This past weekend I was all excited to ride when I discovered she had pulled a hind shoe overnight in her stall. It was looking a bit loose anyway, and she was due for shoes, so I didn't worry about it. I did some groundwork with her because after her vacation, she had forgotten some basic manners. Well, during our groundwork session, she lost a front shoe! BAH. She then got a second vacation while we waited for her farrier appointment on Wednesday.
Yesterday the farrier came out and cleaned everything up. Her hind foot had held together well despite having no shoe for a few days, but her front foot had promptly fallen apart. The farrier put shoes on her fronts and then asked me how I felt about leaving her barefoot behind. I figured it couldn't hurt to try, and worst case scenario is her feet not holding up quite well enough, and he'll just come out and put some shoes on her behind. No biggie! So we are going to give it a try.
|after getting her tootsies done, looking out toward the trails.|
Despite having a week and a half off, I decided it would be very intelligent to take her on a trail ride. I know, right? So clever.
Well folks, she was AWESOME. We even galloped!! That's right, for the first time since I bought her, I let my OTTB gallop. We had opportunities in the past, but I either didn't trust her, or trust myself, to actually let her go. She had such a nice canter to start, and I gradually kept letting her out a bit more, until she was going at quite a good clip down the side of the field. One ear was looking forward and the other kept flicking back at me, as if she was saying, "wait, is this really happening?!" It was so awesome. At the end of the field, she quietly came back down to a walk. She was so proud of herself and I swear she grew two inches in the front end, but she happily walked home on the buckle.
We also came across a woman walking her dog on the trail. At first she just looked like she was alone, but she cheerily told me, "my dog is off-leash in the woods but she won't bother you!". Famous last words, because just as I was passing her, a rustling sound came out of the woods. Lucy was suspicious. Then the dog, which of course was a deer-coloured pitbull, came flying out of the trees, happily bouncing around, oblivious to the horse about to have a meltdown. To Lucy's credit, though, she listened to my "WOAH" and though I know she really wanted to lose it, she kept her cool and only spooked very slightly when the dog first emerged.
On the way home, we stopped at my house to pick up the dog so she could enjoy the second half of the trail ride with us. I hopped off and opened the front door to let Cairo out. I had pulled the reins over Lu's head so I could reach the front door to open it. Cairo came flying out the front door and banged the screen with her tail, which made a loud noise, which spooked the horse, so she pulled back and got loose. She didn't seem panicked, but was curiously walking around my street, heading toward the main road. I called her and she ignored me, and I cursed myself for not bringing peppermints because I would have really loved to have plastic to crinkle! Her reins dragged on the ground in front of her and she stepped on them. Feeling herself caught, she flung her head up into the air until the reins popped out from underneath her foot. She turned around and walked straight to me and I saw bright red blood starting to form around her lips.
After seeing the horse sans rider in the middle of my street, two of my neighbours came out of their houses just in time to see me reach out and get the reins off the ground, as blood dripped all over the road. They gave me a look like, "what is going on here?". I thought "well this probably looks pretty bad"...and then I had to explain what happened.
I got Cairo and we walked back to the barn, where I untacked the horse and cleaned her mouth out using a big syringe full of water. She had a 3" laceration straight across her tongue from the bit (she was in the kimberwicke), which sliced her when she stepped on the reins and then flung her head in the air as hard as she could. The lac seemed about 1/4" deep.
God, I felt terrible. I stayed with her for a long time, making sure she could eat and drink ok. I soaked one flake of her hay last night and left the other three flakes dry, not sure if the soaked hay may be easier to eat. This morning I checked her stall and she had eaten most of her hay so that is good news, and she ate all of her dinner and breakfast. I gave her a gram of bute with her dinner hoping it would take the edge off.
So now she needs probably another week off for that to heal! I am so disappointed that such a fantastic ride was overshadowed by this :(