I saw my pony! And we did more than walk and shiver! He didn't even threaten to double barrel me when I took off his blankets!
Mother Nature cooperated and it was 36* out for my lesson. Oh, sweet bliss. I rode without my winter coat! I pulled off his heavy and he was happy to have it off. I took the time to give him a good curry with the cooler folded back over his butt and he zoned out. He was so happy. So many itchy spots under his armor.
He's learned to deal with having his belly curried with minimal temper tantrums and today, he seemed to genuinely enjoy it. He started biting his cross ties again last month, so I put him on a daily supplement to manage his tummy. Two weeks in and the Smart Gut Ultra pellets seem to be doing the trick. He's nice and chill on the cross ties and hasn't lunged around while his girth is tightened. While his ulcers were treated for a month solid, he started to have off days again in January. I'm suspecting that the pop rocks didn't dose him consistently so he was treated enough for symptoms to abate, but didn't completely heal. The supp seems to be handling the problem and for now, fine. I've got it in the back of my head that I need to do a month of paste treatments to make sure he gets every bit of medicine. He has this annoying habit of flinging feed when he gets carried away. But for today, the alfalfa in every feeding and the supp has him happy and comfortable.
On Tuesday, we jumpa da jumps. After a week of very sketchy work and a sudden jump in temps, Theo was puffing and not pushing off evenly behind. His weak right hind put in an appearance. I joked that he was sore from all the walking in the snow, but I might not be far off. He was, for lack of a less anthropomorphic term, relieved to be back in work. Trainer A noted that he never stopped licking and chewing throughout the entire ride. I took my time warming him up and we took a lot of breaks so I don't have a stiff, sore horse for my next ride. He was very willing through the low, gentle bounces, but when given a break, he'd huff. Little Girl was huffing, too. Trainer A shook her head. Two of her fittest, best conditioned horses were huffing halfway through their gentle lesson. It's amazing how quickly we can lose condition. Theo went from sitting on the bit, begging for more to dragging and asking for a break in a week. Sure, he picked up every time Trainer A reset the jumps or I asked for it, but he was quick to drop the bridle and just sink into the footing.
Wednesday was better. We worked on trot poles and lengthening his stride. Combined with some stretching and laterals, he's starting to sit on that right again. Amazing how quickly he gets sticky back there. Not lame, but just stiff.
Today I'm planning to cut out earlyto visit the pony and it's a three day weekend with reasonable weather! We'll see 50* tomorrow! I might even take him out on a trail for some variety. The name of the game now is to keep him in consistent work so we can regain lost ground. I got my new Janet Foy book and it's great, I'll do a real review soon. But let's just say papi is in for some new forms of torture.
Hear that, Mother Nature? I've got stuff to do! Leave us alone!