Thursday, May 9, 2013
We's Gots Boots
Not a great picture but the barn was dim last night, even with the lights on. We are having another storm, which thankfully is dumping rain and not snow, and the grey light outdoors made it pretty dark indoors. Even with the lights on.
So, the boots arrived yesterday and even though I was planning on riding in the arena I had to try them on him and give him a chance to get used to them. They fit well, although I had a small issue with one of the back ones twisting just a touch and had to adjust it after walking him up and down the barn. He wasn't real excited about how they felt, but he didn't act up. I grabbed the lunge rope and took him into the indoor to let him get some of his agnst out. It was raining again and he didn't seem to mind walking through the puddles with the boots on.
In the indoor there were a bunch of people working with Rachel. I told her Ashke had boots on for the first time and that I wasn't sure how he was going to act. Rachel laughed and told her girls to move out of the way. I let Ashke do his thing, which included bucking with both hind feet trying to get the boots off. And then cross cantering in both directions. It wasn't cross cantering so much as it was moving both hind feet at the same time. I really think it was a trying to kick them off thing. He went in both directions for a few minutes, then suddenly stopped and looked at me.
Just as clear as day I heard him say, "Ok, I understand now and I got it. We don't need to run in circles any more."
I walked up to him and took him over to get his bridle on. He lowered his head and opened his mouth for the bit. We rode at the walk and a little at the trot, with me concentrating on moving with him, of letting my hips swing freely at both gaits. He was still favoring his right front foot. I think we packed some sand into the toe and that was putting pressure on that hoof. I wasn't planning on riding him for very long so I asked Sherl to open the gate so we could adventure out into the rain.
It had mostly stopped raining.
Ashke and I did a loop around the property. There were places where the ground was soft and spongy. There was slick grass. There was mud and mud puddles. And there were rocks. He handled all of those things with little issue, although he did have a couple of tender moments but they were very minimal. No sliding. The boots didn't suck off. I figured that was a win.
We went back to the barn and I unsaddled Ashke, then led him into the wash stall. I kept my back to him and played with a peppermint in my hand so he could hear and smell it, but not see it. He followed me in while tugging on my arm with his nose. I rinsed the mud off his boots while he nickered for more peppermints. Then we went back to the grooming stall so I could pull them off. The back ones came off easily. The left front was more difficult and the right front required a can opener and crowbar. Seriously. It was tough. I don't remember it being that tight when we were testing them.
I just know Michelle is going to make me rasp the sides of his hooves.
The boots were packed with clay mud. I rinsed them out really well and hung them to dry. I can't wait to try them on a real trail ride and am already dreaming about going back up on the mesa. Bad, right? I just think it'll be much better and we might both be brave enough to ride down. :) I just have to find someone who is willing to ride with me.