Friday, June 27, 2014

Two out of Three isn't Bad . . . I Think

I have two sound horses out of three.  This morning, I put Dawn on the lunge to check her soundness - she's had about a week off from riding - and she was completely sound in both directions at the trot and canter.  We went on to have a lovely ride - she was very forward and soft.

Pie is much happier now that's he's getting just a smidge of turnout - yesterday and today he got 15 minutes in the late morning just before I was ready to bring Red in.  Pie galloped and bucked and farted and just had a grand old time, with a little grass nibbling thrown in.  Today when I rode him, he was much more settled - we even did a bit of lungeing before riding to check his soundness and he was very cooperative.  No pulses in the feet, so tomorrow he'll get 20 minutes out - yippee, I'll expect he says!

Red is very happy, but he is also very off.  I lunged him today, briefly, to check his soundness, and he was quite unsound - the right hind is the culprit, I think (the left hind which had the surgery seems fine).  Either he is dealing with the aftereffects of his fall on the concrete aisle about 12 days ago - he's got a new wind puff on the outside of his right hind, or he got kicked - there's a small ding at the front of his right hind cannon bone.  He's got a bowed swelling at the front of his right hind cannon bone - no heat or sensitivity.  I've been giving him aspirin, but in an attempt to simplify life have switched to adding it to his regular dry feed rather than giving him soaked feed with it added.  And he hasn't been eating it.  So, tonight, we went back to the wet feed with aspirin routine.  So it's either a ding, or no aspirin, or both.  Time will tell.  He seems happy and comfortable in turnout, so we'll see how he does.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pie Has Pulses, and New Summer Schedule?

Red is now out for about 3 hours a day with the herd, and seems to be enjoying it very much.  Pie is still confined in a pen, and I had been hand grazing him - we'd made it up to 15 minutes.  But, oops!  When I checked him last evening, he had a digital pulse on the lateral side of his right front foot - no heat or ouchiness but the pulse is a warning sign.  No more grass for him for a while - we've been having a lot of rain and the grass is profuse and rich and his system - customized for the sparse grasses of Montana - just can't take it.  Fortunately, this morning, even with no meds, he had no pulse.  I'll be waiting at least until July 1 to start hand grazing him again, but the timing will depend on the weather.

I like my barn in many respects - the owner is very nice and accommodating, the stalls in the little barn I'm in are very large - 12'x14' and the little barn stays cooler in summer and warmer in winter - it's an old converted concrete block dairy barn that is partly below ground - and the turnout is very good - large pastures and 7x a week all day turnout except in the very coldest or hottest times or when there's ice.

One of the things that's nice about our barn is that there's an indoor - the barn I came from didn't have one, which was a major negative.  The outdoor arena isn't anything to write home about - it isn't level and is partly sand and partly grass.  The negative about the indoor is that it's small - less than 60'x120', and when the hunter/jumper trainer is holding lessons, it's hard to find room to ride except for dinking around on the rail, which I don't much enjoy.

But during the summer, the h/j trainer has no lessons on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  So guess when I'm planning to ride?  We'll be doing a 4 days on, 3 days off schedule for now - Dawn may do 3 days on, 4 days off.  On other days, I'll just enjoy grooming and interacting with my horses - there's more to life than riding.  When we ride, I'll be able to set cones and poles, and use the whole arena.  And on days I don't ride, I'll have time to do some other things . . . today I took a really nice one-hour walk . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Left Eye Spookiness

Red is up to 2 1/2 hours with his friends in the pasture, and is a much happier horse.  Pie is up to 15 minutes of hand grazing - mostly weeds, clover and dandelions - he disdains grass and is very selective about the "summer tonic" he wants to eat.  Dawn's weight is holding well before her dental surgery, and I'm careful to find her some soft hay to eat.  And all rides are going well and everyone is currently off all meds and sedation - makes my life a bit easier.

Pie's left eye cyst - it's on the lower back edge of his iris - looks to be getting quite a bit larger.  The eye specialist was out last July and we didn't do anything then, but it may be time to have them come and take another look.  In our recent rides, even when I turn on the lights in the indoor arena - to reduce the contrast between light and shadow - Pie has been very left eye spooky, reacting to things while tracking right - where his left eye is on the outside - that he doesn't react to when tracking left - with his right eye on the outside.

