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I met Diablo when he was 6 months old. He had been started on leading, grooming, and had run around the round pen a time or two. Around the same time my horse Louie passed away.
I trained Diablo on the basic groundwork stuff, and always made sure he got that magic from all the horses I'd known before him. I would tell the horses that Louie taught me this so I could show you what it's like to be an amazing horse.

When he was about to turn 2 I broke him for his then owner to take him to the track. He was the first horse I broke. He went to the track training facility for around 6 months before he made it to the track. He was at the track and got timed as a 2 year old and was fast, but started having some issues with his hind end falling out. Around the same time his half brother had a surgery to cut the patella ligament to stop him from locking up. I was worried Diablo would have permanent damage from this and that he wouldn't have a chance to be the amazing horse I had set him up to be. I knew then that I wanted him to be my horse.
He took around a year off and I went back to school. Diablo seemed to have escaped peril and was just resting. Better him resting on someone elses budget than my own with school in full swing.
Then another horse I'd known needed help. Dodge had a terrible summer sore and was being neglected. His owners all though they could handle a mustang, but turned out that Dodge was suffering. I arranged to buy Dodge to take care of him, because for now Diablo was safe.

I found out a few months later that Diablo would be going back to the track to run as a 3 year old now that he had grown out of the hind end issues a bit. I was upset and told his owner I wanted to buy him. She said ok, but she wanted to try him at the track first. My worst fear was that he would become permanently damaged and that I would still love him enough to want to care for him, even if he were lame, for the rest of his life.
Diablo was running fast, 3f in 32 seconds. I would drive out to the track to watch his warm ups, and he really seemed happy. He always had his ears perked and was happy to go.
He ran a race on April 2018. He started fast but gave it away around the last turn. Part of me wanted him to win. Part of me wanted him to lose. When he lost I knew he could be mine!

I moved with Dodge in August, then a month later Diablos owner said I could have him. He got the OK from the vet and the same hauler who brought Dodge picked up Diablo and he was mine!

Diablo took some time off in pasture, until it got very very muddy. Something I wasn't used to. All the wet areas I've boarded have had tons of sand to keep the footing nice, but not this place! Just recently he came up a little lame, then worse and worse. I moved him from pasture to a proper barn. Abscesses came out of all 4 feet, then after 2 weeks of care he was sound once again. His feet still have damage from when I got him that is growing out, but hopefully it will be gone in a few more months.

Now we are back to riding. Diablo is turning 5 on the 21st of February. I want to start him in a more professional sense. He is a typical track built horse and looks like a real athlete. He is getting visits from the chiropractor as we start bringing him up to riding so that he can use his body well.

I'm planning to start Diablo jumping, and well, I've hopped him over some tiny verticals just for the fun of it and he was fine with it considering he had no preparation, I just wanted to see what his reaction would be.

The first steps for us will be walking, some trotting, shortening and lengthening, walking over poles, and working on turning the haunches and forehand. Might do a little trotting over poles as well. Planning this for a couple weeks.
Hopefully the next steps will be to work more on the trotting over poles, lengthening and shortening the trot, working on a quality canter, and trotting some small crossrails.
He has good transitions already, but after that might work on getting those really sharp. Will also need to work a lot A LOT on flexion. He is straight, only sorta bends, and has no round in him right now. I think the trotting over poles and the chiropractor will help that, which is why I'm waiting it out before I start refining circles and directional changes.
I think then I will start doing a combo of jumping little courses (3 jumps?) and working on the flying lead changes. His half brother gave it up pretty quick on the flying changes so I'm hopeful that Diablo has it down too.

After that it might be in the plans to have some students ride Diablo to help me afford this fantastic barn. He is a total babysitter, but also honest and if you are messing up he will tell you. Perfect combination to learn on, and for him to get some experience.

Well, that's the plan! Hopefully I'll be able to keep a little log going here of our progress each day. Today is going to be some walking before the chiro arrives, then probably just a rest day tomorrow too, then Thursday is his birthday! Maybe I'll get him out for a little ride then.
 

