Christmas vacation finally arrived which meant I had time to drive up on Monday and see Izzy for myself. You gotta give me some serious credit. It's a 260 mile round trip to visit my horse, and I plan to do it three more times in the next week and a half. That's more than 1,000 miles in two weeks!
The original plan was to watch the trainer ride and then take a lesson on Izzy. As we all know, best laid plans don't always work. On Thursday, Izzy came up lame. There was no heat or swelling, so it was assumed that he was footsore. He's been barefoot all his life (something I was going to change when he came home), and living in an irrigated pasture. After three weeks of work, it was decided that he needed shoes sooner than later.
Debbie Davis, the trainer, made special arrangements with her farrier for an emergency shoe job. Since this was Izzy's first shoeing, he of course put up quite a fuss. Fortunately, the vet was on site and was able to serve Izzy a delightful cocktail and serve as handler.
My plans for riding were scratched, but I had a great time playing with him anyway. I spent my time hosing off the mud on his legs and checking out the inflammation. This was a great opportunity for me to see how he handled the wash rack and the poking and prodding that comes with a lameness exam. I later poulticed the leg and wrapped it, all of which he handled with zero complaint. In fact, he let me poke at his leg while standing in the yard with no one to hold him.
After I scrubbed his legs clean, I spent more time grooming his whole body, paying special attention to his head, face, and ears. He is already much better about lowering his head than he was three weeks ago. I also hammered his feet and worked on his mane and tail. He wasn't totally relaxed, but he clearly enjoys being groomed and handles the cross ties like a pro. I even left him in the barn aisle by himself while I went back to my car for supplies.
Even though I wasn't going to ride, I still saddled and bridled him. I mostly just wanted to check the fit of my tack. Fortunately, my girth and Micklem bridle (both were Sydney's) fit perfectly. My saddle also seems to fit, but as with Sydney, I really think I'll need to use a riser pad instead of the fleece half pad. How Speedy is the widest horse I've ever owned, I'll never understand!