Today was  good case in point.  We had a lot of rain last evening, and one of the paddocks outside the arena door had a large puddle in it.  Puddle?  Who cares?  Well, Pie did, a lot, when his left eye was out.  There were several major spooks - he plants his feet and spins.  I dismounted and led him out there, and there was a stretched neck, ears at attention, snorting - lots of snorting - until he could creep up on the demon puddle - it clearly was a gate to the underworld as far as he was concerned.  He seems to have trouble seeing things out of his left eye and making sense of what he sees.

Some of this could be due to his lack of turnout, although it only happens when his left eye is on the outside.  That will be clear shortly when he starts joining Red in turnout.  But somehow I don't think so.  No trail riding for us until we get this sorted out - a horse that can't see well out of one eye and is worried about it is no fun on the trail.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Twice on Pie (and Once on Red, and Once on Dawn)

Today was a long, but very good, horse day.  Red got 45 minutes of turnout with the herd this morning, and only had 1 1/2 cc of oral ace.  It was delightful to see him canter and trot off, perfectly sound, on his way to the pasture.  Today he stayed out with the herd in the far pasture for his whole time out, and I hiked out to get him.  He came back with me willingly, and we forestalled the herd galloping up behind us by taking pauses where I let him graze for a moment - the herd settled and didn't follow him back to the barn.

Pie was very upset that Red got to go out, and that he didn't.  He was squealing, and bucking and trotting and cantering in the two pens (his and Red's, with the gate open between).  He did settle down, but he wasn't happy.   I rode Pie for a while in the morning, after a nice ride on Dawn, but he didn't settle well and was fretful and distracted and a bit spooky - I'd be that way too, if I hadn't had a proper turnout in over two months.  Pie normally has to stay off the grass for the month of June - he gets sore feet otherwise - but his pen time started much earlier this year due to having to babysit Red - poor Pie.  I think I'll start some hand grazing with Pie tomorrow and hope he's a bit happier.

The horses came in around 10:30 a.m. due to thunderstorms, but I managed to get Red and Pie back out in their pens for a couple of hours in the afternoon, before the next round of storms came through.

So, in the afternoon, I rode Pie again.  He was spooky at a few points, but we had a very nice ride and he did lots of forward trotting - that should burn off some of his energy.  I also rode Red, who was very, very good.  We even did a small amount of cantering on both leads - just one lap of the arena in each direction.  He took both leads willingly and it was just lovely to be cantering on him again - he has a very nice, round canter.

So four rides in one day - I'm tired but happy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Red was out with the herd for almost 45 minutes today.  I gave him some ace again and led him up to the top of the hill and let him gallop off.  I walked back to the barn, and a few minutes later I heard him calling and he galloped back around the corner and down the hill - not too fast, thankfully - and up to the gate.  The far back grass pasture where the herd was is very hilly, and I think the horses were way back over the hill - when Red got out there he didn't see any horses and thought he was out there by himself!

I led him back out towards the back pasture - this is probably 500 yards or so from the barn.  When we got out there, the other horses were visible on this side of the big hill in the back pasture.  I let Red go again, and off he went.

About 15 minutes later, he showed up again in the front pasture, this time up on the hill next to the mare pasture where he could see the barn.  I think he might have been wanting to keep Pie in sight.  Within a few minutes the entire herd of 10 or 12 horses joined him - leaving the grass pasture to do so.

And the odd thing was, all the horses were clustered around Red like he was some sort of celebrity.  As they were all picking at the bits of grass that are all there is in the front pasture, every horse tried to be as close to Red as he could.  And Red spent some time grooming with his big friend again.

When I brought him back into the paddock, he seemed very contented.  Several of his herd mates galloped up to join us as we went in.

This afternoon, the vet came and cleaned Pie's sheath.  He's been uncomfortable when he pees - he was kicking at his belly and looking at his sides.  Although he'd only been cleaned 3 months before, he was very dirty and had several large beans.  He's usually not very happy about getting cleaned and often tries to kick the vet, even with sedation, but this time he was very cooperative - it must have hurt and I think he knew the vet was helping.  I guess I have to keep him on a 3 month cleaning schedule - it would be nice if he let me do the cleaning but no way so far.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Airs Above the Ground

Today, Red finally got a bit of turnout with his herd - it's been about two months since he's been turned out anywhere except a 25'x25' pen.  The pasture he goes in is big - three or four acres - and there's another pasture behind it - another three or four acres - with grass.  So to get from the barn to the back pasture is a long, long way, with some up and down terrain.  I didn't want Red tearing at high speed from the gate all the way to the back.