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Thanks!
Today I rode Dodge, who will inevitably end up in this journal. Dodge was good starting out then decided to go rodeo bronc on me instead of cantering forward. I stayed on for the 8 seconds then he gave one last good one. I remember looking down when he went up and thinking wow I'm up high. I didn't think Dodge could rear like that, bucks, sure that's his thing. Had a couple witnesses and got some compliments for staying on as long as I did... Lot of expletives yelled in that ride after that. My aeroware outlyne vest should get here tomorrow for riding Dodge and jumping, he's just not really predictable and doesn't pay attention to me unless I ride every step, and were still working on him thinking about taking care of me rather than the other way around.

As for Diablo, he got a visit by the chiropractor today. She started working on him and immediately started talking about how awesome he is. He really impresses everyone who meets him. He just was still and let her work and was really receptive to the work she was doing. He got his neck spine and pelvis adjusted. She said I should start working him out a lot more and heavily, so that he can get some muscle toning. She was really happy with his conformation and said he is going to be a great horse once he starts working.

We talked about the rings on his feet, which I haven't been sure about, founder, injury? She mentioned a drug reaction which I hadn't considered. We also talked about how between his 2-3 year he came off the track lame. She said he had broke his sacrum, which is why it sticks up in that one spot. She said that happens most commonly when they rear and flip over. Thinking about that happening to Diablo is sad, since he is so complacent, but when I broke him on our 10th ride he gave a good hi ho trigger rear, which I think to this day still was the best and most dramatic rear I've ridden through, so I can't put it past him to have tried that again at some point. Just putting pieces together to figure what happened to him at the track.
We talked about some stretches I can do with him to ensure that his pelvis stays aligned and what sport work I should do to keep his muscles supporting his joints. I'm happy that his hunter's bump is reduced and his pelvis is aligned better now. He enjoyed it and is standing better than when I first got him.

Here's just some pictures of him standing and feeling a bit better afterwards. Planning to ride him tomorrow with some walking and trotting. Still gotta use the wintec with cair until the new half pad gets here for the cc saddle. I know some people and horses like the cair, and some don't. I personally like it and Diablo seems to too, haven't done much than walk him around in it so I'm sure it's not hurt him. Supposed to be a saddle my bf can use to ride him anyway and I've kinda taken it over I guess haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, what a beautiful color. Can't see his head, does he have any markings there or is he solid?
He doesn't have any markings on his head exactly...
He did hit his head and had to get stitches when he was a baby so he does have a clump of white hairs from that, kinda where a star would be, which I don't think will go away.
He has a holy coronet band on his right rear. His brother are both maximum sabinos and are nearly totally white.
 

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I went on a mini vacation to a friends house for a couple days, much needed!
Before I left I rode Diablo and after that chiropractic adjustment he was just amazing! I'm super excited to see him moving like he is now. He's got stuff in him I didn't know he had! I just had to keep him calm, since his body feels good, but his hoof is still hurting him a bit. It's that delicate balance of giving him what exercise he wants and needs without it leaving any negative impacts.

On his birthday I walked him around and through the other barns on the property we hadn't visited yet. He was happy to do that. A lot less nervous than previously. Not that he was ever really nervous to begin with, but he was more curious this time.

After our walk I put him in the turn out and he had a bit of fun galloping around for a few minutes then he was done!

I did manage to get hooked up with a tack locker at the barn too so that's super nice! Going out there to see them today and I have a new saddle half pad that I think he will like better.
 

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Both horses were happy yesterday. Raining and stormy again here so I just brushed and fed them. Probably going to be the routine for the next few days.

Diablo's hoof hole is growing down, and his whole hoof has grown nicely too. Hoping that in another couple weeks there will be enough sole under the hole that he can go out without an extra bootie on.

