Ashke was sound today when I led him out of the stall. It's the first time he's sounded that way since our first ride on the Mesa. He seemed pretty excited to see me and was really excited to find out that we were going for a ride. I groomed him and got him saddled and booted. I put the medium pads in the front boots and left his hinds bare. He was sound walking out. There was some hesitation on the front, but I really think it had more to do with getting comfortable with the boots, then tenderness in his hooves. Although, there was a half circle pawed in the shavings in front of the door when I went to get him out.
He was so excited to be going. We rode with Wrangler, who is a huge TWH with a very fast walk. Ashke pretty much outwalks Cali, who has to trot to keep up. Today, Ashke trotted most of the ride. We made the loop in about an hour and a half. There were several kind of exciting moments on the ride. The most memorable was at about mile 2 on the map below:
At about where the number 2 is on the map, we were walking down the hillside, headed for the sidewalk. Denise was in front of me on Wrangler and all of a sudden he went sideways. This is why.
Using iPhoto, this is what we rode past:
It was coiled to strike and was pretty upset at being disturbed by the horses. Wrangler was kind of spooky, but Ashke was pretty oblivious, which surprises me, since I would expect Texas to have more rattlers than Colorado. We were kind of gun shy about going into the grass again.
Ashke was pretty looky up until he realized we were headed for home and then he got very forward. He danced and jigged and did this beautiful trot with his head vertical, all soft and collected, which I pointed out to Denise is what I would love him to do all the time, but which he only seems to be able to do when he wants and only on the way home.
We had four bolts. One as we left the lake and he charged up the hill, so out of control I had to use a modified version of a one rein stop to get him slowed down. The other three times were when a motorcycle roared up behind him and he reacted. (This is residual behavior based on being chased around the pasture in Texas by the ATVs.) Every time he took off, I was able to rein him in and shut down the behavior. The saddle helped with that a lot. I feel so safe and secure in it I can't begin to explain how good it feels.
When we got home, we had managed the ride in about an hour and a half. I forgot to turn off the app, which is why it is says 9.43 (GPS malfunction) instead of 7.5. We averaged about 13 miles per hour. Wrangler could have made faster time than that if they had been pushing. Denise said they made the loop in 45 minutes last week, but if they had been moving that fast I don't think Ashke could have stayed up.
When I unbooted him the pad in the right shoe was pulverized. He is hitting the ground with that foot much harder than he is hitting with the left front. I think he is still compensating for the hip injury. I may need to talk to N about possible remedies when I see her next. He sounded sound when I led him back to his stall after rinsing him down in the wash stall. We will see what he looks like tomorrow when I go out.