Well, so much for 'off to a good start'. Moon is back to being Moon. I wanted to get a run on him this week to test out his new shoes...as much as I wanted to leave him barefoot, he has worn his feet down in this desert grit and was getting a little ouchy and was definitely having trouble standing/walking on rocks in the parking lots...And Yes, I debated about getting him a set of trail boots...But shoes it was. And I was/am very pleased with the shoeing job this guy did on Frosty a few weeks ago, so I figured Moon would be just as good.
I did have to smile when the farrier was done with Frosty, his first time shoeing for me, and he looked at Frosty's feet and said, 'You know 90% of the barrel racers I shoe for would freak out if they saw that much shoe hanging out the back of those front feet?'. 'I know,' I said, 'But I like my horses to have full heel support and if you actually stand back and look at it...a horse is practically going to have to rip off his heel bulb to get to that shoe, even if there is a little bit sticking out.'. He agreed. And Thank God he didn't try to 'bring those heels in', just shod him and Moon nice and full.
Of course the real test is when they run in them and I told myself this time, if Moon doesn't seem to be handling the ground like he usually does...The shoes come off and I will buy him a set of boots to ride and stand in and I'll just pull them before I run.
However...I didn't exactly get a chance to feel how Moon was handling the ground because he was a dink at the gate and I couldn't get him lined up and then when he took off running, he was stiff and unresponsive.
We hit the FIRST barrel.
What the frick?
Moon runs really straight to his first barrel and I have never had any problem getting him to move over a little bit or round just a tish to make that turn and this time...He was just flat out stiff and running blind...and it didn't get any better after that. His 2nd barrel was horrid and he was almost to the 3rd barrel before I even felt him relax enough to even have a chance to set him up and he still V'ed that turn.
I have no clue what that was all about. Except I think my theory of keeping him off the pattern except to make his runs, sort of backfired on me. I don't think he was even thinking about his pattern...he was just running today.
I didn't have a clue he was going to go that route either because he warmed up really quietly and was even good about standing around the arena before our run. No extra-ordinary stiffness or resistance and he wasn't being radical. But he shore 'nuf went in there and just ran wild.
See...This is one of the things I really hate about Moon...He is unbelievable difficult to read beforehand and you never really know where his mind is until you loosen those reins to make a run. Sometimes when he acts his worst before a run is when he runs best and sometimes when he acts ridiculous beforehand, it's all I can do to get him loped down enough to get his brain back in time to make a run. Sometimes when he is quiet and relaxed, he just goes in and makes a decent run and sometimes he just wakes up and loses his mind (like today).
What do you do with that?
I'll tell you this, he went right back in after that last barrel racer...and that was no easy feat. He was still just locked up in the brain and would NOT just walk in the gate. For the first time ever, I got the feeling that he was thinking about flipping over. He never reared up, Moon has never reared or even popped his front feet off the ground in his life!!...but he was so locked up in the head, that he wouldn't even look at the 1st barrel. Not even after we got in the arena. He just ran to the corner and didn't want to move. I let him sit for a second and then just trotted him back and forth across the arena until he finally unlocked. I wasn't about to get after him and I sure wasn't going to pull on his face. He was so balled up, he just kept jamming his chin into his chest and not wanting to move.
He finally came unwound and we trotted the pattern, walked out the gate, walked away and turned around to come right back in and he was still pretty resistant to just walking in, but at least this time he didn't dive for the corner, he looked at the 1st barrel and we slow loped to the barrel, let him turn easy, trot out, slow lope to the 2nd barrel, trot out, slow lope to the 3rd barrel, trot out and walked home. At least after that, he would walk back in the gate again.
Of course, after last year, I'm all wigged out about his shoes. OMG..what if they aren't right? What if they are too tight? What if, what if? It was impossible to tell how he was handling the ground during that disaster of a run, but the problem started at the gate....And I have pretty much been checking Moon's legs on the hour since he was shod a couple of days ago and there hasn't been an ounce of stocking up and not a single warm spot on his cornet bands or hoofwalls. I mean last year I should have know the shoeing job was wrong because Moon's hind legs stocked up a bit, so I was mudding his legs and he came out of it.
I know...I sound like a total freak about this shoeing stuff...but man...when you have a horse like Moon...who doesn't like to show external pain or discomfort...until he is making a run...It's hard not to get a little goofy over the littlest thing.
The only other thing that crossed my mind...later...was wondering if he is struggling for air. Normally I can tell when Moon is having air issues...He breathes a little heavier and has a dry, tight cough...but he hasn't been coughing at all in his daily workouts and hasn't been coughing during warm-ups either. He's on his 20,000mg of MSM a day and an immune booster
And as I am sitting here typing all of this out and running through the list of possible reasons...something just dawned on me...
I think Moon is an internal bleeder!!!
With Moon's breathing problems, I have kept such a close eye on him and I have always thanked god he didn't turn into a bleeder....And guess what?
I think he is. It just isn't coming out of his nose.
THAT would explain a lot of his erratic behaviors. Holy crap....
Well, I am off to research that and see if I can find something that is legal and will help. I know there is stuff out there, but I haven't really paid much attention to it because I didn't think it was a problem.
See....This is what this horse does to me...Every time I am about ready to kill him...I have a realization and I end up thinking...Oh poor Moon.
Damn him anyway!!!