So my plan was to give him some ace - just 2 cc oral which is some but not a lot - and lead him back as far as I could before letting him go, so he'd have less far to run.  So that's what I did.  He led amazingly well all the way to the top of the hill - credit the drugs.  When he spotted the horses in the far pasture, his head went up and  I unsnapped the lead.  Off he went at a moderate gallop - no where near as fast as he's capable of - with his tail flagged.  There was a bit of milling around when he got out there, but no aggression - the grass was the main attraction.

Since Red was somewhat sedated, I stayed out there with him in case any of the more rambunctious horses started to give him trouble.  Had to fend off a few, but it wasn't bad.  He mostly hung out with his best friend - a very tall (almost 18 hand) horse, and they even did a bit of grooming - Red was clearly very happy with the social interaction.

After 20 minutes, when I asked him to come with me back to the barn, he came willingly.  The only excitement was caused by the other horses "helping".  There were a couple of occasions when the rest of the herd started cantering up behind him - I guess to see where he was going - and he did some bolting in circles and even some pretty impressive airs above the ground.  But I held on to him and he didn't run me over - again, the drugs were helpful.  I improvised a "chain" by taking the lead over the noseband of his halter.  After that we led back in to his pen next to Pie with no trouble.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, he'll get 40 minutes of grazing with his friends.  I expect he'll start calming down once he knows the new routine.  As he calms down, I should be able to just let him go at the gate without having to worry so much or sedate him. In a week or so, he'll be up to whole day grazing.  Can't wait for that, but I'm just glad the first day of turnout went well.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fruit Loop

Red was a fruit loop today - while we were hand-grazing - for 40 minutes - yawn - he did several big spooks - the type that'll give you rope burn if you aren't paying attention.  But he calmed down right away each time - grass will do that.

There is a "pool house" very close to the barn - it belongs to the barn owner's family and is used for family gatherings.  There are umbrellas and also an awning - today it was very windy and the awning looked as though it would take flight, which thankfully it didn't while Red was grazing.

When I led him back into the barn on the way back to Pie and his paddock, he spooked in the aisle at something behind him - the pool house activity, I think - lost his footing and partially fell in the concrete aisle - his back end went down and he got a pretty good case of road rash on the fronts of his hind pasterns.  Didn't look too serious, although there was blood and ouchies.  But fortunately, apparently nothing worse.  He was walking fine afterwards.  I cleaned his wounds and put Neosporin on and later in the afternoon, cleaned them again and put on some Swat to keep the flies off tomorrow.

No serious swelling or tenderness, so we rode.  He was understandably a bit stiff, but finally stretched out and was able to do some nice stretching down trot work.  We didn't work a full 10 minutes at trot, and I put him away after giving him a gram of bute to help with the soreness.

Silly fruit loop . . .

Pie and Dawn were both very good for their rides, and I felt fortunate to ride today since I spent several hours in the ER yesterday morning with really severe pain under one shoulder blade.  I'd been a bit sore all week, and thought it was just an overuse injury, but after various tests, the conclusion was that I have shingles.  I'm on anitviral meds now, and feel much better - much less pain and I'm no longer feeling yucky.  I didn't immediately get the shingles vaccine when I turned 60 - guess I should have done that . . .

Friday, June 13, 2014

An Anniversary Not Fondly Remembered

I let the date slip by without noticing - I suppose that's a good sign.  Those of you who've been following this blog for a while will remember that on June 11, 2011, I had a very serious fall off Pie while we were riding on the trail - three broken bones (two ribs and a collar bone) and a serious head injury (which would have been much worse or even fatal if I hadn't been wearing a helmet) that kept me in the ICU for a number of days and caused my heart to stop twice.  (I now have a pacemaker that I probably don't need - it is likely that the cardiac problems were due to the head injury.)

