On the good side of things...Moon seems to be completely recovered from his episode!
A few things have changed at feeding time though. Moon has always gotten a bit radical at supper time. He's not like this at breakfast and hardly blinks when he gets his afternoon snack...but come evening...Oh boy...does the jackass in him come out. I used to make sure to get his feed mixed up and get it to him as quickly as possible and then would feed everyone else.
Now...Moon gets haltered and tied up. He is now the LAST one to get fed and if he so much as pins his ears...Well...let's just say, momma keeps her buggy whip real handy!
Oh boy was Moon pissed the first couple nights I did that.
He's no dummy though. He has figured out that the nicer he stands and the more pleasant his expression, the quicker he gets his damn supper. I have no doubt he is flipping me off and giving me nasty looks behind my back, but when I'm watching him, he looks so sweet, sugar wouldn't dissolve on his tongue.
But on to my new challenge...
I have long thought and mentioned a few times that Spooks' old boy doesn't travel the best. I spent a lot of time with him last year working to improve the way he moves, but in all reality I had minimal success. I didn't put a huge amount of thought into it...Sometimes you just have to use them the way they are.
This year, as I have been conditioning him up again, I still didn't really think that he traveled properly and decided to go a few steps farther with him to fix that...after all...He has pretty much earned at least a little extra care and attention.
I had the chiropractor out to work on his back and it was as I suspected...he has a dropped SI joint, some misaligned vertebrae and his pelvis is a bit wonky. Spooks is so stiff and tight over his back and loin that the chiro had a hard time manipulating him and I could tell it was painful for the big guy.
His misalignments are old and set. Impossible to say how they came to be. He did nothing but lounge in the pasture for most of his life. My brother used Spooks for ranch work for a couple of years when he was 4 and 5, but that's about it. After that he got rode only a handful of times, until I brought him out here. But anyway...
The chiropractor told me that movement and exercise is Spooks' best friend. The better condition he has, the more limber he will be. That was kind of a no-brainer, but in Spooks' case, its even more apparent. Obviously it was going to take more adjustments, coupled with a good conditioning program to get Spooks' aligned again. I sort of expected that I would have to lay off competition for a bit, but the chiro told me that competing would be fine. It would be important to have him well warmed up and to keep him moving so he did not re-stiffen.
One thing I didn't mention was that after the barrel race last weekend, Spooks had trouble loading and unloading. He was not able to step up or down with his hind feet. He had to kind of hop his butt up and brought both hind feet up at the same time when loading and did the same thing when unloading. That to me is an obvious sign of hip pain. I can tolerate a funky moving horse, but when they are showing obvious signs of pain or discomfort...
It's time to get more indepth...