Sunday, June 10, 2012

Too Hot

Yesterday in Denver, my car was saying it was 91 by 9 am. That is way too hot to ride, so instead J and I spent the day driving around. Sound like fun? Not really. I was having a hard time finding a running martingale for Ashke and we were having issues finding trombone music requested by T's instructor. I finally found a martingale at Brighton feed. It is basically white rope and a couple of rings. I think I could have made something like this, but didn't really want to drive to the hardware store. Cost wise, it would have been a wash, so I got it.

Pretty fancy, huh? It will give me some lateral movement, which Chris' martingale would not. I really wanted a tiedown, but nothing I saw would have worked. A tie down is like a simple halter with a rope leading to the cinch. It keeps the horse from throwing their nose in the air, which the martingale also does, but offers the rider a bit more control. The tiedowns that I found were incredibly heavy and very large. My boy's head is very refined. There is no way they would have fit. Anyway, I will try this today and if it is effective, I can always upgrade later to one that matches my gear. At least it would be easy to carry with me if I elected to go without.

We finally made it to the stable at 7 pm. It was still close to 90 outside.

Ashke was warm and sweating lightly when I pulled him out of the stall. I had decided before leaving the house that we weren't riding, so I was dressed in shorts, which were so much cooler than Levis. I lead Ashke over to the washing area. Even though he got snorty and took his time, he walked right up onto the concrete. We are making progress, Folks!

He sighed and dropped his head when I turned the water on, seeming to really enjoy the coolness on his neck and shoulders. That's a good thing. I really like the ability to cool him off with water, something that is imperative he be cooperative with if we are going to do endurance. I have started rinsing him off after our rides, because who doesn't want to take a shower and wash off the sweat. Hopefully it will make him less itchy and less likely to rub himself raw on the ball he has in his stall.

He did better with his haunches being washed. I've given up on trying to hold him still. He shifts back and forth on his hind legs when I am running water over his haunches or tail. I think last night was the first time we were able to fully wash, rinse and condition his tail. J said it was finally clean and silky to the touch. He did look pretty. He also let me wash behind his ears and the sides of his face. It's interesting that he has no problem with me doing that from the left side, but freaks out if I want to mess with his right ear. I can't find a reason for that - no swelling or heat - and once he figures out I'm not going to hurt him, he will drop his head. He'll let me play with that ear if I am on his back, or if I am rubbing it from the left side of his head, but he'll fight me if I am standing at his right shoulder. I wonder who, in his past, grabbed that ear in an attempt to hold him still.

After the bath we turned him out into the field. It did not take him long to get dry. It also didn't take long for the boy to decide he needed to liven things up. I apologize in advance for the quality of the video. It was shot as the sun was going down. Not great pictures, but I wanted to share anyway.

He really was having a great time.

As you can see the shadows were getting long.

Sorry for the little bit of finger in the upper left quadrant. iPhone video is challenging.

At some point the boy managed to clip just above the hoof on his back left leg. I have no idea how he managed that.

Will he figure out how to not hurt himself with his own feet as we go along?

After his little turn out romp, we sat in the shade and let him graze. It was close to dark by the time we took him back in. T walked to the fence and whistled to Ashke. Ashke ambled over to see what was going on.

They really are sweet with each other.

When we pulled Ashke inside I sprayed him all over with fly spray. He is finally beginning to figure out that I just don't do things to do them, that there is method to my madness. The flies were especially bad and I think he realized about half way through that the spray was helping. I even used the swat cream around his eyes, on and in his ears, and under his jaw. It was a bit of a struggle to convince him to let me get it on his right ear, but again, with patience and persistence, I got the fly wipe inside and out. Then we went back to the stall. He was much cooler when we tucked him in.

The only bad thing that happened yesterday was J finding that Ashke's right front hoof is starting to crack from the nail down to the shoe on the middle nail set. I am going to get a picture of it today, after rinsing off his hooves and message it to Dan to see if it is something that needs to be addressed. It is, of course, on his front right foot. All the rest of his hooves look fine. I hope that I can take a picture that shows how ripply and damaged his hooves were by the poor nutrition he was given, versus how nice the new hoof growth looks now. I have a Macro function on my camera, so I should be able to get a great picture of the beginning crack.

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