Saturday, April 28, 2012

R & R

We've had a few days off riding. The end of the week was busy as I was trying to get as much work done as humanly possible to prepare for hopefully working hardly at all next week (my sister is visiting). Also, Bear's back has been sore. He has one spot that has gotten flared up a few times before. It seems to come on when we end up riding three of four days in a row for well over an hour each ride. We were very careful with getting him into shape this spring and we hoped the problem would not resurface.

But last week Bear was starting to seem unhappy and anxious under saddle, which isn't normal for him. The one spot on his back seems to have progressed from being a little tight to tender enough that he's flinching out from under our fingers. We've been massaging and stretching, but with limited results.

So we hoped if we gave him some days off he'd be able to work out the kinks. On Friday we drove to Chicago to pick up my sister. Today we drove back and stopped at the barn on our way into town to get the horses their spring vaccinations. Steen also had to get a dose of wormer, as his manure sample showed he had a small infestation.

I have been thinking Steen is actually a bit fat lately, but my vet said he looks great and is the healthiest weight Steen has been since he's known him. Which means since before I bought him, actually, since my same vet cared for Steen at his old owner's place too. So that's good.

Both the horses were excellent for the vet. We didn't ride, though we did work on more massage and stretching with Bear. His back seems a little improved, but not all the way better.

Brian and I have been having semi-regular speculative chats about getting a third horse since last summer, when Bear was having a bit of trouble keeping pace with the level of riding Brian wanted to do. This year we've been back on the subject intermittently, but still weren't quite ready to start shopping. But this recent flare-up of Bear's back has us genuinely horse-hunting. We got the green light on boarding a third from our barn owner, so now it's just down to the shopping. We'd like to find a young stock horse that we can both work with. I think it will be quite useful in terms of our own education, and it would allow us to decrease Bear's work to a level that is hopefully more comfortable for him.

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