Thursday, January 10, 2013

Red Deals with the Menacing Mini, Donkey of Doom and Panicking Pony

Tuesday, the day after the vet cleared him to start back to work, Red and I started real trot work again.  We've been walking under saddle for a long time, with occasional attempts at trot, but now we don't have to be so tentative about things.  He's terribly out of shape, so we're easing up on it by doing a few laps of trot, followed by walking for a bit, and then more trotting.  He still huffs and puffs - he's also a bit overweight although I think that will improve quickly.  We're still doing a long - 15 minutes at least - walk warm up to stretch things out, and our total trot work is still less than 5 minutes per ride.

After two days, he seems to be moving well and to be pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing - I expect he was quite bored with all the walking, as he's a pretty high energy horse.  It's great to be able to really ride him again.  He's a real blast to ride - incredibly responsive and forward and he carries himself beautifully - it's like riding on air.

Yesterday we had to deal with the Menacing Mini, the Donkey of Doom and the Panicking Pony.  When we entered the arena, there was a mini being looked at - he has an abscess.  This mini isn't in Red's herd - there is a mini in his herd but the other one is kept in a paddock as he's previously foundered.  So Red's eyes were bugging out at the unfamiliar mini, and his head was straight up in the air - he kept glancing at me as if to say "is it a dog? a wolf? a horse I don't know?"  And then, when the mini left, the donkey started doing that wheezy, raspy, almost bray that they sometimes do - the donkey shares a stall with the mini and worries when he's not there.  Red was clearly thinking that was just too much.  But he stayed with me, and very quickly started to calm right back down - I love how quickly he comes back to me now when he's worried about something.

As we were working, a pony came into the ring for lessons.  This pony has a tendency to race around and to have trouble settling down, particularly if the kid riding is nervous or tight.  The poor kid was wrestling with the pony, and both the kid and pony were getting more and more agitated.  Finally the kid was panicking, and so was the pony.  Since it looked like the pony was getting ready to bolt, I dismounted and held Red in the center of the ring - the instructor got on the pony and settled him down so I remounted.  Red was perfect for all of this, and our work session went really well.

He also seems to be enjoying having Surpass rubbed into his inside lower hock joints - I have to kneel down on one knee to do it in his stall while he's eating his hay after our ride.  I expect it may feel good right away - the spot I'm massaging does get warm as I'm doing it.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our renewed work continues to go well.

14 comments:

  1. Glad that you had a good ride and I hope that the good rides keep happening :)

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  2. Quite an eventful ride.

    Have to laugh a bit about the "Donkey of Doom." In a former stable, the owner got a donkey and put it in the paddocks while I was out on a trail ride. On the way back, riding my seasoned event horse, the donkey brayed. I was dumped on the shoulder of the road as my horse spun and bolted off in panic. Later, the two became fast friends, but that introduction was rather "exciting," to say the least. *lol*

    Glad Red is mended and ready to get back to form. You should be smiling from ear to ear. *G*

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    1. Sounds like Pie's initial response to small children - he actually likes them now!

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  3. Glad you and Red are back in business!

    I can relate to donkeys of doom...

    The first and worst fall of my riding career came when my lesson horse bolted. My foot got hung up in the stirrup and I was dragged unconscious several circuits of the ring.

    The cause - the resulting noise from our barn hosting an entire donkey baseball team for the weekend. ;D

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    1. Glad you survived - can't imagine the noise a donkey basketball team could make . . .

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  4. I was returning from a trail ride on my mustang when one of the new mules at the riding livery next door cut loose with a bray.

    My old guy's eyes bugged out so far I'm sure he could see his own tail, but he stayed with me.

    Bill

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  5. Donkey's are pretty loud. I was lucky that some of my horses were boarded with three of them in the same barn years ago.They didn't seem to be bothered with them at all.

    Sounds like you and Red are on the road to fun times again. So glad he's doing well. Kids on runaway ponies are never a good idea, I'd have gotten off too and waited it out.

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  6. Laz loves his Surpass massages as well. I rub rub rub it in for about 5 minutes with a glove. Do u use your bare hand? I've heard if you have arthritis, it's a relief to fingers as well.
    So glad that Red is able to trot and it sounds fantastic to ride (on air!!)

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    1. I do use a glove - the vet said I should.

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  7. How long was your rehab Kate, with Red? We two have been at it though you much busier than I with 2 other horses. At least they are all in the local. My sister's offer to ride was 20 miles away from my place and VERY cold in the winter, being an open arena. ICK.

    I am about to start the walking process, under saddle now...just got a saddle to use and she has lunged twice at calm walk/trot.(bad leg outside)

    I'll have to look up that Surpass product. Iv'e just been using Arnica poultice, for cooling effects.Plus Sore no more spray beforehand.

    I am so happy that he is such a star, comes back after menacing small animals, as such you mentioned!

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    1. Red injured himself back in June when we were cantering and he almost fell with me - we think in catching himself he strained his left hind Achilles tendon and also tore a muscle in his hindquarters. And then he got kicked in the same hock and got cellulitis. All of that apparently aggravated some underlying hock arthritis, although we think the soft tissue injuries have been healed for a while. We've been walking under saddle for a long time - since the fall.

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  8. I do hope all works out well with Red. Loved your description of the monsters he had to face!

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  9. Hi Kate,
    I've just started reading your blog (I have two horses). We're in the New Forest in the UK. Mine are a yearling and an 8 y/o, the 8 y/o has just come to me from Ireland and I don't think he's had much experience of donkeys or shetties, both of which run wild in the forest here. You can imagine the results when we have to go past them. I'm convinced he thinks the shetlands were once the same size as him but some unfortunate accident cut them off at the knee. The donks come from outer space as far as he's concerned! Your blog entry made me smile- we may live thousands of miles apart but our horses react the same way to the same things. It's lovely to read of your experiences too.

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    1. One of the fun things about blogging is "meeting" horse people from around the world! Horses are horses, whereever they are . . .

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