I am also going to be running a schooling show or a few at the barn this year which is great! I'm hoping I can get Diablo jumping a bit so someone can ride him in crossrails at the show!
 

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Well yesterday was a weird day. I got Diablo out tacked him up with a new pad, the same one I rode his brother in all the time. He seemed to like it, but he was really excited to get out! Maybe I shouldn't have free lunged him... but that was my choice. He was fine until he flung the bootie off his foot. That was his choice, then he kept galloping until a rock went right in the hole in his foot!
I tried to clean it out and out the bootie back on, but i couldn't find the rock so I ended up riding him around a tiny bit walking mostly to cool him out.

After I noticed he had some patches of hair falling out, like normal winter shedding, but there's no new hair underneath. He has some bald spots. He has a stable blanket, and there's some missing hair in normal areas for a blanket, but then he is also missing hair on his neck and face. I don't think he is rubbing it out through itching. I'm hoping he's not allergic to the shavings or hay.

I gave him a bath, since really he hasn't had one for a while... and put him back. I know it's not fungal or parasite, there's no skin legions, just missing hair.

As a baby he did get some weird crusty skin and hair loss under his chest, so I'm hoping it's that...

My plan right now is to watch it, and thinking of making some moisturizing spray to put on the areas with some oils and maybe acv and fly spray to see if I can get the hair to grow back, He's due to get wormed but our microscope isn't working so I'm going to just worm him without a count to see if that helps at all too. Otherwise I'm probably looking at some cortizone shots in a week from now if there's no changes.

Hoping it's just some weird shedding thing and not something more serious.
 

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Looking at it again today I think it's seasonal alopecia.

When he moved up here he didn't have a lot of time to get a coat in for winter. My other horse turned wholly.
Now that they are shedding one horse is still fluffy but Diablo is still out of wack with the seasons here. It's like he's trying to loose a full winter coat which he doesn't have!

Just sticking to the barn isles walking till the weather clears up! There's a covered arena but I'll want to lunge him first before riding him in there. Might be able to pull that off if I show up at an odd time. Trying to be more cautious with the hoof.

I got to visit the chiropractor, I think Diablo will appreciate that. I'm sure my hip digging into him wasn't the best for either of us!
 

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The horses around here sometimes pick up some fungi from the soil or sand when rolling that makes the hair fall out. One horse went nearly bald all over. It wasn't like rain rot, no scabs or anything, just baldness. If you're not sure, you could always do a bath with some medicated shampoo like Eqyss Micro Tek. That cleared it right up for this horse and she grew all her hair back.

You can see the hair loss on the chestnut:


Her hair was so short you could see there was an underlying dappled pattern. That was just from the fungus making her hair fall out.
(The blue roan does have dapples too, hope that isn't confusing). Anyway, there were just patches of longer and shorter hair, no scabs or anything.
 

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The hair has stopped falling out and looks like it might even be growing back in in some places.

I took Diablo out a couple times to walk and trot in hand in the arena with soft rubber footing. He did ok and enjoyed it. Today I put the saddle on him and did the same and he was rearing a bunch on me!

When I broke him he pulled a hi ho trigger rear on the 10th or so ride... Hope it doesn't become a trend, but I've also noticed that he doesn't seem to really like this saddle. He is fine in the wintec with cair, which is fine, but so many people look down on them. Either way I'm going to walk and trot him in hand with the wintec instead next time and see if that is what's causing the changes.

Hoof boots were scheduled to arrive at the end of this week, but now they are being delayed till the end of next week... :(

Either way I'll just do more hand walking and trotting this coming week, then hopefully those boots will get here, and will fit. Then I can actually start lunging him to get that energy out, and then start working him with the saddle. Hope we can get back to riding soon. He's a really good responsive listener under saddle so it's fun. Ground is fine too, but I need to stay in shape too!
 

