Bareback Prescription

Winter has come on hard and fast, which is a bit of a bummer. I was hoping for a long, mild fall. Evidently the Iowa department of weather didn’t get that memo. It’s been unseasonably cold, wet, and snowy.

Worse than that, though, is Steen took a hard kick to the belly. This resulted in a big swollen lump that alarmed me enough I had a vet in to look at it.

This was the day I noticed the bump. I climbed on for a very brief ride just to gauge how he was moving and feeling.

Fortunately, it was probably just shy of being serious. Although it’s super tender and has resulted in a bunch of extra drainage accumulating lower down on his belly, he mostly has seemed like himself the whole time. The vet did recommend light rides to help encourage circulation and promote healing, but without a saddle since some of the swelling now extends under where the girth would sit.

One day later, things were a whole lot puffier. Seriously the photo does not even begin to accurately show how big this was.

After about four days, though, things began steadily moving in the right direction. We’ve done a number of light rides. The first few days, Steen didn’t really feel like himself. But about the time the swelling started to move in the right direction, he started to feel a little perkier.

It’s interesting with riding more bareback lately. Steen is 18 now, and I can feel that it’s harder on him. He has a relatively long back, and I can feel more flex and sag in it than he used to have.

A few weeks ago when the vet came out to do fall vaccinations and float teeth, I ended up hopping on Laredo bareback for a while we waited our turn. And wow that’s a different feeling back. He’s like a solid, short, broad shelf in comparison to Steen. Funny that our two geldings almost couldn’t be more different in all things. Temperament. Energy level. Conformation.

Ah well. Variety is the spice of life I suppose.

today's snap

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