It has been a very, very busy week for me. This is a good thing especially considering that it is winter in New England! I do realize though that I have been neglecting my blog and for that I am sorry.
Any spare time in between work has been spent with Shady and Indy. It’s important that I make time for them. Indy is quite bored being stuck in a stall and Shady is getting back in shape for the upcoming competition season (more about her soon!)
Indy has been doing really, really well. His hocks look great and the swelling is getting smaller and smaller each day. We’ve been adding a minute each day to our walks and today we were up to 14 minutes.
Keeping Indy from being bored has reached a new level. Last Monday, during our 8 minute walk, I realized that something had changed. Since then, every walk has some extra spunk in it. Indy feels good – and he thinks he is ready to play. I can feel him, radiating with energy, ready to explode. Sometimes, he just can’t hold it in anymore and he has a minor explosion of power. While I can’t blame him, I am terrified he will hurt himself. I must say, he has been very good about exploding away from me, but not pulling on the lead rope. I have switched to a rope halter for our walks. I did not want to put a chain over his little, delicate nose, but accepted that I needed more control. He’s not too fond of the rope halter, but does listen to it. Mostly.
Since the weather has been so nice, I have begun walking him outside a bit. We leave the barn door open so we can quickly head back in if need be. Though today I had to shut it because the other stall bound horses got very upset and were causing a ruckus.
My intention of adding the outside bit was to help re-accustom him to the outside world again, so when he does go back out it won’t be a massive over-stimulation of things. I’m sure I’m kidding myself; he is going to explode when he goes back out. But this is the excuse I’m sticking with.
I haven’t gotten any pictures of him walking outside as I don’t want to take my attention or my hands off of him. We practice halting a lot, while we stare at things. Sometimes we continue on casually. Sometimes all four feet leave the ground in a happy burst. I’m happy to report that despite the occasional excitement, the swelling hasn’t increased.
I’ve been giving him snacks during the day as well, to help keep him busy. He loves his chopped hay and his Cavalor VitaCrunch block – these keep him busy for about 45 minutes. Some small relief from the boredom of four walls.
The other day, we had a delivery of a set of stocks to the clinic. Most horses found these to be very scary indeed. I took it as a little mental exercise for Indy. He snorted at them, tried to go around, then realized that I was on them and asking him to do the same. Like a good boy, he sighed, sniffed, and climbed on up. He hung out for a bit, then backed off slowly and carefully. I was very proud of him! To mix up our walks, we occasionally round the corner and go in the stocks. It’s like trailer training, in a way.
We will check back in with the doctor tomorrow, but for now the plan is to keep walking, adding another minute each day. It’s hard to be so patient, especially when the weather has been so nice for February, but we need to make sure he is completely healed and not going to have any setbacks.
As you can see, clearly our progress is exhausting: