Doing Good

So my vet got back to me shortly after my last post. She was very pleased with the video and said she never thought we’d get to this point. I have the okay to give him a bit of lunging now.

The Wednesday after I decided to try a little bit. I’m only doing about 30 seconds 2x per week right now. Yes that is probably overly cautious but I have zero goals other than getting him stronger and moving more. So we will be cautious. Plus on the day after we first trotted, he was stiff for the first part of the walk. He warmed up out of it but that was unusual for him. Therefore, I will be super freaking cautious with all of this.

We’ve done three total small trot sessions. Sun-wed-sun. He’s moving okay. His right hock travels oddly. He hitches it up and definitely limps a bit overall on that leg. But he isn’t interfering and he isn’t tripping. That’s a huge improvement and I will take it.

Saturday I go ride Uno at his new barn. This Saturday was fine. He wanted to look at all the people walking back and forth from the soccer fields near the barn. I did not want him to do that. I have a difficult time getting him in the bridle at all and every time he looked, he popped right out. So we did a lot of circles until he would at least slightly touch the bridle again and then continue on.

Since that’s what the environment had me focused on, that’s pretty much all I focused on this ride. I only ride him once a week and I have discovered that Holly and I have very different riding styles. So there’s only so much I can do with one day a week. Mostly the riding is for me to at least get some saddle time. I do like to have something to focus on so I try to choose one thing to get Uno to do.

I am very appreciative of the riding time. Uno isn’t my type of ride but we’ve figured it out together over the last year. But I will be very glad when the opportunity to have my own horse to ride again. Hopefully it won’t be long.

Horsey Updates

I’m back! It’s been a bit, I know. It’s just hard to keep updating when everything is relatively routine and the same. But I don’t want to completely drop this blog as I love writing it and the people I’ve met because of it.

While Uno is now at a different barn than me, I’m still riding him once a week. Holly is an awesome friend for letting me do that. He’s been fine at the other barn. Less resistant to moving forward in fact. That might have something to do with Holly’s request that I lunge him before riding. Either way, its been nice.

What I focused on this last time was trying to get straight lines. He’s got a huge left lean and just doesn’t like to stay straight. Its funny because he doesn’t flex well and he doesn’t go straight well. We also were riding in the rain which made things a bit harder. Nothing makes me consider contacts/lasik more than riding in the rain with my glasses. It’s not just the water. Its the fogging up of the lenses. Its weird to ride in a fogged up world. Luckily, no speedy maneuvering was required so my glasses fogging wasn’t that big of a deal.

Scarlet is still doing good. I try to get a 20 minute walk in 6 days a week. There are some days where 20 minutes just isn’t working and we have to do 10 instead but I try to make sure those are as few as possible. He does get one day off a week. I need it more than he does.

Yesterday when we were walking, I took him down the little trail near the barn. He’s always been spooky on trails so hand walking him is an experience. He did not want to walk no matter what I did to convince him. So he jigged. And on the way back to the barn, that jig turned into more of a trot. He didn’t trip over his legs and it looked fairly regular in rhythm. So I decided to stick him out in the turnout when we got back to the barn so I could video and see it better myself.

And look at that! Look how awesome he’s moving. For him obviously, this is great. For another horse? We’d all be asking what is wrong. But he didn’t trip himself and the trot isn’t terrible. I sent this same video to my vet because I would like her opinion on how safe it would be to slowly (very slowly) add in a bit of free lunging at the trot. I want him to be healthy and have lots of muscle to support his lack of feeling. Plus free lunging would be a bit more interesting than just hand walking him everywhere.

When I showed this to some friends, they asked ‘Do you think he’s getting better?’. And the short answer is no, I don’t. There’s not really a chance of him get better the way they mean. He’s never going to get back to riding soundness. He can’t feel his back right very well. I have to really work to get him to lift his hind when cleaning it. He can’t feel me asking him to lift it up. His right fore has issues too. He can feel it better than the hind, but I think he gets odd nerve signals happening. He isn’t a horse that pulls his feet out of my hands but he jerks his right fore around sometimes. I’m pretty sure that isn’t intentional.

So while he isn’t ever going to be sound again, what I do think is happening is that he is adjusting to the amount of feeling he has. If half your right foot went numb permanently, you’d feel off walking around for a while. And after a while, you’d adjust. Your balance would change to match what you’ve got the ability for now. That’s what I think is happening. Is it exactly what I’d like? No, I want my partner back. But that’s not happening and while this isn’t the best case scenario, its pretty damn good.