Tonight is a big ol’ harvest moon, and last night, too. When I went to bed, I kept thinking I had forgotten to turn the light out, it was so bright through the curtains. Remember a blog post or so back, I was talking about peaks and valleys? Today was like that.

George, eating my jacket

George, eating my jacket

First thing this morning, Rugby came up to the gate on three legs. Literally. He was absolutely non-weight-bearing lame. Boy does that wake you up first thing in the morning as you head out through the dewy grass to the barn to serve breakfast. He hobbled into the barn and I put him in his stall, checked his foot for a nail or rock or something easy (no such luck), then quickly fed the others, while scenarios rushed through my head. It used to be that if something happened to Rugby, I would nearly die of worry, but now that I have three or four others to panic over, I don’t die anymore for just him. But it’s still really, really concerning. As soon as he finished his grain, I picked out the left front, could not find anything, then pulled him one halting step at a time out of the stall up to the front cross-ties, and pulled off his shoe. Still could not find anything really big, but the whole leg was warm to the touch, but not swollen anywhere, as opposed to the right front which was stone cold and tight. The small bump he’s got on his inside splint bone was also a bit bigger and somewhat tender but the hoof really seemed to be hurting him more, so I soaked, then poulticed the whole leg, gave him bute and put him back.

Hamish's first blue ribbon

Hamish’s first blue ribbon

I had time so I rode a few others this morning and here’s the peak part. Lucky, while still and probably always not wholly accepting the contact, had a wonderful, wonderful flat school and I did jump him just a few times at the end of his ride — and he was just outstanding. George, too, was pretty darn good today, but he did cough a few more times than usual. We are adding canter to the schooling time, and while he is not one hundred percent perfect, he still shows such poise for a young ex-racehorse and is happy to learn. I am thrilled with his attitude. He still scoots out from under me if he thinks something is spooking him from behind, and the darn pigeons scare the crap out of him despite being pretty regular about flying around all the time from the barn to the sheds (all the other horses have gotten used to them). And he’s not overly fond of the jack russells running beside the arena. But he is understanding the leg a bit more each day and I can hack him out front, outside the arena, and he is walking up the track to the back field and back. I would love to have someone to ride with so I could go all around the track with a buddy. We have not jumped, as he is overdue on getting the shoes replaced, and I don’t want him to trip and scare himself. He is trotting the trot poles beautifully, though.

"This big"

“This big”

Hamish had a light hack, and then we walked down the drive and got the mail. He has a little bruise on the front heel from his new hind shoes, I think, so I am going easy while the bruise heals. I don’t think it is deep enough to infect and did not bleed, there wasn’t any dried blood, so it probably isn’t too bad. It was soaked and wrapped with Animalintex for three days. I don’t think he got it at the horse trial, I think it was in the field at home, probably stomping at a fly. He is sound and I don’t think any the worse for the wear. He is certainly lording it up out in the field, I am sure he had big stories to tell everyone when he got home. “The ramp was THIS big….the water was THIS deep…..I smoked that course!” Hamish, George and Odie are sharing a pasture (all the bays) and Indy and Lucky (black and red) are also out together. I am resting the back paddocks for now so they have the big fields which are full of grass. The rye is fully grown right now and they are eating the tops off it the rye which is nearly knee high.

Harvest moon over lame pony

Harvest moon over lame pony

The very cool morning today morphed into a warm noon. I quickly picked up the barn and went to work (late shift today) after checking one more time on Rugby – yep, still lame. Tonight, after mowing the front field when I got home, I checked on him one more time and he seemed to be about 50 percent better. He was bearing weight on the foot and seemed more comfortable outside so we thought we could turn him out tonight. He’s sore on the pavement of the barn aisle, though. I will have another set of eyes look at him tomorrow and if we can’t find the cause of it, I will have to call in the reinforcements (my vet) and have him ex-rayed. Sigh. Hunting season is just about upon us, but I probably have three good prospects, two of which are fit enough to hunt right now, so I guess I shouldn’t be too afraid, but it still worries me a great deal to have a horse appear that lame without an obvious reason. Oh, Rugby.

I will be volunteering at a big international horse trial this weekend and I’m going to video tape small pieces of my day for use in a promotional video. We’ll see how this works – I need some more batteries and memory cards for the cameras to get it accomplished the way I want to. Be watching for more on this!