So. Ashke had Sunday off (Bronco game) and I rode on Monday night. I stood him at the tie post next to the tack room to groom him. He started to paw his way to China. I asked him twice to stop and then thumped his stomach with the back of my hand. It was not even a smack. Just a reminder to not paw. You'd have thought I had beaten him. He pulled back and flipped his head up like he was going to be killed. I told him to stop being silly and raised my hand to brush him and he pulled back and reared in fear.
Nothing like pretend fear, because I don't think he was really scared. Mostly he was upset I had tapped his belly. Sometimes he is like dealing with a toddler. God forbid he stand still. (Although, I don't care if he moves in the crossties, I just don't want to have to drag the arena because he dug a hole to China.)
I started to laugh and because I was listening to music through an earbud, I started to dance while waving my hands over and around my head. I was probably four feet away from him at that point. He snorted. He pulled back. He reared a couple of times. I completely ignored him and continued to dance badly, with lots of gyrations and waving of hands. Finally, he stopped and started at me in curiosity. I was laughing pretty hard by that time and it took me a minute to walk up and rub his face. I think he thinks I'm crazy.
After that he got tacked up and we rode. He seemed a little stiff and sore from our weekend. We started slow, did a lot of walk, some trot and a little bit of canter. I honestly can't believe how much he has grown and developed as far as the canter is concerned. Even stiff and sore he was able to hold the left lead and although he did have one spook, I didn't over react and after we stopped briefly, we went right back to the canter. We had two missteps in the arena, where it felt like he rolled his fetlock, but he seemed fine afterwards. We rode for about 45 minutes and then I tucked him away.
On Weds, I got out there late, so I just turned him out in the arena. He didn't look entirely right. There was intermittent hesitation or tenderness on his right front. I checked his legs and his RF fetlock seemed a bit puffy. There was no heat and just a little swelling. I cold hosed and gave him a little bute, then put him away. On Friday, I finally received my Smartpak (paid for expedited shipping. It was supposed to be here on Weds. I hate UPS.) We went to give Ashke the supplement and check on his leg.
It was more swollen. I trotted him in a circle and he was Grade 1 lame at the trot. But not on every step and no head bobbing. We went to try to cold hose it but the water was turned off due to a significant temp drop expected Friday night. I ended up putting his BOT boots on him and texting the BO to let her know. We went out again on Saturday and this time I was able to find a place where he knicked the outside of his fetlock. The swelling was gone, but I could still see just the slightest hint of hesitation. I think he has a bruise and is a little sore. He will have until Monday off and I will see how he is then. The BO said she couldn't see any hint of lameness and he was tearing around in turn out like a mad horse, so it can't be that bad. I plan on riding him in the exercise boots on trail going forward.
About the barn . . . . I love this new place. Two reasons that cemented my love for this place that happened this week.
First, on Monday when I got to the barn Ashke had a pile of hay scattered around his stall. They had pulled some of the hay from their hay storage to the barn and it was a bit different from what they had been feeding. There was a lot of brome grass in it and for whatever reason, Ashke hates Brome. I wondered how long it would be before he got hungry and ate it any way. When I was out on Weds, there was no hay left in his stall and he was working on the hay in his hay net (they load the flakes in slow feeder hay nets and hang the nets in the stalls. They have enough nets to keep one in the stall and one ready for the next feed.) I figured that Ashke must have stopped moping about the change in hay and he was eating again. On Saturday when we were out I saw the BO and as we were talking when she told me that Ashke was a picky eater. She had seen he didn't like the hay, so had her husband pull some of the hay with more alfalfa (which they had) and set him up with that. He went back to eating all of his hay. She was happy that she was able to accommodate him.
I was floored. Not only did she recognize that there was a change in hay and he wasn't eating it, but she took steps to change the feed for him so he was eating. Do you have any idea how many times I had to talk to the people at TMR about the fact that the grass hay was knee deep in his stall and he wasn't eating it? Or how many times I had to change my feed request because every time they got a new delivery of hay at SQA he wouldn't eat the new feed? The BO said that she now knows what he likes and since I want him on an alfalfa mix (or mostly alfalfa) that they are more than happy to accommodate his pickiness. I luvs them.
Second, I texted the BO at 7ish on Friday night to tell her I had him in wraps and asked her to check on him Saturday morning (since I had an irrational fear his legs would fall off). She texted me back two minutes later and said she would check on him before going to bed and again when she went out to feed the next morning. I have never had a BO or BM text me back that quick. At TMR I was never sure my texts or emails ever went through. I also know that the BO likes Ashke. She was telling me he asks her sometimes to let him go to turnout first and she accommodates him. He is very sweet with her and the head shying he was doing elsewhere has disappeared (I think the barn help at SQA would swat at him and I know at the temp barn the girls there whacked all of the horses.)
Overall, except for the little bit of lameness in his RF, I'm a happy camper.