Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who's on First?

Two and a half more weeks .. before school is done..
Then maybe I can get back to posting something worthwhile on this blog.
I have been riding a couple times during the week, just at home in the arena. Sometimes I can only sneak in a half hour, other times, its over an hour. JB has been laid up, as I mentioned in an earlier post but there is good news. I’ll get to that in a moment.

While JB has been off, I had to shift gears a bit about who would be my mount for the ride in July. Initially I hadn’t planned on riding Maggie for that . I didn’t think I could have her ready and still don’t, but with this recent development with JB, I had to at least work toward that as a goal. I still have faith that JB will be fine but in case he’s not….

I rode her three times last week at home and last Saturday, I made a fast dash with Maggie to Herron Park for a quick 5.5 mile loop. Yes, I drove 16 miles one way for a very short ride but I needed a study break and it did us both a world of good. This was only her second time out on a “real” trail and she did beautifully. She was tired and sweaty since it was all uphill on the way out, but she did learn that trotting uphill might not be such a good idea after all…she also started to really figure out how to travel downhill without crabbing.

Sadly, for safety reasons, I have had to stop riding on the dirt roads near my house for conditioning. After another recent close call of nearly being run into (what appeared to be on purpose by a crazy neighbor who hates the world), I decided enough was enough. I am tired of fighting crazy drivers; I am tired of my quiet horses being given reasons to be scared of traffic. I am tired of assholes… to be perfectly honest. Trying to ride on the roads around here is just creating anxiety in my horses.. and me , for that matter. I can’t say I blame the horses, when trucks and cars come whizzing by at 55mph , kicking up gravel and stones and dust. Anyways, I digress…

Without the use of dirt roads for conditioning, that only leaves me the arena, pasture and my dead end half mile cul de sac for riding during the week, but at least my horse and I are safe. In a couple more weeks, after school is out, I’ll be able to get home a bit earlier in order to load up and get to a trail head at least once during the work week. That combined with long days in the saddle on weekends will have to suffice for conditioning.

On to JB. JB has maintained a level of fitness from last year so even at this point, so even with this setback, I could still have him ready for July assuming this issue clears up. At the same time, I also realize the window of opportunity is closing in on me for that. I’ll only be doing the limited distance but I had really hoped to ride him both days for the limited distance. The ride is less than 11 weeks away, considering I wouldn’t ride the week before. I am trying to stay positive and flexible at this point.

The good news is that the lameness is improving and I would consider it a low grade at this point. The chiropractic/body work lady came out on Tuesday. By then, JB was already making some improvements and moving about 65% better than he was even 3 days prior. I had thought initially it was front left, where he had been kicked but it was a bit hard to tell because to me, he felt off in the front and the back. When she worked on him and watched him move, she felt his soreness was on his front right. My first thought was .. “Oh no, not again”. Of course, JB’s issue 2 years ago was a sole bruise on his front right. I know that he hasn’t bruised anything because he is only ever ridden in boots and none of our paddocks have rocks since it’s old river bottom. Given that, I knew I could rule out another bruise as a potential issue this time. It could also be compensation, for his front left. It’s really hard to tell. Long story short??? I have no idea at this point what I am dealing with. The good news is that everyday he is showing improvement. There continues to be no heat, no swelling, no odd bumps, etc. The chiropractor felt he was certainly sound enough that I should start riding him again. Light riding, of course, no tight circles, or anything like that and see how he does for the next few days. I don’t think I am ready to take him into the vet for a lameness exam quite yet. I know it will end up in doing nerve blocks to identify the area of lameness and that gets extremely expensive.

So last night, for the first time in over 2 weeks, we saddled up and took a spin. He actually did pretty well. He didn’t feel obviously off like he had 2 weeks ago but at the same time, he definitely didn’t have the “gusto” in his trot I would like to see. He didn't do the stumbling thing like he was two weeks ago when I discovered the issue. We worked for about 20 minutes and I put him up. We’ll do the same thing tonight. Keep your fingers crossed that he continues to show positive changes.

With no tests to study for, I’ll be in the saddle most of the daylight hours this weekend.

So many horses to ride, so little time....


cheyenne jones said...

We have a similar problem here with traffic. In the last 4 years I have been hit twice, by cars passing too close for comfort!

A next door neighbour lost three horses 6 years ago, on the same stretch of road. Unfortunately I cant see it getting any better.

But good luck with the conditioning.

Tammy Vasa said...

I had a close call a few weeks ago while road riding. It was my own fault really - not paying attention and the wind had picked up & I wasn't listening. Running up a hill & didn't hear a truck approaching the hill from the other side. We crested about the same time, luckily both on our own sides; him doing probably close to 60 mph. I did a quick "right turn, Clyde" and dove down into the ditch. Wayyy to close for comfort. Giving the guy credit, he usually slows for me - just bad timing. But really shook me up. Didn't realize how bad until the next time I went out.

I got up early on Saturday and rode my usual roads. Just under 8 miles and not one single car or truck! I was in heaven! I'm sorry someone took that away from you.