I don't know why I came off - I can't remember - but something apparently spooked Pie badly and I didn't stay on, landing on the hard gravel/limestone path - about like concrete.  My recovery was slow - it took quite a while before my balance, vision and strength were back to normal, and the nausea and headaches lasted for a while.  My short term memory was completely gone while I was in the hospital - I was about like someone with Alzheimer's - but that's improved although I'd say I've lost a fair number of IQ points and some things in my past I just don't remember any more. I couldn't drive or watch a movie for quite a while. The first time I went out of the house after getting out of the hospital, I fell down the front steps from the porch - that's how poor my strength and balance were. The broken bones healed well, although I don't recommend severe nausea with throwing up when you have two broken ribs - the pain is amazing.  Before this fall, although I'd had several concussions before, including a couple of serious ones, I'd never broken a bone, but I was in my late 50s (I'm now over 60) and the ground was very hard.

The good news is that I'm now a much more capable rider than I was then - I had to do that in order to step up and be the rider my horses needed me to be.  I worked with a very capable trainer (Heather Burke of Black Star Farms in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, who's a student of Mark Rashid's), and she helped me improve enormously and helped Pie and Red to work through some things as well.

But in the back of my mind, there's still some fear lurking - I no longer have that stomach-clenching jolt when a horse spooks or is worried, but I'm more cautious than I was.  Riding on the trail is particularly problematic for me - that's where I was hurt and you don't forget that sort of thing, and Pie can still be wary and spooky at times.  And right now Pie - my main trail horse - Red isn't ready for prime time yet although I think he's got the ability to develop into a fine trail horse - is in lock down due to Red's confinement after his surgery - Pie is Red's "baby sitter".

Who knows where we'll get to, but I'm not going to beat myself up about what I'm willing to do or not do with my horses.  Whatever we do is good, and I'm still riding, a lot, and I hope getting better as a rider a small bit at a time.  I'll never have that devil-may-care confidence that I had when I was young, but perhaps at my age, that isn't a bad thing . . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Birthday Girl

Today, Dawn is 17 years old.  It's hard to believe - she became part of our horse family back in 2001 when she was just 4.  She was my younger daughter's horse until my daughter went away to college, and then I "inherited" her, and she and I are now very close.

Here are some photos of her enjoying what horses like best - grazing with the herd:

Happy birthday to a very special mare!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


Dawn had a day off yesterday - she's often slightly sore after her hoof trim.  And she'll have another day off today.

Red continues to do very well.  Yesterday we did 8 minutes of trot work again, and by the end his trot was forward and engaged and he was doing some nice stretching down.  A day off for him today as well, with perhaps a walk around.  Monday we'll up the ante to 10 minutes of trotting and see if we can hold it there for a week - that's our next rehab goal.

Pie and I had a ride yesterday that started off very well and ended oddly.  For the first time in a while, his trot was just great - forward, engaged and with lots of elevation - and in both directions.  So I got overeager and we tried a little bit of canter.  Right lead, just fine.  But when I asked him for left lead canter, he balked.  Just plain refused to even move forward.  Now this isn't something Pie ever does, so it was pretty odd.  I asked for left lead canter again down the center line, and he was able to do a few strides.  When I turned around and asked again, he cantered, but it was horrible and discombobulated - I think he was cross cantering on the right lead behind and left lead in front - he'd tried to do what I asked but the right hind was just too weak to do it, so he had to do right lead behind.  He wanted to change in front but couldn't get his feet organized, so he was a bit panicked. Poor fellow - he's so willing to try.  I stopped, we did just a bit of trot to check his soundness - he seemed OK - and then I got off and apologized to him for not listening well enough.  It's sure a good thing horses are forgiving. I'll walk him around a bit today and we'll see how he is tomorrow.  He's only had two doses of levamisole (the immune system modulator we're giving him to try to dampen down his neurological symptoms) and it usually takes at least 5 doses before horses improve.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Red is Soundest . . .

It's 7+ weeks since Red's surgery.  He's doing very well, and his rehab is inching along.  We started our walk rides about 4 weeks ago, and we've made it up to about 8 minutes of trotting, in several sets, in our rides.  He's been on aspirin for two days now, and our last two rides he's felt the best he's been.

Just by chance, my regular vet, who has a really good eye for lameness issues, happened to be at our barn seeing other horses today.  She happened to walk through the arena while Red and I were working, and said that although he was taking a very slightly shorter stride with his left hind, that he looked very, very good.  And he felt really good - he was willing and forward, and happy.

