Thursday, 4 February 2016

January Review

I am feeling really frustrated at the moment.  Finally Chesney's foot was better and I could ride again and then Basil half pulls his shoe and stands on one of the nails:(  I have been back to poulticing every day again and the horses are again staying on the yard.  We really made steps forward over Christmas and I thought it was a really good, positive start after his tooth - oh well, you never  know what is going to happen next with horses!

My January aims for Basil were:
  1. Calmness 
  2. Rhythm 
  3. Suppleness 
  4. Consistency of bend on left rein 
  5. Halt for more than 2 seconds! 
  6. Encouraging contact
  7. All transitions
  8. Circles, serpentines and changes of rein.
The first week or so of January were a bit stressful for Tommy.  He was out on his own because of Chesney's foot and there was lots of hedge clearing and fencing going on in the next field.  The workmen had hi-vis jackets on and they made quite a lot of noise which seemed to upset him.  He spent quite a lot of time running around in the field and then watching them.  He was also difficult to get in.  He usually follows the others in but obviously they weren't out and I have still only been able to catch him a couple of times since he has been with us.  Plenty of polo's convinced him to follow me in for the first few days and then he came on his own:)

Since they have finished working in the next field I really feel like we have made big steps.  As he has been out in the field on his own I have been able to practice getting right up to him.  He doesn't trot or walk off when I get near now (which he was doing).  He lets me get up close to give him a treat and then I can pat him too.  He will actually come up to me now.  This is a great step forward to being able to catch him.  So I have high hopes for the spring when he will be in his own section of the field - for diet purposes!

This is what January looked like:

1st - Schooled today about 30 minutes. Walk, trot and a little canter.  We worked on serpentines in walk and trot and some leg yield in walk too.  20 metre circles in walk and trot and some 10 metre circles in walk.  Basil started off being a bit lazy today which is unusual, but he was very good.

2nd - Chesney is a bit lame today so did not ride Basil.  Not sure if it is his arthritis that is worse, maybe because I have ridden more he has been trotting up and down in the mud more? 

3rd - Chesney not better today.  If anything worse, so didn't ride again.

5th - Chesney no better after a few days of not riding, worse again so called vet.  After poking around for a while found an abscess in his off-hind foot.  I think it probably is because he runs up and down when I first get Basil in to ride.  We put some new stone down in the gateway in the summer and he was fine but I suppose because it has been so wet his soles are soft and more easily damaged.  Poulticing.

8th - Called vet out again as Chesney, although he was better on Wednesday, is worse again today.  The abscess seems to be trying to escape out of his heel, so he is now having an even bigger poultice which mustn't be too tight around his heel. 

16th - Chesney and Basil have been staying in on the yard for the past week or so.  They have had lots of hay and plenty of water.  Being on the yard has allowed them to potter about which is good for Basil's sanity and for Chesney's arthritis.  The field is so muddy and Chesney has been really quite lame I decided this was the best course of action. Tommy has still been going out, if he was on the yard too he would be bullied and I didn't want to leave him in his stable.  He has had some hay in the field right up by the stables but mostly he has chosen to go off and graze.

17th - Chesney is sound now so I decided to put them out for a while today in the little bit of field behind the stables and in the arena.  I have not poulticed his foot today but put a pad on it and plastic bag to try to keep it clean.  It has snowed a little overnight.  Have a look at my video to see what they thought of it!  Chesney totally destroyed the plastic bag and tape today though because they were having such fun.  I had to clean all his foot up again!

19th - I decided today that I would wrap Chesney's foot up in a plastic bag and lots of Duck tape and put them out in the field for a while.  He is so much better and I feel that he is ready to go out for a while.  Bag stayed  on today :)

20th - The horses went out all day today.  Chesney still had his plastic bag on his foot though and it stayed!  Tommy was pleased to have his friends back in the field too.

23rd - Lunged Basil today.  Mostly in walk with a little trot and just for 10 minutes.  He was really good, which surprised me as I expected him to go mad!

24th - Rode in the arena today.  We did 25 minutes today just in walk and trot.  Lots of 20 metre circles, serpentines and some 10 metre walking circles at the end.  He was a bit jumpy to start with but did settle really well and I was really proud of him.

27th - Basil has done something to his shoe today, although it is still in place he has a nail sticking out on the inner side of his off- fore leg.  He also seems a little bit lame.  Arranged for farrier to come tomorrow.

28th - Farrier took Basil's shoe off and discovered that he has trodden on one of the nails. No wonder he seemed a bit lame yesterday:(  More poulticing and they will be better in on the yard again for a few days.  No more riding.

29th - Basil is feeling really sorry for himself today.

30th - I think Basil is a bit less lame today :)

31st - Good news. Basil seems sound today.

As January did not go according to plan my February aims for Basil are the same:

1.       Calmness 
2.       Rhythm 
3.       Suppleness 
4.       Consistency of bend on left rein 
5.       Halt for more than 2 seconds! 
6.       Encouraging contact
7.       All transitions
8.       Circles, serpentines and changes of rein.

Have you seen yesterday's video yet 'Tommy' - I thought it was time for a 6 month review of his progress :)   
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Until next time!

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