Tuesday we ran at Hopper ranch. We were way off the pace, seeing as how I was terrified he’d not stop coming out of the arena. Here in Texas, they run barrel races with what is called an open gate. That means that you run in and out of the arena and stop your horse after they’re out of the arena. I have video that I’ll put up later of this run. Later like when I get back to SD.
Wednesday was horse health day! I took Shuttle and Gump to the vet; Gump had blood drawn (he’s healthy as a horse! ha ha ha!!!), and Shuttle has of course been released to be ridden again. Then it was off to the equine dental school. Gump and Jill’s horse Gucci were going to get their teeth cleaned up. Horse’s mouths move vertically and laterally and the way they are designed to work best is in their natural environement. Where they eat off the ground, and they eat grass. Grass helps to wear down their teeth. Because horse’s teeth grow continually until they are around 18, and because their mouths move in a couple different directions, their teeth get sharp edges and can cut their tongues and cheeks.
Gump’s mouth was in bad shape. Poor guy. Those of you following this blog know that he’s had trouble on barrel turn #2. Well he was missing a tooth on the top of his mouth on the left side, so the tooth on the bottom had grown into that spot and he was unable to move his mouth front to back because of that. The dentist asked me if I was having trouble getting him to turn left; well yes, I say. He said, when I’m done with him you won’t. He had to cut a big part of that tooth off, and then we were able to file off all the sharp edges and made his mouth happy.
Thursday was the barrel race at Collinsville, TX. We made a couple practice runs to let him know he wasn’t as sore through his face. He was riding so much better. Night and day difference. He’s been soft. Now he’s softer. And he can stay round through his ribs to the left. We made a pretty nice run, he was about a second and a half off and I’m ok with that- it wasn’t but his 12th run ever or something like that.
Friday we left early for Belton, TX. We ran way off the pace, and all over the pen. He stumbled at the first barrel and the rest of the run was all over. The friday night run was 6 tenths faster, and thanks to Kassie Mowrey I won’t be winning a check!
Yesterday I rode Shuttle for the first time since May. I love her, I love her, I love her! She actually rode better than she had when I had to get off of her. Stopping harder, softer in her face, rounder in her ribs! I LOVE IT! She was upset that I didn’t let her go fast, and that I didn’t let her turn around any barrels, but that will come. The plan, at the moment is to let her do lots of long trotting up hills, and really get that stifle joint in excellent, healthy shape. Then at the first of the year, we’ll start entering and see how she runs. And I think, that when her joints get sore again, we’ll be sure to use some Legend, as opposed to injecting the actual joint. Speaking of shots, I have to give her an adequan shot today…