Sunday, July 12, 2009

July Week 1 Review

Monday 6/29
Longed her. She is head-bobbing lame at the trot. More icing, hosing.

Tuesday 6/30
Pretty much all swelling down, but still lame. Called the vet.

Wednesday 7/1
Left her mostly alone again, still more hosing. Not much in the way of swelling.

Thursday 7/2
Vet visit. The verdict? Her wound on LH is absolutely fine. It's actually her RF that she's lame in. So, so weird. Nerve block shows it's somewhere in her hoof, so two weeks of paddock rest with anti-inflammatories (plus antibiotics to keep the wound healing clean) and then a re-evaluation. Fingers crossed she's not lame, because then we get on with our lives. If she still is, then we go to x-rays.
Needless to say, camp and the rating are off with Pandora. Thankfully I have McKinna as a solid backup and now it's time to get to work.

Friday 7/3
Well, she's not the biggest fan of chilling out. Thank goodness she's allowed to still be in a paddock with McKinna. Anyway, mixing her powdered bute and antibiotics with applesauce didn't work - she wouldn't even eat the applesauce plain - and she wasn't the biggest fan of that mixed with molasses and grain either. So we're going to take the easiest option: mix enough applesauce and molasses to make a paste, put it in an old clean dewormer tube, and give it to her like dewormer. She's always good for that, so hopefully she'll handle two weeks of that treatment.

I guess this will function as a riding log for McKinna for the next few weeks. McKinna was very good tonight. I'm curious to try some positive reinforcement/clicker work with her, as she's incredibly intelligent. I feel like the key I really need is to get her to stretch her head and neck down and get her butt underneath her, instead of elevating her neck from the base and trailing out behind. Silly short Arab-neck. Anyway, I really think if I can just get her to do that, we'll progress in huge leaps and bounds. It will be interesting to try.
My plan of attack is two-fold. First I will try longeing her in vienna side reins, where hopefully she can figure out for herself that stretching down is cool, especially at the canter. Second, I'll do some clicker work in earnest. She's already got a pretty solid grasp of what it means, but I'll spend some time refreshing her memory with targeting work. Then I'm going straight to under saddle. I'll first reinforce putting her head down at the halt -- no matter how relaxed she is at the walk, as soon as she halts, the head pops straight up. Don't think it's anxiety, just habit. If I can break that and get her to remain low with a light contact, I can move it up the gaits.
Don't know how well it will work, but it'll be a nice experiment. Hopefully it goes well.
Oh, and I got a pair of bell boots for her for $4 today - really nice thick rubber ones with good velcro. Awesome.

Saturday 7/4
Fourth of July. Woo.