On January 28th, Indy had his OCD Surgery. He then got to spend six and a half weeks on stall rest. It was longer than we had initially planned, (see “Growing Pains”) but I would much rather be safe than sorry!
We had slowly been working our way up to being able to go back outside. We hand walked every day, adding one minute each day, making our way towards 30 minutes of walking. On nice days, I tried to slowly incorporate walking outside into our walks. Those usually were a bit too overstimulating and resulted in lots of leaps into the air.
Finally though, the day came. It was a beautiful day in New England, upper 50s in March, with partial sun and a light breeze. Indy had no idea, as he had sadly accepted the life of being an inside horse. I tried to keep his schedule routine; a short walk, a grooming, then a snack-treat, as we usually do.
I then went and got Shady, his mom. The plan was to bring her on our short walk from the clinic back up to the boarding barn. I had hoped that she would be a calming influence on her. That worked for about 50 feet, then things like this happened:
Which led to this:
My fear was that he was going to hurt himself. I have to say, I wasn’t really in fear for myself or Shady; Indy has been very, very good about staying out of our “bubbles” when misbehaving. That doesn’t mean I’m not fully aware and on my toes. Just appreciating the fact that he seems to have some respect when having an explosion.
Then we would have a nice moment like this:
Which would last but a brief moment in time.
Finally, the round pen was in sight. Indy is restricted to a smaller turnout for 30 days, then we will re-evaluate and x-ray before he can go back out into his larger paddock. That’s fine by me especially since his regular paddock is a bit muddy right now! Shady is going out with him as well, as she is good moral support. She isn’t a big fan of playing and hopefully will keep him quieter.
When I set him free, he didn’t explode as quick as I anticipated. He stood there for a moment, smelling the wind, almost surprised to be free. Then it was game on! He didn’t run as long as I thought, which was good of course.
You can see Shady is slightly annoyed with her child. I like the part near the end where he smashes her hay pile.
Shady makes me laugh on the next two as she demonstrates her ballerina skills. Indy, on the other hand, gives me heart failure as he shows his potential for reining and thoroughbred racing.
He finally settled down to eat some hay with Shady. He had minor little bursts of energy, but was getting tired. It was a big day for him!
He still had energy to investigate what I was up to as I was cleaning his paddock up some.
A huge thank you to my amazing photographer friend Michelle at Michelle Burdick Photography! She’s been wonderfully documenting this experience and I can’t wait to see the rest of today’s photos!