About three days ago, I trotted Red briefly under saddle to see if that would help or hurt his recovery. Today when I put him on the lunge, he was slightly, but only slightly better - when he was moving out in a straight line the unsoundness at the trot pretty much went away, but as he started out and slowed down, or moved on a curve, it came back. As my vet/chiro says, sprains/strains take about 6 weeks to heal, and it's only been about 3 1/2 weeks. So Red and I will be slowing down his rehab. He'll still go to daily turnout and will self-exercise out there - he freely trots and canters on both leads and it may be that my weight plus that of the saddle is enough to make things too hard for him. Moving at liberty in turnout may slightly slow down his recovery, but should result in a better recovery long term - his injuries aren't that serious. For about the next 10 days I'm not going to ride him, even at the walk. This presents some challenges - he's very insistent about having his daily work session - calling to me and even banging on his stall door. He's very interesting in getting out of the arena and exploring, so we'll be taking some hand walks - down the paved driveway to stimulate his feet and also around the various pastures. We'll see how that entertains him . . .
Pie and Red actually got into a little altercation two days ago. I was leading them in together, as I often do, and all of a sudden Red bellows and kicks out at Pie, connecting with his right hock - thankfully, only a glancing blow resulting in a small cut. I told Red in no uncertain terms that this was never acceptable when he and another horse were on the lead - I think he got the message. I suspect that Red was playing with Pie - nipping him - and Pie bit back, causing Red to kick out. The boys seem to be the best of friends again today, and Pie's hock looks fine and he's sound, which is certainly a relief.
Dawn and I have had several really good early morning work sessions. Today, we did lots of canter work on a loose rein - she just floats around the circles in a lovely, balanced, forward but relaxed canter. She does tend to accelerate when we go straight, but then we either circle again or come down to trot. Now I'd like her to stay calm and not rev up with rein contact - we're getting there . . .
Thanks to all who commented on the blog reorganization . . . need to get to work on that.