It was colder and a little windy. We had snow yesterday. I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity to ride before we hit the Mesa tomorrow. I borrowed N's BOT fleece cooler and draped it over Ashke's back to give it time to warm up his muscles. I groomed him by moving parts and pieces and leaving it on while I was getting him ready. I showed J the difference in temp when the cooler is over a healthy muscle and how hot it gets when it's over damaged muscle. I decided that leaving the cooler on was a good idea while we walked out to the dressage ring, but didn't want him to tangle in the straps, so I hooked them onto one of the loops on my saddle.
Can you see it, yet?
We walked out to the dressage arena, him snorting and blowing at everything. He was so UP. As we reached the far end of the arena, the wind caught the cooler and flipped it off his back. Unfortunately, one of the hooks I had looped through the saddle loop, held. Suddenly, I was holding on to a 1100 lb, panicked animal who had a freaking 8' by 5' black sail attacking him from the side. I don't remember dropping the stuff in my hand or even how in the world I held him; all I knew is that if he got away, he would be running for his life from the death kite into the road and beyond. I couldn't let him pull away from me, regardless. I held onto the reins with my right hand (thank god, I had the reins I did, my old rope reins would have pulled right through my hands) and managed to wrap the blanket up in my left arm. Once the black blanket wasn't billowing in the wind, Ashke listened and held still. I had pretty good burns on my right hand from the rein, but we completely avoided the whole "get killed on the Highway while running away from the blanket" thing. One more thing to NEVER do again.
The list of things to work with him on this winter has expanded by one.
After I gave J the blanket to take back to the barn when she walked back to get my helmet (duh!) and gloves, Ashke and I went into the dressage arena.
J got some decent video:
He was very up, which N had warned me about. The change in weather and not being worked for three days is having an effect.
In sidereins he knows exactly what is expected of him and he never even tests the reins. If you watch closely, you can see the slight short stride in his right hind.
It is less noticable when that leg is on the inside of the circle and he is bending around it.
He seems to work out of some of it. N thinks I should have Cassandra watch him to make sure this is driven by muscle weakness and not Ashke thinking he can get out of work.
The short striding didn't seem to be really bothering him, since his tail was up and his ears forward.
J kept yelling at me to stop looking at his head. So bad.
Some of the ride I felt like Ashke was doing what N was suggesting; he doesn't really want to try, because he doesn't want to be sore.
We only rode for about 15 minutes, if that. And overall he was okay.
He is very good at the walk, but he wasn't real interested in the trot and kept trying to move out of it.
I do think he was better than he was on Tuesday. After our ride, I covered him with the BOT cooler for about 15 minutes, then gave him 2 grams of Bute with his grain.
See how I am laying over to the left, looking at his head. It does tricks, you know.
He was very distracted by two very large black horses (Friesan and something else) tearing around their paddock after one another in the field behind the creek. He really didn't want to work then.
We will see how he likes the mountain tomorrow. It's supposed to be closer to mid 70's. Today it was in the mid 50's. Those kind of temps make this type of injury worse.
I also rubbed him down with Sore No More gelotion. We will see how he does tomorrow.