I got a call last week from my office, looks like I'll be offshore this coming week. So I've been squeezing in some horsey time :)
Because he's been lame there's not much to report with Quadi. Today though, I discovered what I think has caused his sore foot. A pocket of separation in the white line, near the toe, which has been growing tight until now. I scraped it out and it stank. Given that he had to have two months box rest for a deeply infected hoof crack last autumn I'm not surprised he's so gimpy. He was looking better but he's sorer again. In fact, he was looking so much sounder across the yard yesterday, not really putting a hoof wrong, that I took him in the school for a spot of free lunging, nothing taxing. First trot = nodding lame :(
Today both fronts had a good long soak in a warm solution which was anti-everything, and then I plastered the sore bits in Sudocrem. He is sometimes landing toe-first which would suggest heel pain, but it's not constant, and then there's the now obvious WLD...
Now that all three are in a new paddock I've also muzzled him for the time being. Poor Quadi, his eyes were on stalks the first day he saw it, he backed away from me in total horror. I think muzzling must be the suckiest part of owning a good doer, I hate to do it to him but at least it's only temporary. I poked a few treats through the hole once it was on, which went much smoother than I'd imagined. So once I'm home and have more time I'll have to clicker train him to at least not wig out at the sight of it.
He's also lost a bunch of weight, and some condition has departed with it. With me not working him in the school very often (slapped wrist for that!) I'd put it down to lack of correct work but it's been suggested I could up his feed a smidge whilst still restricting his grass intake. That'll allow him to build muscle without soring his feet or upsetting his tummy. So we'll do that. I have some condition photos of him from mid-July (see below), they really show off his lack of tone and his saggy tummy :( What they don't show is just how much he's dropped off his butt. Muscling aside, I'm pleased we've managed to slim him down, it can only be a good thing for his general health.
A little bit of the problem here is the angle of the photo, but you can see how much he's lacking over his backside. In fact, you can see he's lost something all along his topline. His feet still have a way to go but look way better than they were. This was two weeks ago and they're even smarter looking now.
He has a well sprung ribcage but it's nice at least that his backside is wider than his tummy!
I just thought this was a terribly sweet photo of him and it shows how much squarer he can stand of his own accord. Shame his high neck set is showing how dippy his back can be though :x Actually, I can see his under neck muscles bulging in this one. He is straining on the leadrope but still they are still too prominent.
I hacked Fin yesterday, which was lovely and it gave me a chance to work some more on feel, timing and my posture. Today I had a brief spin on him again, but this time in his Spanish Alta Escuela (sp?) saddle. It really holds you in place. What I found interesting was that I found it more comfortable than Kate did, which is odd given how much work my position needs! You can't rise to the trot in it so we even cracked some sitting trot, very comfy indeed!