Tril had his second chiro appointment yesterday. Chiropractically, he's much improved--his hips are much less pronounced, I'm not noticing cross-firing or stumbling behind as much, and he's not dragging that left hind nearly as much.
Tril has lost weight or muscle tone or both in his hindquarters, and I don't get it. I've noticed it in the last few weeks, and thought maybe he was "drawn" as I heard someone call it once on their horse--dehydrated. Pinching his skin showed me it wasn't the case, so I shrugged it off (with reservation) that maybe it's just how he's built and I haven't noticed it. Yeah, suurre. I know I know better, but the state of denial is lovely this time of year.
|WTF? Someone deflated the flanks on my horse. I should really patch that leak.|
I've not been able to ride Tril much lately--seriously, once a week if it's a good week--because of three factors:
- Schedules became insane as two teachers wound up their semesters (and music teacher hubby had his two school concerts).
- Daylight Savings, MY ASS. I see no daylight being saved when I rush to get to the barn by 4pm, lunge/turn out my horse, tack him up, get on him at 4:30pm, and it's dark by 5pm.
- The weather has been comPLETEly uncooperative. It rains, the arenas are closed and sealed, they reopen for ONE DAY, annnnnnd hey look, more rain. I rode him the one day I could (literally) last week, and it rained again the next two days, ruining the rings until today (when I was under post-chiro orders to hand walk only).
#3 is giving me no mercy. Tomorrow it will be dry enough to ride--and I will--but then the forecast for the rest of the week which I have off and thus have tons of time to ride looks like this:
|Apparently, the tectonic plates shifted much faster than predicted and we are now parallel to Seattle.|
It's not even that much rain, but it's enough to wreck the rings and make the property perpetually slick. Since Tril is still learning what trail riding is about, there's not a whole lot we can do on the non-rain days, except maybe handwalk, or maybe (if he's not being Mr. Snorty it's-cold-and-wet-and-I've-been-couped-up-and-I'm-10-and-a-hot-breed idiot) walking around the property. The chiro, who had nixed lunging at the last appointment, recommended I reintroduce it to get those muscles more in use. But uh...outside of tomorrow and maybe Tuesday (if it's not too wet in general from the three days of rain before), I'm not sure when that can happen.
One thing I am very grateful for is the delivery of DG last weekend that WonderHubby installed (pun not...okay, maybe kinda sorted intended). It turned the cesspool Tril's stall had been into this:
|Happy horse, clean stall, DRY stall...happy me!|
|"See yah Daddy, I'm off for a joy ride."|
|I was amused how dense DG is. These two were jumping on it and did not sink. Impressive stuff.|
But now, back to the WTF that is this:
|Dammit! I just plugged one hole in the dam. Now THIS hole appears. Fuck me.|
I have noticed some slightly visible ribs, so he's dropped weight though not much. This is likely because I had the brilliant idea of weaning him off alfalfa and switching him to a straight orchard hay diet with 5lbs of low starch Integrity feed supplemented in. Even though I'm not sure the short time period (just about a week off the alfalfa) would do it, but, well, maybe it could. I've noticed he's turned up his nose in a "fuck this grass shit" way at his orchard lately. He'll have half his breakfast left when I feed him his dinner. So, today I bought 150lbs of alfalfa pellets and am reintroducing those to his diet, with the eventual goal of switching him from 1 flake orchard and 1/2 flake alfalfa twice a day to 1 flake alfalfa and 1/2 flake orchard twice a day (I want him to have the grass hay to keep him busy, and really prefer not to have him on straight alfalfa) and then, once the Integrity is gone, putting him back on the Triple Crown stuff they had him on on CPP.
|Still gorgeous, but definitely dropped a few pounds and getting a "wasp waist" as my friend called it.|
Maybe he's wormy? No, I checked the calendar on my phone--he was wormed at the beginning of September. He's due now, but that's it.
Having owned an older horse before, my mind meanwhile went to two things--teeth and the cold. How are his teeth? (I don't have records telling me when they were last done.) The chiro checked, and yes, he's due. Not bad, just due. I'll add that to his visit with the vet next month--he'll get his shots, teeth, and sheath cleaning done.
Okay. And, well, it's winter, and while SoCal isn't Indiana, it does get chilly at night so horses burn off some of their food energy just keeping warm. Another reason to increase groceries and keep the blanket on. Done.
The chiro was also wondering about ulcers, but I know crap about those, and he didn't want to diagnose. He seemed to simply say it was a possibility, not a probability, but it's something else to mention to my vet next month.
Then, he carefully took a few steps toward me, pausing as if to ask permission before taking a few more.
Maddening. I do so much to try and do right by my animals, but horses especially are exasperatingly enigmatic. Here I feel I'm giving him a good life, a better-for-him life than what was, and I "broke" him. Okay, no, I didn't break him, but body-condition-wise he's definitely not doing as well. Boo me. The food will be easy to fix, as is his teeth and the vet visit. But the work? <guiltguiltguilt>
Then I remind myself of this moment yesterday morning. This was the only ring dry enough to turn out in, and he hadn't been turned out in about 4-5 days because of the wet. He ran, he rolled, he showed off (see pic above), then he just...stopped. He stopped, looked at me, and licked his lips in submission.
|Dun dun dun dun.|
|Dun dun, dun dun, dun dun, dun dun, dun dun, dun dun...|
|Dun nuh NUHHHHHHHHH!|