Normally the drive to the barn is just under 40 minutes round trip. Which isn't bad considering it was once closer to an hour. But yesterday it was *awesome* to hop on the quad after supper and scoot out to the pasture. The only thing that would improve it is getting that tack area finished. I had to haul my gear out there bc i really didn't want to leave my saddle and bridle so exposed, and ended up having to go back for my girth :P
Pony face came over to greet me again. Somehow he had managed to break one of the leg straps on his flysheet already...I have no idea how. I jimmy rigged it back together, since the other one he broke last year anyway :P Horses.
I wanted to put his flymask on, but was a little nervous about leaving it on overnight in the dark. I opted to leave it off for one more day so that he could really memorize the paddock, and then I'll probably leave it on starting today. The flies have all come out and I'd rather they're not all over his face.
So I groomed and tacked him up. His leg is about 75% unswollen now, which is really nice. I think there might be some scratches going on his other hoof, but I can't be sure. Started treating them both and hoping it helps. He was maybe a little sore at the trot, but I think the terrain might have had something to do with that too...
We headed out of the paddocks into the pasture surrounding our place. Followed the deer trail. It's thick old grass that's fallen over, and plenty of rocks under that. I'm already expecting him to have hooves of wonder by the end of summer. Seriously, some great hoof building terrain here.
I rode him to the dugout at the back of our property, which is all dry. He was NOT interested in going in there, probably a throwback to that time we tried swimming in a gravel pit...
I got him through anyway, and it was great to have a spot to work on his back muscles. Then we wandered to the road allowance, and did a nice trot up it to the road. We went up the road almost a mile, where I let him look at the neighbour's cows and horses. He just turned around and wanted to go home. So we did. I just *felt* that he wanted a run, so I let him canter. Lord I'm in love with his canter. Such variability and I could slow it into this beautiful uphill thing where we barely covered terrain but he was still cantering. I'm 24 weeks pregnant now and felt 100% at home on him even at that pace. I really felt like I could put a total green rider up on him and they'd be totally fine. Which is weird considering how much of a dick he'd gotten to be at the barn. Still a good ride, but nothing like he was yesterday.
We rode back down our driveway, stopped in the excavation hubs was working on for his garage and then headed down the trail back to the pasture. I honestly was thrilled by the whole ride. I was sore and can definitely feel the physical difference (wow, did my butt hurt!), but it just felt so good. Maybe it was the throw back to the early years when I first met him, and we were exploring this area together in our early relationship?? I don't know. It just felt calm and peaceful. We were a team.
I rode back into the paddock and took his bridle off, and the jerk trotted off for what I was SURE was going to be a roll!! Except he was still saddled!! Insert me chasing him across the field and him running faster because now I was a crazy person :P I did stop, walk over, he stood and I led him back to undress properly. I totally should have known to at least put his halter on :P
Legs treated and a quick brush, I let him out to roll. Then reblanketed him. I tossed his grain in his bucket and he gave me the "I'm still not sure about the shelter" face. But I shook the pail twice and the sound of the grain was too tempting; he came in to eat ;)
After I went and sat on the quad and couldn't help but notice that he walked a pattern, over and over in the paddock. Not like a fence line pacing type thing, but up one fence line; stop in corner, look around. Poop. Down the front fence, stop in corner. Look around. Cross the field, and he would either check his grain bucket or shove his hay net around and eat what fell out. Then he stopped for some water. Followed by circling a tree, heading to a deer trail, backing out of the deer trail, and then walking back up the first fence line. It was weird, because the pattern was so consistent. He'll easily have marks worn in by the week's end.
And he seemed to have "places" for things. Almost all of his poop was in one corner. Every time he rolled, it had been in the same spot; that dried patch of grass where the dance floor was, probably because it's dustier? He always seemed to pee a couple feet away from the poop spot. He always backed out of the deer trail, not turn around.
I really don't know. My friends have all assured me that horse do walk patterns in the paddock, and as long as he's eating, pooping, urinating and drinking, don't sweat it. And he's not running the fence line or calling.
So we'll go with that for now. I'll just keep watching him.
I'm currently thinking I'm going to try to ride three evenings a week or so, so that he's getting lots of exercise and stimulation. Tonight I'm going to plant our potatoes and move dirt from the garage excavation to fill in some of the low spots on the drive to the back field. That'll help hubs finish the work he's doing on it, and the path will have less potholes before the next rainfall. So no riding until Wednesday.
Thursday I'm going out to the barn for a visit and watch the girls ride. And Friday our chicks come home!! :D Plus I'm going to a baby gear sale with the girlfriends. So no ride until Saturday after Wednesday. Hubs is spending the day with his buddy, so you know I'm gonna go for a nice long ride and then spend the afternoon getting my chicken coop ready for its new occupants.
I'm also headed out to Ottawa in a week and a half, so super excited about that :) I can't wait to have a mini vacation. And hubs will look after pony face for me ;) Lucky man ;)