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Hair is definitely growing back in now. He is still shedding under his belly, and on his legs in some areas. He is shedding all weird, but that's okay for now, old hair is falling out and new hair is coming in. Hopefully it's just an adjustment to being in different location than before, and not the beginning of something more serious for him in his life. I've been putting coconut oil and tea tree oil on the bald areas to keep it hydrated and fresh, but they are only bald for a week or so before hair starts to grow in. He's been getting vitamins so hopefully this coat will be a lot better than the one before.

Hoof has grown out even more to the point where the sole is starting to fill in behind the hole. I'm a little worried that in around 6 months or so he might have another bad abscessing. When I got him he had a dent in his hoof wall, that dent finally grew all the way down and got trimmed off over the past month. Now were at the end of that bad section of hoof, and moving forward to post injury hoof. The post injury hoof is good, but it's not great. All the hoof growing in since he's been with me looks pretty good, it's just over half his hoof growth. When I got him the toe was pushed forward, so it got beveled back without making him sore, and the heels came up under him a little more instead of being crushed. The angle changed as a result of all of that, so there's another dent like thing growing down his hoof. I hope when that post injury wall grows down and comes off it's not as problematic for him as this has been.

Then there's the soles, which overall look pretty good. They are calloused and dished to some degree. Better definition than before. He has the solar abscess growing down on one hoof, and a few other artifacts here and there on the other front one. I use low level peroxide on cotton to wash the hole out then stuff a small cotton ball with a dab of betadine on it. It stays in for 1-2 days.

The frogs are starting to peel off, which is stinky. I realize a frog shouldn't be stinky, but the abscesses had brewed under there and they seeped out through the frogs, back by where they meet the heel. Hopefully that old frog peels off and the new stuff isn't too tender and callouses up nice over the next few months.

The hoof boots arrived and fit! They stayed on as well. I have been hand walking and trotting in hand and on the lead with him. We were staying to the barn isles, then the driveway, then finally the covered arena with nice soft footing. Today with the boots I dared to put him out in the stone footing. He was totally fine and gave a great gallop around before he tired himself out from screaming and then we walked around the property to cool off.
The boots are fantastic! They didn't come off through galloping and bucking, so the only other question will be to find out if he can jump in them. Then he can wear them as needed for working in the future.

I'm hoping to let him out for a few days then put him out in some of the pastures, then eventually he can go out with the other geldings. I also want to get him working with these boots. Might throw the saddle on him and walk and trot around to get a baseline for what we can do with these boots. Hope he calms down and pokes around so I can go in the covered and start doing some real wtc work stuff.
 

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Ok, so I've gotten out to ride a few times now since the boots arrived last weekend.

After the boots got here and he went out galloping he was really calm so I just did a quick wtc test to see where he's at. Some stiffness through the shoulders, hip, and back. Boy friend got on and walked him around for fun.

I think that on that saturday, the first day with the boots, he bucked and threw his hip out. He won't left lead canter, and has some tender and soreness in the hip on both sides. He did this after the chiropractor came and I let him out too, bucked and out went the hip... It did go back on it's own with stretching and light exercises.

The other thing is that when he got adjusted I heard his hip popping while she adjusted it. I think there's some scar tissue and damage in his hips that's aiding the problem. It's not a huge deal, I think he will work out of it, especially if I start doing some hills and cavaletti. I don't think his adjustments will hold without me getting him some strength first. He's got it in his topline a bit better, but his rump needs it more now.

That aside, I've taken him out riding 3 times to see what I have.

I took him out once when a horse in the arena over bucked their rider off and galloped around and Diablo just watched and worked. He was a little concerned, but so was I. Nothing noteworthy though. Walking and trotting was fine, cantering was fine on the right, but again no left. I trotted him in and out a half cross rail twice, which he hoped over like a real jump.

