Zelda and I went out for one more snow day before the rains come and wash the rest of it away. We’ve enjoyed our days of warmth, although none as much as Freedom. He’s had a blissed out look on his face all week. Can you tell that he really hated the cold weather?
Tomorrow and Saturday we are supposed to have heavy rain. Gotta love New England weather. Then it’s back to freezing temperatures again.
I only got two snow rides in, but they were splendid. In fact, they might be enough to last me until next winter!
Today the high was nearly 40. That’s a nice contrast to the -10 that I woke up to on Sunday morning. Between the frigid weather, the blizzard and a nasty cold I was starting to forget that snow and horses can also be fun. Since rain is predicted for Friday, getting a few rides in is essential.
I chose Zelda for the ride. First of all, she has no shoes, which makes her a bit more sure footed (even though Freedom has borium and pads, I think that in deep snow, barefoot works better). Freedom also gets a bit feral when he hasn’t been ridden for so long. Zelda was frisky initially, but trotting through the deep snow cured her of that pretty quickly.
When my kids were little they both loved the book Owl Moon by Jane Yoder. In it, a father takes his child (the gender is somewhat ambiguous) owling on a winter’s night.
This evening I left the barn for a short hack just 15 minutes before the sun set. As we walked through the woods, I heard the unmistakable call of a Barred Owl. Zelda and I got as close as we could to the sound, which of course was not on the trail! At one point, we were rewarded by the sound of an answering hoot. Not as deep and not as loud. The two owls talked to each other for several minutes while Zelda and I stood as still as possible in the woods, not wanting to interrupt.
There is definitely something magical about being in the woods in the dark, listening to the crunch of leaves under hoof and being serenaded by the owls.
Last October, Freedom’s problem with intermittent lameness came to a head. I trailered him an hour an a half to a glorious hunter pace only to find that he was so uncomfortable that I turned around and hacked him home after two miles.
If you’ve been reading along with the blog, you’ll remember that I had his Sacroiliac joints injected. His symptoms were consistent with SI problems — sore back, difficult holding the canter. Unfortunately, the injections and mesotherapy made no difference. I kept him in light work and had him re-evaluated this spring. A new diagnosis emerged: Lyme.
Unsurprisingly, the Doxy made Freedom feel really good. After all, it’s a great anti-inflammatory. I do think it was Lyme because most of the benefits from the treatment stuck. He could canter on both leads and he felt a lot sounder. At least he did for about four miles of conditioning work. After that, he started to feel sore. He didn’t want to canter, he flung his head in the air. He was uncomfortable. [Note: this kind of soreness can come from an ill fitting saddle but I have my saddles fitted every six months, so I was pretty sure that saddle fit wasn’t the problem].
When he had his spring shots, I discussed this with the vet. Before another lameness exam, we decided to try Robaxin, according to Wedgewood pharmacy, Robaxin “is used for the treatment of acute inflammatory and traumatic conditions of the skeletal muscle to reduce muscle spasm and effect striated- muscle relaxation.”
Freedom’s been on Robaxin for about 10 days. He’s felt good for shorter rides and I’ve gradually been increasing the intensity, so yesterday I put it to the test: A seven-mile hunter pace. We moved along at a good pace and jumped the smaller fences. Even at the end he was happily cantering on both leads. I know Robaxin isn’t a long term solution, but it’s nice to have my boy feeling so good again. An added bonus? We came in second!