After we make it up to 10 minutes of trotting, which should happen next week, and then do that for a week, Red will be ready to join his pasture friends in turnout.  I'll start hand grazing him when we hit 10 minutes of trotting, and work his grazing slowly up to one hour.  Then, when we get to a week of 10 minutes of trotting, he can have some sedation and join his friends for one hour of turnout on the pasture - the grass will distract everyone.  Over a week or two, he'll work back up to full day turnout.  Pie will have to wait to go on the grass until July - he's had grass sensitivity - sore feet - two years in a row, and there's no reason to take chances.

I've heard it said that a horse who is rehabbing should take as long to rehab as the horse has been out of work - in Red's case that's about right.  Taking it slowly, and backing off when things aren't going as well as they should, really pays off in the long run, I believe.

Oddly enough, Red is my soundest riding horse at the moment.  Both Dawn and Pie are still coping with inflammatory reactions to their vaccinations, due to their prior cases of EPM.  Red seems less affected.  Dawn and Pie both have slight weakness in one hind leg - right hind in both cases - and their gaits are slightly abnormal at the trot - not really lame or off but irregular.  Dawn and I aren't doing any trotting until she's sound again, due to her low hind pasterns, but Pie's able to trot around fairly happily, although we're not chancing canter, and he's no longer crabby, which is great.  Both Dawn and Pie are on 2-week treatments with levamisole to help dampen down their neurological reactions, and we believe they should be good to go by the end of their treatments.

I'm just happy to have three former EPM horses who have made such excellent recoveries, but it does take careful monitoring for unusual effects from stress or immune challenges such as vaccinations.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pie is Friendly (!) and Tries to Eat Something He Shouldn't

Today was a much better than meh day.

Red and I had a nice ride.  We did end up doing a bit of trot work, since his walk was very nice and forward.  His trot started out a bit slow and stiff, but he quickly loosened up and there were some nice moments of forward, relaxed, stretching down trot.  We only trotted about 4 minutes, to back off from the 8 minutes we did yesterday.  Tomorrow, if all goes well, we'll do 6 minutes, and then 8 minutes again on Saturday, with a day off on Sunday with some hand walking or walking under saddle.  It may be a coincidence, but I started him on aspirin (in the form of Aspirease) again this morning.  If his hocks are a bit sore, this may have made a difference.

And speaking of differences, what a difference in Pie.  When I went to get him in his stall, he actually came to the door, had his usual big drink, and came willingly out to be groomed.  There were no sour looks or ear pinning.  I tied him to groom, and he actually seemed OK with the whole thing - no complaints or signs of soreness - he was almost friendly and much more interactive (in a good way) than he's been.  His stance was also much better - square behind instead of odd.  I had no trouble picking his feet.  We had a very nice short walk/trot ride.  He trotted willingly.  I wouldn't describe his trot as completely normal tracking right - not off so much as weird - I've felt it before and it's hard to describe.  We're still waiting for the blood test results.

But he did give me a scare.  To groom, I tied him on one side of the aisle. There are large fans in front of the stalls in our aisle.  While I was grooming him, I stepped away for a moment, and came back to find Pie chewing.  His chewing was a bit exaggerated, and I caught a glimpse of something white in his mouth.  I thought maybe it was a piece of cloth from one of the rags hanging on the stall in front of him.  I pried open his mouth and reached inside.  No - it was the large knob on the end of the plastic beaded fan cord that I'd spotted.  He'd pulled the cord off the fan in front of him, and was about to swallow it.  I grabbed the knob and pulled - it took some effort to get it out of his mouth - it must have already been part way down his throat.  It was about 5 inches of cord, with the knob on the end.  Whew!  That might have been quite a problem if he'd managed to swallow it.

Oh, Pie . . .

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Today was a meh sort of day with the horses.  I got to the barn early but the horses hadn't been turned out - storms had been expected this morning but we only got rain.  The horses finally got turned out, and then I turned Red and Pie out into their paddocks.

I didn't ride Dawn, since she'd been kept in late.

In the afternoon, I rode Red, but he was stiff and lacking in forward for a good part of our trotting.  By the end of our 8 minutes, his trot was finally loose and forward, but it took a while to get there.  He's getting a day off - either a hand walk or a walk ride - tomorrow, and we'll see how he does the next day.

