As a recap, Fling has been on-again, off-again lame the past six weeks, ever since her front feet were ‘butchered’ by a substitute shoer. Not only did he cut her so short and take off so much sole that she had massive bruising on her left front, he also chopped her heels, drastically changing the angle of her foot. Our regular shoer came Wednesday and started ‘repair work’ to fix the damage. In the meantime, Fling has been confined to the round pen and arena (they have an adjoining gate I can leave open) to keep her from bombing around the pasture. Due to the bad shoe job, she was a high risk for a suspensory injury. I’ve only ridden her sporadically during this time, and pretty much only at walk with some trot.
So our shoer came and first put gel pack in her sole and then leather pads on her. He remarked she still had signs of massive sole bruising to the left front. No s*)t Sherlock – she was completely NON WEIGHT BEARING on the left front for probably 3-4 days after idiot shoer came. The heel issue will be a slower fix – can’t be repaired in one trip, hence my concern about her having unrestricted access to the big field. If you want to find a silver lining, it’s been so hot they’re all getting ridden less anyway. BUT, I was going to try and show Fling Third level in Oct. and now not so sure that will happen. She still looked ‘off’ after the shoeing and my shoer said that would probably be the case for a few days as she adjusts to new heel angles. Sure enough, by Friday she looked good and I rode her very lightly – mostly walk, lots of lateral work, and some trot. Her half passes are definitely better.
Faxx was off too since we pulled his front shoes after he lost one mid-cycle, and he kept coming in slightly off due to bruising. So I had shoes put back on him, and, to be on the safe side, Faeryn too, since she was barefoot also. Faeryn is the ONLY one who seems to have really hard soles since she has not taken a lame step during all this really dry weather.
I had lessons scheduled far in advance for both days this weekend, but since a) I am remodeling my condo and working like a dog over there to get it ready to re-lease and b) Faeryn was the only sound one, or the only one really “up” to a full lesson, I canceled for Sat. and just went Sunday.
I should have known better to hook up the trailer in broad daylight where Fling could see. 😉 As soon as she saw me, she started racing around the arena. She really thought she was going to get to go somewhere! And then suddenly, she was in the pasture galloping madly around with Faxx and Faeryn in her wake. “Oh crap,” I thought. She’s torn down the electric fencing.” Upon closer inspection – all fencing was intact. She JUMPED out of the arena. I watched her long enough to see her trot and she looked sound. So I just sighed and continued with what I was doing.
Faeryn has not been anywhere since going to the Pine Hill show in May, but she was a very good girl and did not even require lunging when I got there. I explained to Marie about her canter issue, and she watched us go and gave some good pointers and some very good exercises to not only improve her canter, but to get her more honestly on the outside rein, and to also get her to quit blowing through my half halts. She commented that there’s a lot fancier mover in there than what I was currently getting from Faeryn. That’s my feeling too. The key is half halts and lots of transitions. She had me to trot, walk two steps, then immediately trot off – several times. I could feel her trot getting more power. She also needs to ‘sit’ more in her lengthenings, which I can definitley feel. We definitely did not work as hard as I usually do – it’s just too hot. But we got good ‘homework’ for our everyday sessions. And that was my main goal.
I hope to show Faeryn at first level at a schooling show on Sept. 19 and Faxx will hopefully make his first level debut on Sept. 11.