I wished I could say that I got right to riding once I got moved...but that really hasn't been the case.
It has taken a good long while to get this crew back on track.
Coming off of a CO winter, pretty much everyone has needed a make-over. It took a lot of time to get them all cleaned up, trimmed up and acting like they were more than a bunch of wild brumbies.
I ran into a lot of feet issues along the way that has sidelined this horse or that horse until I was able to get it resolved. Oddly enough...A whole lot of abscesses. Something I have almost never had problems with on my horses.
The first 2 to have problems was LJ and Tavi (the Canadian horse). First LJ popped a big splint and then went dead lame after I trimmed his feet, then Tav went lame. Both of these guys ended up with some abscess issues in (late) summer, after the irrigation water overflowed into their pen. I didn't think about it too much at the time, I mean, it's happened before and not been a problem. Apparently that time the aftermath was a problem. After the pen dried up, it was pretty cloddy from the horses walking through the wet spot. Both horses ended up with bruised soles and then abscesses. They were quickly fixed up by my CO farrier and that was the end of that. So when they both went lame again, I immediately suspected bruised soles and/or abscesses. All of the horses had a lot of sole packed in from the winter and were just starting their spring shed.
I cleaned out all of the old sole, packed their feet and diapered them. After a couple of days, I trimmed them both up again. I did find an abscess in one of Tav's bars, cut it out and repacked and diapered him. He was totally sound in another couple of days.
LJ on the other hand was not coming sound at all. I was trying to find the time to get him down to Cindy D.'s farrier, but ended up using a farrier several of my barrel racing friends use. He got to work on LJ's feet and found an abscess in each front foot (in the bars, just like Tavi). Because I had been packing LJ's feet with a Drawing Salve, the abscesses cut right out, but after he was shod, I repacked and diapered his feet again to protect them for a couple of days. LJ wasn't lame anymore, but it took over 2 weeks before he was completely 'right'.
I also had several other horses with feet going every which way, but they all resolved with a couple of trims.
Needless to say, it was hard to get going on any one specific set of horses because of all of this going on. I'd get started and then have to rotate to different ones while ones I intended to work needed doctoring.
I did get started working Shooter and then he suddenly came up lame too. Ugghh!! With Shooter, I wasn't sure if it was in his foot or in his suspensory. He was 'off' for most of a year due to this same problem and even then I never did figure out exactly where the issue was. It's not uncommon for a horse with a severe hind leg injury to eventually have issues with the front leg on the opposite side of the injured hind leg. It's called compensation break-down. In Shooter's case it is his left hind leg that is injured and his right front that has been giving him problems. I believe most of the issue is suspensory strain, but with so many other horses sporting abscesses...I opted to treat both issues. Lots of cold hosing, ice boot and then mudding the leg and then packing and diapering that foot. It took about a week, but Shooter did come sound. It was right when I was putting him back to work on the long line that I suddenly remembered...Last late-summer, I had the vet inspect Shooter's stifle in the injured leg side and he said their was a significant amount of inflammation in there, so we injected his stifle. Shooter was plumb sound after that. Duuhhhh!!! The pieces all kind of fell together this time...It's not a surprise that Shooter would have some stifle soreness on that side. He will never have the correct movement in the lower fetlock on that injured leg, so his stifle has to pick up the extra effort. When the stifle gets sore, he stands/lands harder on the opposite front leg and that is what is causing the soreness issues there. I will have to get Shooter's stifle injected again as soon as I possibly can and that should help him a bunch.
I've pretty much worked through all of the feet issues on everyone now and they are all back to work. I am taking it easy on Shooter and Jet since they both need their injections re-upped. I don't like working either of them in circles very much because of this, so Moon has had to become a pony-horse again. I don't think he minds. He seems to be feeling pretty good and he sure looks awesome, so he might as well make himself useful. LOL