It's tough when conditions prohibit applying the best recommendation (30 minutes of forced exercise daily) for one condition (Equine Metabolic Syndrome) because of another condition (Inflammatory Airway Disease). Exercising Lance when the particulate matter in the air from wildfire smoke was off the charts would have been devastating to him, so my meaty mustang just hung out. Thankfully, his breathing didn't seem impacted by the air quality.
Now that the air quality is much improved, we are back to work. I planned to climb back on last Thursday, the first cooler day in ages, but the smoke was actually worse, if possible. On our way back from Salem (DS had wisdom teeth removed), this was the view west towards the hill on which we live; couldn't ride in that!
But Friday was much clearer, so Lance got the whole enchilada – a thorough grooming, a photo shoot to document his current condition, and a sunset ride about the hill.
|rubbed-out mane; check
|fat pads; check
|lump on jaw; check
|handsome anyway; check
|"What did you say?"
|"What do you mean, 'Handsome anyway'?"
About that lump on his jaw. I first noticed it at the end of the apple-eating day of the last post; when I mentioned it to Rick he joked that it must be apple poisoning (he thinks I'm a "horse hypochondriac"). When the hard, tender lump didn't improve, I finally got him to x-ray it. Rick couldn't see a fracture, so apparently Lance bruised it badly somehow. It's still tender but fortunately sits behind the bridle's cavesson; Rick said it may never go away. 😕
We rode again Sunday and Monday. After last night's ride, I timed his respirations for the first time in months – perfectly normal at 10 RPM. Unfortunately, he also stumbled dramatically at the beginning of our ride, so we just walked up and down hills to minimize momentum.
In other horsey news, during last week's lesson my youngest student got bucked off her Haflinger. The mare was protesting the canter depart (I think she's uncomfortable) not trying to unload her, but it really shook the student's confidence and I don't know yet if she'll be continuing lessons. With Brian back in school as of today, I'll have to figure out a different time to teach students 2 and 3 (if she continues) anyway; gotta pick up the boy from school every afternoon.
Tomorrow I'll be picking him up early so he can drive in the state fair's draft horse show again. On Sunday he won the youth driving class with a wagon and team of two; tomorrow he drives in the youth cart class. I'll post photos of both his classes when the dust settles.