Thursday, September 1, 2011

He Wanted To Run. . .

. . . So we ran. 

No doubt there's a change in weather brewing here today, it was 90 degrees and super humid, predicting a low in the 60's and a cool weekend ahead.  As we can guess, that means some strange behavior from the horses. 

Today the farrier was out to re-set Louie's shoes.  He hasn't grown any heel on his left front, so we put a wedge pad back on that foot.  We put a plain thick pad on the right front to balance him and help protect him from rocks.  His feet were in pretty good condition other than the fact that Pat thinks he hasn't grown any heel because it's been so hot.  We put some Magic Cushion hoof packing under his pads, so we'll see how that goes.  We talked about strategies, and he is hoping that Louie will grow some heel this fall/winter once his shoes are pulled.  I sure hope he does because he's very low on that left front heel right now. 

All throughout his re-set, Louie was acting strange- spooky and antsy.  So I decided to take him for a ride in the arena after Pat was finished with him.  I had a completely different horse than I have had the past month.  Today there was no quiet, slow, laid-back Saddlebred; today I had a racehorse under my saddle. 

After a brief walk and trot warm-up, at the fastest pace walks and trots I can imagine, we just got right down to business and I asked Louie up into a canter.  Soon we were hand-galloping, me up in two-point, and cruising around the ring, hoping Louie didn't trip or lose his footing around the corners.  He didn't.  We went probably 5-10 laps in each direction around the ring at a healthy hand-gallop before Louie started showing just subtle signs of relaxing- lowering his neck about 1-2 inches. . .

So we resumed our power walk.  After a while we trotted, but again, it was a harness race-speed trot that I was having trouble balancing and staying centered in the saddle to ride.  We did a few circles, but he just had a fire under his butt today and would not settle down like he usually does, so we cantered some more. . . just a regular canter this time. 

After all of that he was sweating like crazy and breathing really fast, so it was time for a cool down.  Lots of laps of walking, and we got a great stretchy long walk today, and even got a little bit of bending along with it.  I decided we weren't going to accomplish anything other than burning off steam today, so I gave up and got off. 

Here is Louie after his race today, just a bit sweaty. . . note the small dry spot on his hind quarters.

Silly horsie. . .

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