It's been 4 weeks since Desire's last trim and almost 6 weeks since I last rode her. In fact, with one exception, I hadn't hauled her anywhere off the property since Hat Creek Hustle in early June. And here it is, almost August! I must say that while I missed riding her, my 3 other horses (oh yeah, and life) have been keeping me quite busy. It was great to get another successful LD in on Blaze this month and finally get my filly riding in the trailer. But I was definitely ready/terrified to get Desire back out and on the trail.
I've evaluated her and worked her a handful of times in the last few weeks, just on the ground in the arena and round pen. She had been working completely sound, but I kept chickening out of riding her! She is such a fabulous, fun ride but is 16 years old next month and I am very concerned with her health and happiness over the long term--and boy, there is nothing like a lameness in your teenage endurance horse to throw you for a loop and make you question, well, everything.
Anyhoo this morning I had a ride planned with N--had told her I didn't know what color horse I'd be bringing--and I finally bit the bullet and decided to pull Desire to take along. We got an early a.m. hay delivery (huzzah!) and then I set the Specialized up for Desire, loaded her tack, combed the 200 stickers out of her mane and forelock, and off we went.
6 weeks later, she's still a piglet
I put her in thickly padded Easyboot Epics in the front and her usual Easyboot Gloves in the hind. The theory is that the slim line Gloves weren't giving her nearly-flat, thin soled front hooves enough protection and since her lameness was inconsistent and confusing, my trimmer and I figured eliminating one potential problem (being footsore vs. muscle/tendon etc sore) might be useful.
Did I mention 6 weeks off meant she was very, erm, "natural," read filthy..yeah those legs are supposed to white/grey not brown/red but oh well...
Desire was very happy to see Willow, when I brought her over to say hello they snuffled each other and Desire gave a very breathy, tender little nicker/grunt. We decided to take a mellow ride around the 6 mile horse camp loop and along the way encountered D, another endurance friend out for a ride on her Arab mare with her granddaughter riding her Foxtrotter mare:
Grey Girls hearing things
Desire charged along at her brisk walk in the lead for pretty much the whole loop, we barely trotted more than a few steps and she was sound and quite talkative. She kept giving little squeal/grunts when Willow would come alongside/as if to pass her, something she usually does aggressively at horses she doesn't like but sounded pretty gentle directed at Willow. She did have her ear and eye trained on Willow's every move when she was potentially going to take the lead. *eyeroll*
We passed the horse camp near the end of the loop and there were some campers and horses in corrals. Desire wanted to stop and say hello and hang out and in fact was not very happy to walk off and leave the camp. Maybe she thought it was a ride camp and we should be sticking around in case there was a ride starting in the morning ;-)
Sheza put on a big show when we got home and I led Desire back to the shared gate of their paddock/pastures. There was a big dust cloud rising and I could just see a red streak fly past once in a while as we walked that way.
Ohhh mommymommymommy you came back!
Then Mommy dearest shared some of her hay and Sheza lost all interest in mommy dearest. As it should be.