Rain in CA?!

So, its been the storm of the decade over here in Cali. We do not even know how to handle this much rain after our drought. Its a third of the way through January and we have gotten three and a half inches of rain already with more to come. Which is awesome. We need it so badly. But oh my gosh do I miss being able to ride.

With all this rain, the arenas have been firmly closed for about two weeks. I was away last weekend looking at apartments for our move in San Diego so that wasn’t to bad. But now that I only have a few more weeks before I’m going to be separated for a bit from Scarlet, I’m really itching to get back into the saddle.

Wednesday was the first day I made it out to the barn in a while since all this chaos started. When I walked up, I realized that Scarlet’s stall was empty. But so were the ones around him. And then I saw that the gutter had fallen into the stalls. Scarlet is in a half covered mare motel and there is a gutter on the outside edge of the roof to direct run off away from the stall. It had collapsed yesterday morning and came into the stalls. So all the horses were moved to various other open stalls. Scarlet was down at the end of the row.

I got some cookies and gave him some attention before I took off his blanket to check how he was doing. Not that I thought he would be injured or anything, you just have to check when you have animals. So I’m looking and I look under his belly and see his sheath really swollen. Like my fist sized swollen. I touch it and its hot and fairly stiff but Scarlet does not react at all to me touching it. I can even touch it pretty hard and he didn’t care.

I google searched and found about 3 dozen different reasons why it could be swollen. I texted my train to see if she had seen if he was peeing. She said that it was fairly common in older geldings (Scarlet is going to be 20 in March!) for their sheaths to swell up from inactivity. The horses haven’t been going to turnout due to the wet conditions and since the arenas have been closed, I haven’t been working him much either. So we walked and trotted on the path around the barn for 30 minutes.

Scarlet was so excited to do that. I really need to be able to run faster to keep up with my horse when he is trotting. He went boingy boingy across the ground and it was all I could do to keep up and still breath. It was good for him to be out and he definitely was feeling it. When we were done, I checked him again and the swelling had gone down noticeably. So this is a common thing and something I now know to keep an eye out for. I will be going out even if it is wet on Thursday night to run him around again. Maybe even use the round pen if its allowed.

On the plus side, the next five days look to be dry and sunny. Hopefully it dries out enough that I can get back out on Scarlet a bit before I move and have to wait to bring him down.