Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rotten

Moisture, I've concluded, is a mixed bag. Sure, water brings life - but is it always desirable life? In Arizona, our horses can't get all their food from grass grown in their very own pastures, but they also aren't constantly battling parasites. Here in the midwest, everything is wet and rich and the environment is absolutely laced with little organisms that want to make Steen's body their home. He's had a mild case of thrush since before I got him, but this at least I had encountered before. Lately, however, he's developed a rough, sensitive area on his neck and, after keeping an eye on it for a few days, I asked Cathi about it. "Rain rot," she said, and went on to explain it is a fungishish thing that crops up on livestock in warm and humid environments. It is not serious, but can be very uncomfortable for the horse. So I smeared an iodine solution all over Steen's pretty white neck and now he looks like he'd bleeding from some terrible wound, but hopefully it won't progress from bumpiness under the skin to the next stage - large, pussy scabs..

Luckily, the affected area does not extend beneath where I need to put his saddle and pad, so he's still rideable.

Beyond the rain rot, my last few visits to the stable have actually been kind of exciting. Last week, Steen got to meet one set of his grandparents. Dutch and Cathy braved the journey to the barn to help with grooming and learn a bit of groundwork. Steen seemed to like them quite a bit and was so well behaved I couldn't help but feel proud of him. Of course, Brian's parent's are so easy to get along with, I should not have been surprised. It was a fun visit.

Yesterday, Steen and I got to ride in a busy arena. I tend to go to the barn at times of the day when other people do not, so Steen and I get a lot of solitary time. While there is nothing wrong with this, it also doesn't hurt to throw other variables into the mix sometimes. Yesterday when I arrived, Lightfoot, Shadow and a new pony were all in the arena with their riders. So, I tacked Steen up and we joined the fray. I kept him quiet and just did walk and trot so as not to take any undo risks, and things went quite well. He paid good attention to me the whole time, and only got a little uppity about his velocity and/or trajectory once or twice.

I am excited that my life seems to have evened out again for the time being, and I should be able to focus on riding again. It seems like it has been so long since Steen and I got any real work in.

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