Friday, June 27, 2014

keep on keeping on

I'm praying for my horse every day. The last six months have been difficult with only a brief glimpse of light glimmering between jumping from one problem to another.

It started when the farrier took heels too low and sored him in mid-December, prompting me to learn barefoot trimming, in which I've made a mistake or two, which healed quickly. Throughout that, we've had severe spring coughing and then some mystery illness that made him really depressed and unwilling to move for two weeks or even to eat much.

I'm trying to keep his hoof angles up where he's comfortable but not too high, fretting that tendons might be damaged, because he's still doing an occasional toe-first landing on his right front, although that could be due to some damage to his heels that the thrush and mechanics caused this past spring. I worry that I caused that in trying to get the thrush out of his hooves, so I feel especially miserable, although I don't know how I could have caused that. And he started toe-first landings last summer before I had the shoes pulled..

He is moving more freely again and I really want to get back to riding him but I don't want to push him too much and risk something worse. My 2nd level dressage horse hasn't done more than basic work in over a year, starting with severe ulcers a year ago that took me out of the saddle and thrush that kept him sore. I even had him in hoof boots until a few months ago. By the time I start getting him back in shape, something else comes up. I keep praying that's over and we can both return to steady riding again. I bought a new saddle for him specifically, which I'm struggling to pay off but it's worth it's weight in gold for as well as it fits us both.

I'm just praying for the health and soundness of my horse for the rest of his life, to put all these difficulties behind us for good. Unfortunately, bad farriery for too many years has taken its toll in making life difficult for both of us, because I didn't know any better. I hope the ground flax I started giving him is as much a part of that miracle as what I've read about it. I more or less live in fear of each day but also in hope of seeing improvement.

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