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

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Same song, second Sunday

Today it is RAW outside for NW Oregon – cold, wet, windy. Yesterday there were snowflakes among the raindrops! But it was a "must exercise Horton" day since he got Friday and Saturday off, so I lunged him in surcingle and sidereins.

I should have ridden him Friday; it was mostly dry that day and would have followed on the heels of a good ride on Thursday. But after reading something cryptic about Connecticut on someone's blog, I turned to the news, which left me stunned and stumbling through my indoor to-do list while watching updates on TV.

Anyway, back to today. I wondered if Horton might be a little stiff or sore, because I'm pretty sure he got cast in his stall Friday night. Rick heard banging in the barn in the wee hours and went down to check it out. He didn't find anything amiss then, but the next morning while picking stalls I noticed packed bedding right next to one of Horton's stall walls, vertical scrapes on the upper half of that wall – and boards loosened at the end. And normally neat Horton had wet bedding across the top of his back (although no scrapes or swellings). But he moved out fine and worked normally for me . . . to the left. When I asked for canter to the right, he acted once again like something goosed or bit him, tucking his tail and rump, kicking out with his right hind, and bucking as is to rid himself of something. Once he stumbled badly in the hind end doing this and I thought he was going to fall, but he caught himself. Eventually he worked out of whatever it is that bothered him, but I'd sure like to know what it is!

Back in his stall, I tickled his tummy and got a good back lift. But when I asked him to tuck his rump, he did it while stepping sideways to avoid more of the same. He also pooped once while I was getting him ready today. Filing it all away as part of the puzzle....

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