Friday, December 07, 2012

Back to Normal

Yesterday was Brian's birthday. We both took the day off work and made time for a nice long barn trip in the afternoon.

I was pleased to find Steen didn't run to me the moment I appeared at the barn. While I do like that our horses come to us, with Steen you can gauge his overall comfort level by how quickly he comes. The more uncomfortable he is, the faster he makes it to the gate. So if he's cold, hungry, sick, scared, in pain, or otherwise compromised, he comes fast. Lately he's been speed-walking to the fence the moment he sees us.

But today he only ambled over, petering out halfway to me and standing to stare for a moment before continuing on up to say hello. His eyes were not longer goopy, and his leg is so so sooo close to being healed. There is only one tiny little section of scab left. The rest is just pink skin. Even the rain rot is almost conquered.

We tacked up and headed for the strip. Steen felt good from the get go, but Brian and I were a little tired. We did a few run throughs of the routine right away. Steen only coughed twice at the very beginning. After that, he never did again. He felt almost normal for the rest of the ride. He's out of shape, but I decided to try just to put everything out of my mind and ride him like I normally would if he'd had a couple of months off.

After several excellent runs of the routine, we switched to playing cow. The game is so much more fun on Steen than Laredo. He was giving me some fabulous stops and hopping his front end through with serious energy. At one point we were chasing Brian and Bear and he picked up a nice short lope. It felt good and he didn't start coughing or come up lame or anything, so after that we moved in and out of the lope when necessary. It was great fun.

At the end of the ride we ambled down the strip and back, then down the drainage and back. Steen was very quiet. I think he was little tired. But he also seemed happy and relaxed.

One of the things I gave Brian for his birthday was a new mecate (apparently we aren't very original with gift ideas around here). At the end of the ride I had him and Bear do some of their fancier moves so I could get some photos. Bear is so soft lately. It came through nicely in some of the shots.

After the ride we hung out in the pasture for a few minutes. Laredo spent some of our ride watching us over the fence and even nickering to us, which was endearing, so we wanted to give him some pets and love before we left. And for my part it is just so good to feel like Steen is really and truly better. Let's just hope we don't have another episode like that for a long, long time.

Ride Time: 1:05
Horseback hours YTD: 147:00

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