Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Riley's birthday gift (best b-day ever)

Believe it or not -- I don't tell you guys everything.

  • I didn't tell anyone that last week he was stepping short on the right front at a walk. Heat in the foot, digital pulse after one hour of turnout on frozen ground.
  • I didn't blog that I took him off turnout to assess his situation (granted, we had 2 inches of rain that kept all the horses inside).
  • I didn't whine about going to the barn twice a day to handwalk him and feel his feet.
Today, my birthday
The outside footing in Bucks County is abysmal--the mud is fetlock deep everywhere. At this rate Riley won't go out for awhile, and he deserves more than this anemic indoor handwalking -- if he holds up. So this morning I decided to step it up. A test of sorts, under the best conditions possible -- a large, empty, indoor with Eurofelt footing. At 6am, in 35 degree weather, I booted Riley up and put him on the end of a lunge line. No drugs. I wore boots, heavy gloves, and a helmet (cuz I'm a dork). I didn't really circle him around me but used the whole ring to minimize joint stress.

He was amazing, he was my beautiful big-moving boy again! Maybe not forever, maybe only in this super-optimal footing, but at that moment in time he was awesome. He was happy to be moving! He sat down on that heiney, he threw those front legs out like he was Totilas-in-training. He bucked, he tried to change directions, he cantered, he farted, he whinnied. Not a lame step.

The barn manager came in a bit later, and I had her check his pulses. Nada.

This business has had its ups and downs. But today was a wonderful day.


  1. Happy Birthday! And may Riley's birthday gift to you last for years and years.

    I would think he might get a little footsore in the icy frozen garbage the ground was last week. My Chance was tottering around on it, that's for sure. That's still new growth in Riley's foot and not hardened to work, yet. Think positive.

    The lungeing must have been fun for you both. I love seeing a sound, silly horse just expressing himself like that.

  2. So maybe he knew it was your birthday and wanted to show you appreciation, horsey style?? Sounds like a pretty nice ride in spite of crummy weather!

  3. Yay! So glad to read this.

    You'll (hopefully) be pleased to learn that the word verif. for this comment is:


    I think it's a good omen for Riley - the beginning of the new soundness. :)

  4. What a great birthday gift for both of you! I hope this is a sign that things will be easier as he truly mends.

    Eldest is learning how to keep an eye on a horse for sore feet since Oscar's previous owner's son was a farrier in training and nearly ruined his hooves with frequent trimming. Now he goes lame if he walked on hard ground, poor boy!

  5. What a wonderful birthday present! Happy birthday!

  6. how wonderful! I bet it brought tears to your eyes. Happy Birthday!

  7. What a lovely gift from your boy. I hope that the future holds lots of moments like this for both of you.

  8. Man, I wish it was 35 degrees here. I woke up this morning to go to class (Dressage at 10:30am), flipped on the news and found out the high today was 18 degrees and it was snowing..awesome...

  9. What a great gift! Happy birthday to you!

  10. Happy Birthday! We've been having that weather up here too. Glad Riley was feeling good.

  11. Happy birthday!! Glad you and Riley had such a good day.

  12. It's hard sometimes to disclose everything on a blog. Sometimes I feel so down about what is going on that I'd rather not bring my readers down with me! I am so glad though that you were able to really enjoy your boy :) Happy Birthday!

  13. Happy birthday! Glad to hear that things are going a bit better after the little setback.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.