Friday, May 17, 2013

Of hairy beasts and sand blasts ...

I was out to the barn again this past Wednesday ... was my day off and it was BEAUTIFUL outside, so I opted to ride Gus out on the cross-country course. But before we got to that point, he needed a good brushing. And holy cow was he shedding like nobody's business. You'd have thought that he hadn't been brushed in years! He was so incredibly hairy ... it's falling off in clumps. CRAZY!

Anyways, our ride outside was the first ride since Gus was diagnosed with being 100% blind in his left eye. He was a trooper and we had a nice time. No spooks or goofy instances ... just a nice, quiet ride outside in the sunshine (and no bugs!).

After the ride, Gus got hosed down for the first time all year. I then treated him to a nice romp in the sand arena. Oh my God, I think he thought he died and went to heaven. He LOVES rolling after a bath and I figured I'd rather have him roll on "clean" sand then on dirty dirt/mud/manure/God.knows.what.else. He was such a goof - but I think he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Gringo was treated to a mini "spa" day as well, except I just hosed him off ... no grooming. He also got treated to a sandy romp in the arena. Except, this is where him and Gus differ. You see, Gus can flip totally over when he rolls - Gringo is too lazy and just rolls on one side. Then he'll stand up and roll on the other side. Except for this past Wednesday. He just rolled on one side. Silly boy.
I'm hoping to find the time to get Gringo started again ... but not sure if that'll pan out or not. I guess it's the thought that counts though, right?
My plan is to still keep riding Gus as much as I can. Granted my doctor(s) may not like that, but at the present time they are totally unaware of that situation. Riding Gus is as safe, if not safer, then driving a motor vehicle. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The blind pony update...

Today I FINALLY made it back out to the barn to work Gus. Bad news is, he's definitely blind. Good news is, he's sound.

So, I haven't actually worked with Gus for a few weeks - since I noticed his vision was going. So today's workout was interesting, to say the least. Gus was a good boy but it's very obvious that his vision is impaired. Watching him lunge was quite comical. He's having to tilt his head at an odd angle so he can see out of his right eye. Poor Gus!

But, overall, he was a good boy today. Not necessarily well-behaved on the lunge but under saddle he was a trooper, as always. We did our "usual" warmup - 10m half circles followed by 1 1/2 laps of shoulder stretches, both directions. Then we did some trot work. Actually, we did more trot work today then we've done in a while. Probably about 5-7 minutes of trot work. I was proud of myself to be able to keep up with the posting ... I've definitely lost a lot of muscle memory (and muscle) since I became pregnant. So all that posting trot really does a number on me - totally worth it though. We did end up the ride with a little canter both directions. Gus willingly took both leads and was good boy about carting my big butt around. I'm very proud of him.

Gringo just got a good grooming today. He's almost entirely shedded out. If I had the opportunity to groom him daily, he probably would be done by now - but unfortunately that situation isn't on the books at the moment. He's such a good boy though. He meets me at the gate every time I'm out to get him ... which is really nice, considering how much of a muddy mess the barn is right now.

Anyways, both boys are doing well. I hope Gus continues to improve ... but I guess only time will tell.