Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back on track

Back to work for Harley
The vet came out last Friday and gave poor Harley a shot for his hives. He's on a regimen of dosing, twice a day with "apple-flavored" dexamethasone mixed into my homemade cardamom apple butter (a great masking agent). The hives dissipated rapidly, and only small bumps on his neck remain. Without doing an expensive allergy test, I really won't know what caused it. But should they return, I may have to go that route to eliminate the problem.

As for the saddle issue--I realize my relic doesn't fit him perfectly, but I think the heat bump on his back was actually a hive reacting to the heat and pressure on the ride. Given that there was no weeping or rawness, it's healing up rapidly. So I tried using a clean pad, topped with a Cavallo wool-backed/foam combo half pad under John's Tekna saddle.

Rebekah on Ruffy
Harley was feeling good, having had the last 2 weeks off. John and Rebekah were working the fillies in the ring and I attempted to join them, but 'ole Snarley Harley was being naughty, so I headed out to the woods for a little trotting work where he wouldn't be distracted by his girlfriends. As he snorted and pranced, the trot quickly became a sideways canter up the hill. By now, John and Rebekah were ready to take the girls out on the trail for an easy cool-down. Not so for Harley....

Not one to be left last, he maintained his position in the field, first or second. Being in third position, or last, when there's more than two horses makes for an interesting ride. He is actually a good influence most of the time as the leader. He keeps Rolex, and especially Ruffy, from rushing up hills and charging over brooks, although Ruffy still would prefer to jump ditches rather than muddy up her feet!

As we neared the top of the steep incline on the Lollipop Loop, Rolex began favoring a hind foot. John dismounted and checked her foot and leg. Nothing was apparent, but we decided to turn back. I jumped down too, then walked a little further up where there was more room to turn around. Harley suddenly realized Ruffy was heading back down the trail, and Rolex was out of sight! Yikes, we gotta go ma!  Of course, there was no way to get back on him as he pranced sideways like it was post time,  and I struggled to stay afoot. I had neglected to put on my halter/lead combo (hence the lack of noseband in the photo) and regretted it now. After clambering back down the slope I caught up to John and Rebekah, remounted and we jogged/fast walked our way home.

Rolex appeared sound. We think she may have whacked her fetlock on something. And Harley's back appeared fine--no welts, no rubbing. That pleased me and may allow a postponement on saddle hunting if we play musical saddles on the horses.

Our fine cool weather is leaving today--sultry summer heat is upon us. Here come the deer flies,  horse flies, and thunderstorms. I'm already thinking about cool fall riding!


  1. Gosh, we get those hives about once or twice a summer too...usually later though. I use "calmcoat"my mare seems to enjoy it.
    Hope that your saddle stuff may be put off too.
    I'm still riding my cashel soft saddle bareback saddle. It's so compy.

    Harley horse can be a handful!! I carry a plastic bag in my gear for the times mine won't keep her distance from me, while I'm on foot. She straightens up, and focuses.

    We've got some warmer coming too, but there is still a heavenly breeze. Hope you don't have the storms!!

    Ride on !

  2. What do you do with the plastic bag? Curious to know what you do.
    Our horses assume the rustle of a plastic bag means carrot time! Not sure that wouldn't make him tromp on me to get closer. :)

  3. Ha-ha! Yea, in the right setting, the sound draws the Equine muzzle close!.But, with mine, at the end of a crop or brantch- it keeps her at bay when behind my back towards the ground! Found that out accidentally!

  4. aha! I'll have to try that the next time he tries to march over me!


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