I haven’t posted much over the holidays because I really hadn’t been out to the barn too much. The temperatures dropped considerably the week before Christmas, only to rise into the 50s on Christmas eve, the day I left for WI to be with family.
However, I’m happy to report that I’ve ridden twice this week and the horses, aside from their normal look of “Is she coming to get me?” or “If I don’t make eye contact, maybe she won’t see me standing here” seemed willing enough to get back into a regular schedule of riding and work.
JC continues to do well. He is maintaining his weight well, and doesn’t really seem to have lost a tremendous amount of muscle throughout his let down period. But then, he was just very fit, not necessarily like a body-builder. There have been some inquiries for him, but no adoption applications submitted as of yet. My friend Kim in WI has been helping me spread the news about JC and the rest of my brood. Kim’s trainer apparently has a student that is interested in looking at JC for eventing. That would be great. I would love to send him to a home in WI, where there is a fairly large eventing scene. We’ll see what comes of that. His most recently video is, I think, a great testament to his sane personality. He steps a bit short in it, but he was only 3 weeks off the track when filmed. Plus, he’s still ouchy from having his shoes pulled (along with having no soles and a contracted front RF heel). All of these things will go away with time. We’re really just working at slowing him down under saddle and getting him to take longer strides. No cantering under saddle yet, as the indoor arena is just too small to do it safely on an unbalanced horse. I have to keep telling myself that the last time he was cantered under saddle, he “circle” had a 1/4 mile diameter. That is quite a bit different than a 50′ wide indoor arena.
Stormy is being treated for worms. For the amount of work he had been getting, he just looked very pot-bellied and what topline he did have has gone away. And its not as though he’s not eating. We’re just shoving the feed down into him (2.5 Qts of Ultium, twice a day plus all the grass hay he can eat) and he just isn’t gaining weight. And so, he’ll be getting a Panacure Power Pack starting on Monday or Tuesday and will hopefully start putting on some weight. Even in the pictures of Erin riding (a few posts back), he just looks frumpy. He is definitely does not have the same body mass he did when he arrived in August. However, I believe the power pack will make a difference. In the mean time, we’ll continue to ride.
The good news with Stormy is that he may be getting adopted! Yippee!! There is a woman who has had experience with Thoroughbreds, and actually works at one of the tracks here in Indy, who is interested in getting a horse for trail riding. She has shown an interest in Stormy and is apparently going to submit an adoption application for him. I’m excited about that as it will be a perfect home for him! Hopefully that works out.
Roman is slowly but surely moving better. I haven’t done much with him in the past few weeks (mostly due to the holidays). He seems to have relaxed into his new lifestyle. He walks to and from the pasture at a leisurely pace and doesn’t really bother the horses too much. He is still stiff on his right hind, but I think it will be quite a long while before he really has any pushing strength back in that hind leg. For now, I’m happy to see that he walks pretty evenly. For him, that is a huge step in the healing direction. Maybe he will be ready to get on for short rides in another month? We’ll see. Only time will tell.
My own mare Jewel continues to improve under saddle as well. I’m very pleased with our rides lately and excited to implement the homework that Linda Heiny has given us. I’ve really been focusing on strengthening her hind end and carrying capacity for second level work. In the last year and half, she’s come back from colic surgery and a severe hock injury. While she has fully recovered from both, the time off to heal (nearly 1.5 years) meant that she lost most of her topline and carrying strength. And so we’re back to teaching her, once again, how to sit and push through from behind. She is slowly getting stronger behind and lighter in the bridle. Its a pretty cool feeling. I’m very much enjoying our rides.
And so that is the update for the beginning of 2009. I’m looking forward to the adventures that 2009 has in store for me and the ponies. Happy New Year!