthest field and then I remembered the big hill I discovered last time I was there, so I used it like a "runaway ramp" and pointed Blaze up it still at the trot and he puffed away up that hill to the top. It definitely took some of the spooky wind out of his sails, and we stopped for a breather and the view at the top:
We blasted along some more after descending, I even took a cool video of cantering and hand galloping across a big open field. It was going to be the same mileage as our last few rides so I figured I'd up the speed a little and have some fun.
Just before the cattle guard on the way out there was a lady walking a dog and turns out she lives on that road and has the two cute greys I always admire when I ride by. One is clearly an Arab but the other I couldn't quite tell, turns out it's a POA and reminds me of POA Mimi from Go Pony. The lady was interested in Blaze's Easyboots and thought she might try them for her horses.
On the ride home, about 1/4 from our house there is a house where a nice old guy and his wife and daughter live. They sometimes have their horses up to visit from their's son's place in the next town and I've talked to the man, S, a few times when riding by on one horse or another. On my ride past this morning I had noticed their big buckskin was alone in the small paddock and whinnied at us but was 3 legged lame when it tried to walk over to the fence line. Well on the ride back I could see the poor guy lying down flat out in his small shed, not moving a muscle. I was really concerned and saw S out walking his pet, Oatie the Goatie, so stopped to talk to him. Well the story was sort of convoluted but apparently the buckskin was either lame when his son pulled him that morning for a branding, or became lame when running from being caught, possibly crashed into the fence, but could have also been kicked..whatever happened, it happened in the other town and after being seen by a vet-- who said it was just a deep muscle/tissue bruise/contusion, could be a year to be sound--the horse was trailered to their house here next door. Unfortunately that's about a windy hour long trailer ride for a horse that can't use one of it's legs...so yeah, not good. The vet left Bute and the gelding had had it and eaten his morning hay, then retired to his shed to lie down in a lot of pain.
I tied Blaze off and he just grazed and chilled while I checked out the gelding, Bubbles, so named because he loves blowing bubbles in water. He is a big handsome buckskin, probably 15.2 at least and well built, in good weight. They got him from the Feather River College sale a few years ago and said he is a wonderful horse. He was lying quietly in the shed, his eyes a little glazed over, obviously out of it. It seemed to me that we had to help him get up, since his bad hind leg was down and would be the one he had to push up with when, and if, he tried to get up. He did half heartedly try to get up while we stood there but didn't even get a foreleg in the right place before giving up. I told them I would ride Blaze home and get him put away safely then come back and help them get him up, but as I started to lead Blaze away the buckskin suddenly perked up and started to try to get up. They got a halter on him and pulled and pushed him and with their help he got to his feet pretty quickly. Phew! He limped over to his water right away and drank and was scavenging hay scraps so they gave him another flake of some nice grass hay. His gums were pink and while he was definitely uncomfortable with the leg he didn't seem in total crisis. It was good to see him on his feet, he had seemed to be in a real stupor lying in the shed and S was scared. Bubbles kept lifting his hind leg and kind of shaking it, like a horse I once knew that had a locking stifle used to do, and there was a slight swelling/bump/lump just below his hip point. I really wondered if it couldn't be dislocated in some way, but the vet that had seen him had said it wasn't. There was no wound and even the swelling at the hip was fairly subtle. There was some head scratching going on on my part. Usually there is a wound or something obvious to deal with, in my somewhat limited experience, and I just didn't have a clue on this. I told him to hose the hip and leg down and I would come back with some liniment, and trotted Blaze home. Joey was very happy to see us coming up the road:
Georgia and I jumped in the Polaris and brought the Sore No More and some fly spray back down with us. I even brought a few carrots but Bubbles simply did NOT want carrots! He turned up his nose at them, literally, and just ate his hay. Pretty funny. S had been hosing his leg while I was gone and said the gelding had seemed to enjoy it, and I gave him about half the bottle of Sore No More and showed him to rub it on the swelling area. I also offered to split the call out cost for my vet on Monday for a second opinion, but I could tell they were hard up on money and they declined. I really hope he gets better, I'll go by in the next few days and take a peek at him. He is a big handsome boy and very sweet and kind, and apparently only 8 years old so plenty of life ahead of him.
Everyone think good thoughts for Bubbles. His owners aren't the most educated in things but they do mean well and sincerely love their horse.
I leave you with this: