Henny has been back under saddle for 3 weeks now. For the most part, it has been boring… which is a good thing.
We started with short, easy rides, and are slowly ramping our way back up. The aquatred kept all of his muscle (and then some) so he’s still pretty strong, but his cardio is not what it was. We were doing 45 minute long trots before, but 25 minutes has him a little labored now. We’ve also been doing a few hill repeats out in the field at the walk and trot… because when you live in a place that is fairly flat, a hill is a fantastic treasure that is not to be wasted.
I’ve been cautious about putting much stress on his leg, so we’ve mostly had dressage days and hacks out in the field. He’s only had 2 days of pole exercises in the arena, and one day of jumping in there. And by jumping I mean he hopped over a couple of 2’6″ fences a few times each. The footing has remained very good, so I’ve gotten lucky in that regard… the field especially is still nice and springy. I did jump my new coop on Saturday when I put it out there (once each way), which Henry was absolutely delighted with. He landed and dolphined so hard (his version of bucking looks more like a dolphin leaping) that he tripped and almost fell down. Still the picture of elegance and grace.
I went ahead and scheduled an acupuncture/chiropractic session for him next week, just to thoroughly cover all my bases. He feels a little stiff through his rib cage and neck to the right, so I’m hoping that’ll fix it. I’ve already been hemorrhaging money on him over the past couple months, why stop now?
He’s almost back up to regular turnout, but not quite. Luckily he’s behaved himself pretty well anyway. Most of the other horses at the barn are QH types that would rather eat than run around, and they’ve all stayed inside under their blankets on the cold nights. Both of those things are helping to keep him chill rather than running laps like a moron.
The swelling above his ankle has continued to go down, too. That combined with his ridiculously hairy legs make the injury hard to spot now. Still, I’ve been keeping his BOT wraps on him sometimes, and slathering stuff on the “bad” leg after longer rides. Plus he gets enough stall time to make sure he’s resting it adequately. I have to give many props to the barn owner and workers – they’ve been giving him excellent care, and none of my
super annoying requests have deterred them in the slightest.
I asked the main barn worker how Henry has been behaving for her, since he’s gone so long without full turnout. She looked at me like I was a little nuts for even asking, and said he was great. She thinks it’s funny how vocal he is (apparently he starts screaming for his breakfast before she even gets out of her truck… which sounds about right) and she plays with his tongue when he flops it around. It makes me happy to see them get along so well, since she spends so much time with him.
Hopefully over the next month we can continue weaning him off of all the special treatment and back into normal life, and I can keep amping the workload back up towards normal. For now though – he looks great, he’s happy, and I’m glad to have him almost-back. *knocking on a metric shit ton of wood*