Ashke is healing as quickly as can be expected. The tear in his flesh has healed over and the only thing that needs to grow back is the hair. It is still a bit warm, but not hot, with no signs of infection, so I think it has sealed internally, and a scab is beginning to form. Ashke has been in turn out since last week, at least on the days when the mud is not too deep. It does seem to be drying out and his bandage was free from any discharge or blood when I changed it last night. I think once we have a healthy scab over the skin it should be much less bothersome to him.
Wednesday marked the first ride since April 10th, which is 23 days since the last time I was on him. I swear he heaved a huge sigh of relief when he saw the saddle come out of the tack room and all but inhaled the bit when I offered it to him. We rode for about 10 minutes in the arena and then I took him outside to ride the edges of the field. I had expected to walk, but instead I got jiggy, fire breathing dragon horse. Not that he was rude about it, but he would not hold to a walk to save his life. Once we hit the edges of the field he grabbed the bit and burst into a gallop which I allowed until he started to feel ragged, then slowed him and asked for a walk. I asked for a walk for the next twenty minutes while he pranced and danced and tried to extend his trot. Finally, about 3/4 of the way around he settled into his distance eating, go forever on the trail walk and held that while snorting continuously back to the barn.
He wasn't totally sound at the start, but by the end of the ride the hitch in his stride was very minimal. I could feel it but I'm not sure anyone could have seen it. He was, however, fairly out of breath and sweaty. I don't think we rode more than a mile and a half over 30 minutes but that was enough to give him a decent workout. Hopefully, starting over with the conditioning shouldn't be too horrible.
Thursday I rode again. This time we were indoors and Ashke was very good. We did walk and a little bit of trot. He was sound at the walk and a little stiff at the trot. We worked on walk pirouettes and square halts and square turns. He was very good and maintained contact for the most part. We still have some stiffening of his neck and throwing his head a bit higher when turning to the left, but overall he has gotten better. Even with not being ridden.
He was sound at the walk after our ride, flipping his head and acting all impatient. There was no swelling and no additional heat in the leg. He will have Friday off, Saturday will be a bandage change and then Sunday, maybe we can do a short, mostly walking ride off property. We could do the South Platte from Adam's County, which should be really pretty and incredibly flat.