I hooked up over the weekend and dragged the trailer out of the weeds and bushes to give it a once over. Everything looked to be in working order, but I drove it around the neighborhood to be sure. The next day, I decided to give Izzy a quick trailer loading lesson. To my delight, he hopped in super quietly after Speedy, and both boys stood like rockstars.
On Monday, both boys loaded confidently and we headed on over to Bakersfield Vet Hospital. I have an amazing vet in Dr. Tolley. His first question is always to ask about each horse. He knows we're there for vaccinations and dentals, but he also likes to know if anything has changed and what other "little" thing we might have going on.
He lunged Speedy to the right and noticed that Speedy was actually sore on the left on one of the bars of his hoof. Speedy came up quite positive to hoof testers, so Dr. Tolley poked around a little looking for an abscess. While nothing oozed out, Speedy was immediately more comfortable as Dr. Tolley shaved away some of his sole. Dr. Tolley's diagnosis was a build up of fluid on his bars which was trying abscess. Removing some of the sole released the pressure.
After that, Speedy got his teeth done and his annual vaccinations. After some poking around Speedy's sheath, right front tendon, and his eyes (an area to watch as there's a weird thing to keep my own eye on), Dr. Tolley gave Speedy a clean bill of health.
Izzy also got his vaccinations and the sharp edges of his teeth smoothed out. This led to a discussion about bitting. If you haven't read yesterday's post, check it out. I explained to Dr. Tolley the whole bitting saga we've gone through, and he listened intently. He said it was possible that the small points Izzy had formed since last year could have contributed to some bit discomfort, but he agreed that it was also quite likely that Izzy simply didn't like the snaffle.
We talked about his own opinion regarding bits and tongue relief, and he echoed my own recent conclusion that tongue relief is important for horses. He reminded me though that he rides well broke ranch horses that don't need the micromanaging that dressage horses do. He understands the needs for bits of all shapes and sizes.
I always enjoy my visits with the vet. Dr. Tolley is always interested in developing the doctor/client relationship. The more communication between vet and owner, the better off the horse will be which is always his number one priority. And if that means we chit-chat about bits, he's happy and interested to do it.
Anybody else use their vet as a sounding board, or I am just a weirdo?