Sam was happier today! THANK GOODNESS!!!!!! Sometimes it is like dealing with a teenager! :o)
When I drove in I took one look at him and knew something was off. I parked my car and got changed (I get changed in my car as I go to the paddock straight from work) and he walked over to the general corner to greet me. I had watched him in my rear view mirror walking very stiff, tenderly to the corner. I called out hello and he greeted me with pricked ears and his head up looking at me - general greeting. He wouldn't turn and walk over to the gate though. Sometimes when he won't come over if I crouch down he will come over to see what I am doing. I tried this but he just turned his head around to look at me. I walked over to him, put his halter on, felt his legs and picked up his hoof. (Yesterday arvo I checked his hooves and they had some mud in them but I left it there because I hoped it would help moisten his sole enough for it to finish falling off (I have been waiting two weeks so far for this to happen) His hoof still had the mud in there but it had dried solid. Same in the other front hoof.
He was happy to follow me though down to the stables where I attacked the mud. I thought I was going to have to call Scott because I could not get all the mud out of his hoof. After struggling for a while and thanking Sam for being so patient - I was kneeling down and resting his hoof on my knee so I could use both hands on the hoof pick. I ended up getting hose and soaking the mud - this finally helped!
He has lost more sole so hopefully I will be able to get the farrier out at the end of next week, then I can move him for his holiday! We are in the 7th week of having these shoes on Sam which is the longest he has ever been! We used to just make 5 weeks, then we made 5 weeks where the shoe was still on. I moved him mainly due to his hooves and since being moved he has not lost a shoe, made 5 weeks easily, last time made 6 weeks and now 7 weeks and the shoes are still tight!!!! Very exciting. It is so dry here at the moment nobodies hooves are growing but I soak Sam's hooves and this I find helps keep them growing and keeps them a bit more supple. The longer I leave it the better because I won't have to rush when I get him to Wagga to find a farrier. Saying that I don't want to leave it too long and do damage - fine line!
I walked him out and he was walking out better, a little tender but happier. I decided to ride but only really at a walk. I hoped on, sorted myself out, sat up straighter, raised the rein slightly and gave a small squeeze - he moved off! I thought forward and he stepped out further. This time I actually felt him not speed up but lengthen his stride!!!!! Awesome! I just rode out on a loose rein and did a little bit of trot on a loose rein and practiced thinking my transitions. He even trotted over a pole in a straight line!!!!!!! Generally we weave towards them, over them and away from them :o) He was sore when I trotted him around a barrel so we retired then. When I hoped off I asked him to move his hind quarters and then his shoulders. He did it all without the general fuss so I left it at that. All in all about 15min of work but happy, relaxed good work that we haven't had for a while.
I did soak the ground a bit and put his hay in the middle so hopefully it will help finish off those soles!!!!!
So glad Sam was happier today. Isn't it strange I don't usually pick up his hooves and check them when I go out just to feed but yesterday I did and noticed the mud in his hooves. (the mud was from around the trough, I had emptied it and cleaned it the day before) Lucky I did because otherwise it probably would have taken me just that little longer to figure why he was a bit tender! I did take his temp as well just in case and it was fine!
Maybe that was why Sam was off yesterday but I don't think so because he was still happy to walk out yesterday - maybe he was just having a bad day. Glad to have happy Sam back!