Friday, I took the day off work because I was really sick. Cough, congestion, and a sinus migraine. Completely forgot that Friday at 3 pm Michelle was scheduled to do Ashke's feet. She showed up, haltered him, pulled him out into the alley of the barn, dropped the lead rope and did his feet. He stood like a statue. I felt bad I had forgotten, but he is such a good boy.
Michelle and I talked about his feet. The imbalance on the outside of his right hind (he swings that leg to the inside which wears the hoof differently) and the front left is progressively getting better, which confirms my suspicion that the dressage work is helping him balance his body. We also talked about the new Easyboot shoes that were just announced. Michelle is going to a continuing education on barefoot trimming in a couple of weeks and is planning on getting some information about how the shoes work and what the options are for barefoot horses. I have already agreed for Ashke to be a guinea pig for this summer. The theory behind the shoes is that the trimmer does the feet, the shoes are glued (or nailed) onto the hoof and the horse wears them until the next trim. The Easyboot shoes are designed to flex and spread with the hoof, allowing the function of the hoof to continue, but still keeping the horse from getting sore. I would keep Ashke in them until the fall, then leave him completely barefoot over the winter. (I really am not liking the gloves and am thinking about the Renegades, but it is very tempting to not have to boot him every time I ride.) So, I will see what she thinks when I talk to her in March, a couple of weeks before our next trim. It will depend on what she finds out about the new shoeing technology and how much it costs and whether or not the shoes will work on Ashke's feet.
I got out to the barn on Saturday to meet N for her lesson with Cassandra. It took a while to groom Ashke, because his hair is falling out. I would be stressed about the fact he is shedding in February and our heaviest snow month is March, but he lives inside, so. We got saddled up and headed to the indoor. There was one other person there. I hand walked Ashke around the ring a couple of times before getting on. I walked him over to Cassandra and said something about the barn drama happening right now. She flared with anger and Ashke backed up fifteen feet all at once. He is so sensitive to emotion. I asked him to walk out and he curled himself up into a dancy, prancy Roman horse (so darn cute with his five inch roached mane). We danced in slow motion until he caught up with Cali, then he settled. N suggested transitions, so we did those until he really settled.
I worked in a circle off the rail on one end of the arena doing walk-trot transitions. Once we were moving in a nice, smooth trot I thought "canter". He would go ragged and not smooth, trying to anticipate the request. I would say "Trot" and continue to ride him just the same until he smoothed out again. Then I would THINK "canter" and again with the raggedness. We tried a brief canter to the right, but he picked up the wrong lead and when I slowed him he felt off. I asked Cassandra to watch him and she said he looked off on the right hind, which was the foot I thought felt off. We walked and then tried the trot again and she said he looked okay, but I could still feel it.
J saw me walking toward her and met us at the ring edge. I told her I had zero energy and he was a little off so we were done. We did some lateral work at the walk, worked on our turning on the forehand and turns on the haunches. Then did some directional backing, (L shaped.) Then we stood in the middle of the arena and tried to beg peppermints from Tamara.
Cali wasn't much better. She had green goop coming out of her nostrils and had zero go. It was kind of a bummer that N had just scheduled the lesson, not knowing her horse was sick. She and Cassandra finished up their lesson at the walk. I took Ashke in to cold hose his right hind foot. He has a scrape that is about the size of a quarter on the front of his RH fetlock. After cold hosing (where J and T fed him a handful of peppermints to stand in the wash stall) I added 2g of bute to his feed and put him in his stall.
His stall was a mess, due to a leak in the roof. The barn knows about the issue, but it's not top of the list, so when we have a big storm and the snow melts, Ashke has a leak in one corner of his stall. We pulled the wet shavings out, moved the old shavings in his stall to the leaky corner, and refilled his stall with new shavings. T helped out by cleaning and refilling his water buckets.
By that time I was running on empty and feeling sick and tired again. I'm glad I got out and got on, but I'm just as happy he was a little off, because then I didn't feel the need to push him or me. I'm certainly not at 75% yet, and if I had pushed, it could have ended badly. (It wasn't quite the voice in my head telling me not to ride . . . . . but it was whispering that it was okay not to push, not to really school, and fifteen minutes of riding was enough. In fact, just grooming was enough.)
The browband looks really good and I put it on the bridle. I brought home the first one I made. I am going to redo the original browband onto a new and improved piece of webbing. (I've got the process down now and sold my first one today. Well, she's going to try it on tomorrow and if it fits, she will pay me tomorrow.) Then we will have two. (My original ended up 1/4 inch short and was just a hair tight. The new one fits perfectly.) Now, I am going to bed to try and recoup the strength and energy I am missing so I can actually ride tomorrow. Hopefully, my healing process will improved and I will actually feel like riding. Hopefully, Cali will be feeling better. Maybe the predicted snow will not happen and I can ride outside.
We shall see.
Oh, and for those of you who were wondering why I was posting "test" blogs . . . I'm trying to figure out how to publish the blog on my facebook page without having to copy and paste the blog url in my status update. (Saiph has inspired me. And Lauren also.) So far, I have had zero luck. I think the sickness is fogging my brain and making it impossible for me to reason my way out of a paper bag.