Pie is clearly having some neurological issues - I had some trouble picking his feet - in fact he almost fell on me at one point when he lost track of which foot I was holding and which feet were on the ground.  I didn't ride - an unstable horse (not to mention reactive and spooky horse) is an unsafe horse. We did a few minutes of hand walking, but he really wanted to get back to his stall, so back we went.  I should have his EPM test results by the end of the week, so we know if we're dealing with a vaccine reaction or a new case of EPM.

Meh . . . tomorrow is another day, as it's said.  The good news is I got to visit and spend time with my lovely equines.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

No Dental Surgery for Dawn, Red is Calmer and Pie Bolts

Dawn's dental surgery is being rescheduled - the office lost all their appointment data due to a computer malfunction.  She's doing fine right now so long as I'm careful about what hay she gets.  She's started on a 14-day treatment with levamisole for her mild neurological symptoms - her EPM titer came back 2-2-2, which means her symptoms are likely due to her vaccinations.

Red was much more chilled out today, although he bucked impressively this morning after rolling when I turned him out.  We did 7 minutes of trotting, and tomorrow I'm hoping to move him up to 8 minutes.  Once we're at 10 minutes for a week, he can start to get some herd turnout, which he sorely needs - this morning he was posturing/bellowing/striking as he sniffed noses with poor Pie . . .

Pie's right hind continues to be weak, and he's still very grumpy for grooming.  We rode for a while today, mostly at a walk.  I took him out in the pasture, and we were walking around when suddenly there was a loud crashing in the woods next to the pasture - might have been a deer.  Pie was very unhappy about this and bolted.  I turned him, and once he was facing the scary area he rotated and bolted again.  We did this a number of times, and once we were far enough away for me to safely dismount, I did so.  I led him back down towards the barn - he was well-behaved but we didn't closely approach the scary area.  I remounted on a hill and we did some more walking around in the pasture, but not quite up to the scary place.  I then took him into the indoor and we did a bit of loose rein trotting - he's not quite right so we didn't do much.  We're waiting for the results of his EPM blood test - either he has a new case which we can treat, or he'll be a 2-2-2 and is having a vaccination reaction.  Any horse might have spooked at the crashing in the brush, but Pie seems a bit hyper alert to me . . .

Two bolts in two days . . .

Monday, June 2, 2014

Feisty Dude

Red was pretty feisty today.  When I turned him out into his paddock this morning, he bucked and then did his best to sprint around his paddock - it's the size of a large living room, maybe 25x25 feet.

The horses came in early due to some thunderstorms moving through.  When I came back in the afternoon, Red was pretty anxious to see me - lots of nickering.  When I put him on cross ties to groom, there was some pawing and head flinging - he was clearly feeling pretty good.  There was even one attempt at nipping, which I squelched.

We had a very nice ride, with about 7 minutes of trotting.  He was well behaved for the most part - once, when I nudged him with my heel to ask for more forward, he bowed up a bit and shook his head, but we moved right along.

A workman was hanging a poster (on horse diseases/injuries and when to call a vet) just outside the arena door.  Red took a bit to get used to that, but he did, and the hammering of nails didn't bother him.  As I was walking by the arena door (we were done with our trot work), the workman's tape measure fell off his belt and skittered across the concrete barn aisle - quite an odd noise.  Red bolted, but I managed to turn him after a few strides, and we went back to look at the tape measure.  I had the workman throw it down along the aisle a couple of times so Red could see - he was pretty ho hum about it at that point.

When I took Pie out for a hand walk - he seems to be feeling a bit better - Red was screaming and screaming - louder than usual.  I'd forgotten to take Red's ice boot off, so I tied Pie in the arena and went back to Red's stall.  His ice boot was lying crumpled up in the corner - all velcros still attached - and one of the ice inserts was lying in a completely different part of his stall.  He'd clearly been running in circles in his stall while kicking off the the boot - luckily no harm seems to be done to the boot or his leg - not sure how he managed to get it off while it stayed fastened.

I'm glad to see Red feeling good and feisty - that is his normal personality - it means he's feeling a lot better.  It makes handling him something that requires more care, but that's fine by me.  It's still a while before he's ready for full turnout - we need to get up to 10 minutes of trot work and do that for a week - which means he'll be full of energy.