The good news is – knock on every wood surface available within reach – Henry has been sound since he got his fancy new sneakers put on. I gave him almost a week to acclimate, and to make sure that he’d stay looking good. He proceeded to gallop and perform sliding stops in his turnout everyday to the point where he took at least 5 years off my life in the process.
He’s a feral creature at the moment. Over a month off has done absolutely nothing for his brain cells, I’m relatively certain they all had a fight to death and now there’s only one left standing (and it’s a psychopath). There is a lot of snorting and tail flagging which I can only assume is the winning brain cell’s version of a victory celebration.
I decided to bring Henry back really slowly, since we never were quite sure why he was lame in the first place, and I don’t really trust it. We’ll very slowly ramp things back up and see how it goes. I’m in precisely zero hurry and would rather take way too long than rush things and increase the risk for re-injury.
So last week I finally swung a leg over and we went for a hack.
Correction: we tried to go for a hack. He’s so wild that it was more like a power march that often ended up sideways because there was a plant or an animal. Or because there wasn’t a plant or an animal. Either way. Terrifying, according to Henry.
On Sunday I hopped back aboard, this time adding a few minutes of trot to our hack. Which was, admittedly, a lot of borderline jigging and some seriously athletic teleportations. Early in the ride a big huge bird took off from a tree behind us. I didn’t get a good look at it, as Henry was already halfway to Houston, but it was a really big one. Naturally he spent the entire ride after that spooking at birds. Big birds. Small birds. Moving birds. Still birds. Invisible birds. Relatively certain we encountered every bird or non-bird but bird-like animal in the county. The best part was when they would stir in the trees after we’d already passed, and General Last-Remaining-Brain-Cell would take off first and ask questions later. If I die, it’s because of birds.
But his trot felt really good (I’m trying to ignore the fact that he clearly loves these stupid, massively expensive glue on sneakers) so… we’ll just keep taking it one ride at a time. Yesterday afternoon in turnout he was absolutely SPRINTING down the fenceline, farting and bucking like he was trying out for the damn rodeo while I yelled “OH MY GOD PLEASE DON’T DO THAT, IF YOU’RE LAME TOMORROW I’M GOING TO EAT YOU”. Horse really needs to get back to work before he gives me a damn heart attack.
Speaking of hearts, we got a new toy to try out, so I’m excited to put this on him today and see how it works. We might not get any particularly interesting data for a while (except spooking) but it’ll be fun to play with. Y’all know I love horsey technology. The Hylofit is definitely much easier/less complicated than the Seaver, although they’re a bit different in what data they collect. We’ll see how it goes! I can’t wait to see how my heart rate compares to his. At least I don’t spook at birds.