Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Horses Have Staff . . . and Ice Massage

I turned Red (he says MY blog, all about ME - he's that sort of guy) out without sedation again this morning, and he was very well behaved - there were no aerial maneuvers and he just went about the business of eating hay.  He did try to say hi to the mare in the pen next door but she was having none of it . . .

Pie's Lyme test came back negative - nice to have that ruled out.  His crabbiness and muscle soreness probably warrants a chiro visit, and I'm keeping him on UGard paste for a while to keep ulcers at bay.

Dawn and I are continuing to have lovely early morning rides in the run up to her dental surgery on June 4 - after that she's going to have 4 to 6 weeks off since no riding with a bit is allowed and Dawn just isn't a bitless sort of girl - plenty of horses might be, but not Dawn.  She's getting some extra Ultium right now to add some calories and allow her to put on some weight before her surgery - she's far from fat but at least her ribs aren't as obvious.

Red and I have trotted three days in a row, and today he did a total of 5 minutes of trotting.  He was pretty chilled - I reduced his oral ace to 1 3/4 cc, which isn't much, but he was still rather groggy - tomorrow I'll reduce it more - I expect he won't need any sedation pretty soon.  It was pretty hot - about 85 degrees - and the leg was pretty swollen when we started, but he was sound.  Tomorrow, we'll take a break and just walk for 30 minutes and resume trot work the day after - no point in rushing things. Afterwards, I iced his leg for a while.

Now, a normal horse, you put the ice packs in the Ice Horse boot, and you put the boot on the leg, and you ice.  Not Red, no.  If you put an ice boot on, no matter how tightly, within minutes he will kick and kick and have it around his ankle - same thing applies with standing wraps, it just takes hours instead of minutes but he'll get it off, trust me.

Whoever said that dogs have masters and horses have staff got it about right.  I spent about 15 minutes kneeling in Red's stall with an ice pack in each hand, holding the packs on his leg.  I actually used the packs to massage his leg, rubbing and rolling them across the areas that were swollen or where there was lumpiness - not the incision itself.  He stood there very quietly, not eating, the whole time - he seemed to think this was a very good idea.  Ice massage . . . a new equine service . . .

I'm a big fan of disassembly, and taking things and making them work.  I take ice packs out of ice boots and use them in whatever way seems best.  I take the inserts out of Mattes pads and use them as shims, fanning and spreading them to get the best fit.  I combine Western and English tack, and I ride dressage using both a dressage and Western saddles (it helps that my Western saddles are designed to duplicate a proper balanced seat dressage position, which is not true of most Western saddles).  I use endurance reins with my Western headstalls.  You name it, I take it apart and recombine it.  Whatever works . . .

1 comment:

  1. Well that had me laughing! I wonder if Red is dreaming up more ways for you to serve him....
    Glad the Lyme test was negative.


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