To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A good sign

A foamy mouth is a good sign. It usually indicates a horse that is relaxed in its jaw and poll, giving to the bit. Even though we're still limited to 15 minutes at the walk, we did do a little lateral work for stretching and suppleness today. I was pleased to see this result!

Friday, May 28, 2010

No foot, no horse

Russell got new shoes on his front feet yesterday; his right one grows wonky if we don't keep it supported. Our farrier has done some inventive things to keep his feet optimal, and yesterday was no exception. But Russell's feet weren't nearly the adventure that Ollie's were; he's been digging holes in his graveled paddock to the point that his soles are thin and one has an abscess. So Troy had to build two custom shoes for Ollie; one with a hospital plate so the abscess can be treated but also protected from the gravel, and the other, with a regular pad to protect the foot, to match the first in thickness. As I was watching the craftsman work, I thought "I should be taking pictures!" Fortunately I had my camera with me; below are some of the results I liked:

If I spent as much on my own feet as we do on the horses, I'd be another Imelda Marcos!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I've been getting Russell out every other day for a short ride or hand-walking, as per our vet's orders. But the other horses are now getting out for a couple hours of grazing every afternoon, which Russell is NOT allowed to do, as per our vet's orders. Too much risk of re-injury at this point, if he busts some moves in the pasture. So he stays in, pining for his stablemates - and all that green grass.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Back in the saddle again

Last night, two months to the day from when I noticed that Russell was short-striding with his left hind, I got back on my horse with my vet's permission. Granted, we only walked around the arena for ten minutes, but we were still "together again." It seems like so much longer than two months, but I remind myself that it would be much longer if I didn't have a vet with an extracorporeal shock wave machine for a husband! There isn't a faster way to heal up soft-tissue injuries than this therapy, and Rick combined it with an IWRAP treatment as well, so we've given Russell every advantage in becoming sound again. Well, except for that day recently when Brian left Russell's stall door open and Russell cavorted around in the lawn and pasture; I am praying he didn't damage something else in that escapade!

Anyway, Russell was a perfect gentleman on our short ride in spite of being cooped up for two months. That's one of the many things I love about this horse; he's no dead-head, but he's about as steady as they come. Our first scheduled horse-camping trip of the year is over Memorial Day weekend, so I plan to talk a lot of those (very short at first) walks to get us both back in riding shape!