Will we ride?
Today was an awesome day! I got early Mothers day gifts. One of which was my family showing that they know how important my Rascal is to me. DH helped me put a saddle on Rascal for the first time in like 18 months this evening before I left for work.
Rascal humped his back for a few steps then buried his face in the grass. YES! Saddle accepted. Now we start working on building the muscles that we can from the ground. It's going to be a slow process. We can do it though. He took his last anti inflammatory this morning.
I figured since THF played a part in helping me decide whether to attempt to rehab Rascal or just make him a comfortable pasture pet, I'd keep a journal here of his progress. Something I can look back on, and use to evaluate how he is doing. I am so excited to get started. I have already started hand walking him again last week.
Today was a great day :D
How wonderful! I'm looking forward to reading your updates with Rascal :)
I didn't enter anything yesterday so I'll catch up today.
Yesterday: I got home and got Rascal groomed and ready to saddle, again. He stood like a BOSS! No fidgets, not even a side step! I led him out and he didn't stiffen up or react at all. I was so pleasantly surprised. :lol:
We went for a walk, about 2 miles around the dirt roads, up and down hills, and he never acted like the saddle was there. I chalked it up to a darn good experience, took his tack off, brushed him out, rubbed his belly, and HAND gave him a treat. (I usually won't give him treats except out of his bucket.)
Today 6:00 a.m. Fed him and cleaned the storm leaves out of his water. No treats this morning because he wouldn't let me get his halter on in the pasture.
It rained last night so he was damp and muddy on the legs and belly. I brought him out to groom in the driveway. Cleaned his hooves out. (?Still occasional lightening in the distance making him spooky?) He was antsy and the dogs spooked him pretty bad while I was cleaning mud off his legs :evil: **** dogs. I locked them in their house after they had eaten. (Note: Start retraining dogs on sending away.)
I put his old pad on, and put the surcingle over it since he is still a bit damp . I usually won't tighten it much, barely enough to hold it stable, but I cinched it down like I would his saddle. I tied the leathers and irons to the top rings so they could flop around a bit. Away we went to his exercise spot. (Post setting for the round pen this weekend?) All I had in mind was a light workout because it is slick.
He went at the walk with no problem. I left his whip propped on the carport DUHH. He went into a walk on the line with a simple point and "Walk on." Directions changes are smooth as glass at the walk now. 10-15 minutes of walking.
I decided to get him into a slow collected trot. He took 2 strides and threw a HUGE buck, the stirrups hit his sides and he froze. I think he spooked himself still which is a first. Maybe the spook in place exercises are working??
I got him moving again in small tight formation for about a minute (it's slick so I was careful, and not as forceful with moving his feet as I normally am.) As I let him out on the lead and gave him cluck and "trot on," his signal for a slow trot with collection, all is well. I kept him trotting for about 10 minutes with several direction changes. (Slow to a walk "Come down,"change with point- body position- verbal command "change", trot on again.)
This is routine for him, he knows this. He is warmed up, but not remotely hot when we stop. Worked on yielding hind, coming to with hind, give over (whole body yield) Then stretching-flexing-relaxation exercises for another 10 minutes. He feels sticky in the left hind :neutral:. No pulling the leg away, but circles with it are not as fluid as I would like. Maybe he pulled/stretched something with the huge buck he threw?
I'll bring him out again this afternoon for a few minutes IF it doesn't rain again. No signs of the sticky feeling when I move him out, just something I felt with the yoga circles. I may be worrying to much, but with the footing being what it was, and the buck....I'll keep an eye on it for a couple days.
Untacked and let him graze in the chain link for an hour while DH got off to work. As DH is leaving, he comes back in the house and says "You gotta see this!" Rascal has rolled in the grass and is covered in wet sticky grass. Thanks Rascal, now I can brush you again *sigh.*
I swear I think he does this so I'll scratch his belly when I knock the grass off him.
I let Gidgette out with us for a few minutes as she is calmest and behaves the best. I sent her around and around him, no reaction. I got her to talk to me (bark) and nothing other than a prick of his ears. I tied Rascal and worked Gidgette for about 15 minutes right beside him. He fell alseep LOL.
I'll work with each dog until I get a reaction from him. I really need to know which dog he is objecting to so I can stop that before it starts.
:rofl:Well didn't I lose some time! DH informs me I was out at 5am, not 6.(this does explain why it was still dark when I fed him :clap:I am such a dork when running on little sleep.)
