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.