Next time we went in the covered arena were there were 2 or 3 other people. They also store hay in there so there was a bit of hay moving going on too. He got startled a few times, but for him that's a sudden stop and neck jerk up, and that's it for his spook. Did a lot of walking and trotting. I did some circles and serpentine and sitting trot. He slows really well within his gaits and maintains them without constant or even intermittent asking. He was still stiff but I can feel more now where he is being stiff. Circling to the right he throws his left shoulder and hip out, circling to the right he is okay. Started going on the bit on his own with the kimberwick. The rein is on the top slot, so it's more of the chain action for slowing than the leverage, though there is a very mild amount of leverage there.

Next time I took him out there were 5-6 people in the covered arena and the olympic dressage lady had her court set up and was schooling horses and all her crew were out schooling too, so it was a bit too much juggling them and the other people just riding for leisure. Diablo did ok, but he was telling me it was a lot for him. He was shaking his head a bit by the gate and hay area, and when other horses got too close. He also got a little upset when someone came cantering up behind him, which will need to be addressed in the future. I just did walking and trotting and did leg yields on and off the rail since there wasn't much space for anything more.

After that he went out on pasture and just decided to play and stand by the gate rather than eat. He was on pasture before and didn't eat much grass and looked kinda thin but okay. We are trying to put him out on pasture again, now that his feet are doing better, and it's a bit of an affordability thing. At this facility though, if something's not right they can accommodate us, unlike the other barn where Dodge still is. Anyway, we want him to eat grass before he goes out, and he isn't doing that in the small paddocks, so I will likely have to hand graze him, or something else, cause I don't really have time to hand graze him for 4 hours a day after work...

Been giving him some massages and stretching him out which is improving the hip, and riding isn't hurting so were doing that. I want to let him out to turn out but I'm a bit worried that his bucking will undo the stretching, massaging, and targeted exercising. Right now when he's bucking its only with one leg out because of the hip thing. I think I will just focus on the balance between mental and physical health for him.

Lastly the plan I had originally hoped to follow will be adjusted a bit since there's so many people using the arenas all the time, I can't really train him how I imagined. I'd need an arena to myself to have focused and carefree training. Not gonna happen, but not bad either. Last time I rode him he was going down and on the bit too much. Great he wants to go on it on his own, but he's not flexing quite right so might need to back to the drawing board to look at bits and lateral softening, rather than vertical softening and stopping.

I have some pics I will try to post here too.
 

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I will try to put these in order,
Late August right before loading to ship up here.
Late September after 1 month with me at old barn.
Late October, still at old barn 2 months in.
November, other side, don't have any from other side...
None from December, I have pics from January, but bf is riding so I won't post.
February at the new barn, a couple weeks in and after being adjusted.
March pics taken a few days ago.
 

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Thank you both! Yes, been working on all sorts of things with him to increase his health. I think I learned a bit from Dodge, who had a ton of problems when I got him, that I can address more than one issue at a time, rather than solving the worst thing, then the next worst... So Diablo got hoof care, body work, and nutritional needs all met around the same time rather than one at a time.

Today I rode Diablo in our little gravel arena. He was a bit of a turd when I got him out from his stall. I checked his feet and he kept yanking them away from me. I lost it on him once which is a little embarrassing but after I wacked him he stopped so just made me look stupid and not him.

I free lunged him and he gave both leads so I figured it would be ok to push him to get the left lead under saddle.

I did a lot of walking trotting stuff to get him loose first, and some backing, turn on haunches, and lateral movement type stuff. He was good and got better at it. He did give the left lead, but only once. Still good enough for me, and as he went it got better. He only made it for a few laps, then I took him over a pole and he broke and I couldn't get it again.

I'm pretty sure he has a rib out or cracked rib or something, its not in his back, it's only on one side and it's not in his stifle or hip area either. It's just in front of his hip area where the last ribs are. I poked around and found a general sore area so I put some liniment on it and he really liked that.

I think it's possible he bucked it out of place, or got kicked by one of the horses he's been going out with. Still, it was better after riding so I'm going to keep at it this week.

I think this week or soon he will be out in pasture again full time, but this pasture is different from the past, and if it isn't working out he can come back in a stall. Hope all goes well and he's fine out there and stays healthy.
 
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