Two days, three rides, plus a bonus ride on Friday. I’m keeping the pedal to the metal, and am determined to use this long stretch of not traveling to my best advantage.
Derby hanging out with his good buddy C. It’s hard to tell who likes who more.
On Friday, I snuck in an extra ride, but not on Derby. Derbs took a break from me to partner C., a friend of Natalie’s, who also has a penchant for bay TBs. She recently had surgery on a leg, and her ride on Friday was her first in forever. It was also the first nice spring day, with temps into the 50′s, and after tooling around in the arena, they took a tour of the farm. Looks to me like they both enjoyed themselves, if the smiles (and floppy ears) say anything at all.
My ride on Tuck wasn’t the most fantastic. I struggled with getting him connected, and was having to constantly remind myself to give with my hands.
I planned to ride both on Saturday, but my plans went sideways when I got a call from the fellow who keeps Jag for me. Jag has uveitis, and the eye was flaring up badly. I called the vet, who happily was in the area, and Jag was seen within a couple hours. It was the world’s shortest emergency vet call, however. Dr. Tully took one look and said that it was time for the eye to come out. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed for no complications, and a quick return to a comfortable life for my number one boy.
So on Saturday, I rode Derbs, and struggled a bit more with connection, while also working on really upping the trot tempo, with more success on the latter. But all in all, it was a pretty “meh” ride. I cut my losses and spent time trucking around in two point.
Field trip! Derby and C. took advantage of the nice spring day on Friday to stroll around the farm.
Today, however, I got my act together. First and foremost, Derby was again behind my leg and failed to respond with any alacrity to my request to step it up. So he got a good crack on the hiney, to which he responded by humping his back and then, perhaps thinking better of it, proceeded to step into a canter. I let him go, urging him forward when he felt like he was flagging. I need to tune the ‘go forward button.’
We had some better quality work after that canter, but I still wasn’t happy with my connection. I didn’t feel like I was getting him out to the end of the reins. So I practiced stretchy trot – something I’ve not done enough of, and frankly don’t do well. Up came his back, and he stretched nicely out and over his top line. We did a couple laps and then switched direction. I was pleased. This was progress.
Once Derbs was cleaned up and enjoying a copious serving of beet pulp, I went and fetched Tuck. Our ride today was better, as I worked to recreate the out-to-the-end-of-the-reins feeling I had when getting Derby to stretch. Another productive ride.
It’s going to be an eventful week for all my animals. On Tuesday, Derby’s vet is going to evaluate him and decide whether it’s time for some joint maintenance. He’s been feeling stiff, dragging his hind toes, and watching him try to lie down to roll is painful — he lowers his front end, leaving his hind up in the air, and just doesn’t seem able to fold his hocks underneath himself – instead, he collapses awkwardly to the side.
Then, on Thursday. Derby is also getting a chiro treatment. And on Friday, a massage. He will feel like a new horse come Saturday!
Friday is also Cat Rodeo day. All three of the house cats are headed to the vet for shots and a pre-dental check up, so I can schedule teeth-cleaning for all three fuzz butts. Their breath is gnarly. It is time. Ironically, having about 28 lbs of cats vaccinated, inspected and made pristine will cost more than eye surgery for Jag, or (in all likelihood) joint injections for Derby. But it’s all part of having pets, and I like taking good care of my critters.