I wonder if I need to get myself on a better schedule with Rascal. Although I never have worried about a rigid schedule before...
Oh well, If anyone reading this wants to post ideas for building my boys muscles, feel free. I am open to suggestions, ideas, and criticism. I'd rather someone point out the obvious that I might overlook than screw myself or Rascal up. I know I can always learn something new.
Hmm, build up muscles.. well what helps is trotting, working over ground poles, walking on hard surfaces now and then, hills. Any sized hill will do.
I would stretch him out before you start all of this muscle work and slowly draw it out so lactic acid doesn't build up and make him any stiffer.
Man getting up at 5am.. that's insanely awesome but you must have been tired! It sounds like he just had an off day and perhaps the spooking in place training does work.. never know!
What a cute name for a dog, Gidgette. :)
Sky, I am attaching a quick diagram I just posted to kinda explain Rascals pelvic injuries in the hoof section. Maybe this will help explain why I am so cautious LOL
I worked with Rascal for about 45 minutes this afternoon doing his stretches and yoga. He didn't seem sticky then *shrugs* I may be worrying to much LOL
I think as long as you do it slowly he should be good to go :)
What has the vet said about your progress so far?
Going to read your post about his pelvis injuries now
Ok yesterdays slight workout was great. We did a nice stretching session before and after. He responded like a dream to ques while lunging. I think it is going well.
I will not attempt the 2 a day workouts. I just don't have time. He brought home for me the fact that I am stretched way to thin right now. Life gets in the way of all my fun LOL.
Ahhh coffee is good. LOL Rascal, hmmm is stress inside me translating to stress inside him? I was late getting him out this morning, very rough night at work. My client is extremely ill and he is cantankerous at the best of times. I like him for the contrary nature he has. He reminds me to be humble and thankful for what I DO have.
Never the less, it is extremely stressful when old age works it's horror on an intelligent mind. I am stressed out. I am doing to much, stretching myself thin with physical and mental energy. Since the insomnia has gotten worse I have noticed that Rascal has more of "those" days while training. This morning he brought it home to me, it isn't HIM having more of those days, it's me. I am wound tight as a banjo 24/7. I do not eat right, sleep right, nor relax, except after I start taking care of Rascal, the dogs, and the bird.
Training will resume tomorrow, but I'll have a different mid set by then. I can't expect Rascal to be calm and cool, when inside I am a seething mess of stress and anxiety. One important decision was reached this am. I won't stress if Rascal isn't under saddle the day after his eval. I'll take it one day at a time. Goals are great, but I am not stressing about this one if I don't make it.
ETA: I took him back to the pasture after I got a positive response on simple commands. I'm taking the day to do some housework and thinking.
Alrighty. I took more than a day then had a Longggggg week at work. Rascal only got worked about a half hour each day. Just enough to warm him up but not make him hot. The stiffness is not there anymore in the left hind, thank goodness.
I incorporated the yoge stretches into grooming sessions since I groom him before working him. Then we do a few simple stretches when we finish. One to check for any tightness or stress before I work him and then again to double check. Maybe I am being to cautious? I'd rather be safe than have another set back like we had before. I don't think he'd come out sound if he re-injures the pelvis.
Since DH and I discussed the possibility of confusion with voice commands we are working on total non-verbal skills this week. I may need some duct tape LOL. It's hard not to talk to him and tell him he is a good boy when he does a good job. So I am thinking of keeping the encouragement verbal, it isn't the words anyways so much as tone and meaning.
This morning was an odd one. I groomed him, stretched him, gave him a carrot and he went to sleep while I was putting the dogs up. He is kinda droopy today. I kept it short and to a walk for a half hour. He went straight back to his gate to wait to be let in the pasture. No chomping grass in the yard. He's under his favorite tree still.
I keep checking him, gut sounds are normal, poop is normal, he peed good this morning. He ate and drank well. So maybe he is just tired from fighting off the dang flies. I know they are irritating even after I spray him. I am looking into a fly sheet to go with his mask. I'll keep a close eye on him and have DH and DS do the same.
Sky I keep the vet updated, but he hasn't been seen yet. After the 2 emergency calls the vet fund is lowish. I've sent vids to the vet and his personal (won't give pro opinion from vids) is that Rascal is moving more freely since I started working him again. Time will tell. July isn't so far away and I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Hey Missy, updates?
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