Riding 29 year old Sandy in 1997

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back to normal

Got some tax work out of the way today and had time to actually get on Dash for a ride. My riding buddy Tessa got off work early and called while I was at the grocery store, saying she would be home in 20 minutes. I grabbed a gallon of milk and abandoned the rest of the shopping trip to rush home to my horse.

I'd been concerned that she might not be quite 100% after her illness. There hadn't been much opportunity between sub teaching and trips out of town to really evaluate how she was feeling; all I could do was monitor intake and output but her overall attitude still seemed a bit "off."

But after she stood quietly for saddling, something two properties over caught her attention (I never did see what it was) and she got a bit snorty and blowy and prancy, which I took as a good sign (except for the fact that I thought she had been desensitized to just about anything, let alone something two acres away).

So I did some circling with her and made her lead over to the fence line to look at whatever it was that was disturbing her and finally she sighed and settled down and I got on, called the dogs, and rode over to Tessa's.

She was very good on the ride, perfectly willing and responsive. As usual I was riding in just the halter and lead rope without a bit. Part of the time we led and part of the time we followed Tessa's mare, Jessie. Just about the time we were thinking of turning around so we could get back by dark, we heard voices and then saw a white tent and bonfire, and then four dogs ran out to meet up with our four dogs.

Humans came and controlled one of the dogs; the other three were small and no fights ensued. The horses were both a bit boogered. Tessa had dismounted but I stayed in the saddle. There was an old bin that it looked like they had been using for target practice that was bothering the horses so I rode Dash up to it and had her touch it with her nose.

We turned around and all of a sudden my horse who had been nervous, but willing to approach the camp, the fire, and the scary old bin suddenly decided it was time to get out of there. She bolted a little, clearly nervous about having all those scary objects, people, and dogs behind her where she couldn't see them, and I pulled her up and decided to get off and lead her.

I'm not sure who was leading who, though, and I kept having to stop her, back her up, or circle her. Eventually she settled down and I got back on and had an uneventful ride the rest of the way home.

Contrasted with the ride of December 26, the day I discovered she had the fever, she seemed to be back to normal today. On that day, she had been so quiet, compliant, and non-reactive I had wondered aloud if she might be sick, and it turned out she was. But today she was in tune with her surroundings and showing some spunk.

I think my girl has come back to normal, except for continuing to refuse to eat teff hay.

I am relieved, of course, because these last three + weeks have been a constant worry, wondering what was actually wrong with her and if it was truly over. I still don't know what was wrong, but I believe it is truly over.

And that's the latest from the Ranch.

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