Cole’ – I got to keep my friend

In 2004 more than 50 almost grape-sized hives covered my only horse. She scratched each new lump until they all bled. I tried bug sprays, fly sheets, and itch creams. Nothing gave her relief. The vet’s advice was, “try steroids, they might work for one season. Then sell her up north where the bugs aren’t so bad.”
While I was trying to decide what to do I ran across my first natural horse care information. Desperate for something to let me keep my friend I tried it. Overnight my mare went from scratching her skin off to being comfortable. Two days later the welts were smaller than peas. It worked year after year and I got to keep my friend!
As she got older she got stiff with a mild lameness in her front feet. I tried natural trimming, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. Still I never knew which days she would be lame, sound, or ‘off.’
Two weeks after starting her first personalized program she led my herd up to be fed, trotting freely for the first time in years. Her coat, which had never been bad, blossomed into a slick, glossy, healthy sheen.

The preimum package, which Cole’ is on, can be found here.

Day 30 – Trailer

Today I asked Cole’ to explore the trailer further. She surprised me by getting all the way in. This was great until she realized she had to back out. We spent more than an hour standing. in the trailer. She would try to stick a foot out, but have to pull it back in. she tried pawing, turning her head, running the two steps forwards and back and a number of other things before she finally managed to think her way out.

I was a little worried she would panic, but while she got excited at times, she stayed left brained the entire time.

Day 28 – Cantering

I have been beaming since this morning’s passenger session. I rode Cole’ at a canter without feeling like I was going to die! She is moving with less and less resistance. Her trot was getting a little more forward and she eventually offered a walk instead of stopping every time she came down from a trot.

Her back was a little sore after riding, so I red lighted her. Tomorrow I will be able to ride in a Parelli cruiser saddle I borrowed, and am considering buying, from a fellow fast tracker. I hope she will enjoy moving in the new saddle and learn to love moving with a rider as I learn to love to move with her.

Day 27 – Sucesses

Today was nice and cool, but only a tiny bit of rain that didn’t stop anything. I have been playing with Cole’ standing on a 1ft wide square log. Today she got all four feet on it! She has been walking her front feet on it for days, but today she offered to put her back feet on it and stood up for a few seconds. I think with another week or two she could walk along it with all four feet.

I rode her again today doing passenger lessons. I started in one of the round pens, but she was getting board. So I spent some time outside in the playground. I spent maybe 15 minutes annoying her and having her putting some effort into moving. I could have probably gotten results faster, but I am trying to build my confidence, so slow was good. After I got some effort into movement I got off, played with her on the ground, and got back on where there was no grass to distract her. She put effort into moving, even trotting over the tempting grass. We got close to the pens and I asked her to stop and I got off. I am happy with the effort she put into moving.

Day 23 – Riding Again

Today I rode Cole’ for the first time in a week. She is sound in front as long as she is wearing boots. Her hind end is getting better and the swelling is going down.

I discovered she has a lot of opposition when asked to trot. I asked her to keep at our pattern until she was pinning her ears less and stopped thinking about bucking into the trot every time I asked for it.

Day 22 – Of Ponds and Trailers

Today will hopefully be the last day I am on the ground. Cole’ is doing better even without the front boots. I took her out to the pond to soak her front feet. She was willing to put her nose in it, but it took a while before she was willing to try putting a foot into the water. I am not sure how much soaking was done, but she had put all four feet in the pond at one time or another by the time we left for something else.

The trailer has been a standing goal for me. I want to get all four of her feet in the trailer before the end of the course. She put two in with confidence so I gave her a cookie, sat with her by the trailer for a bit and went on. I want her to like the trailer.

Day 21 – Vets

I trimmed Cole’ today and booted her. Her front feet went sound, but I discovered she is lame on the hind too. The longer she was walking around the worse it got, so she got the rest of the day off.

After talking to the acupuncturist/vet and the chiropractor they said her hind end was VERY sore (she offered to kick both of them). She has deep bruising in her hindquarters from her tiff with the gelding in the next pen. She is now feeling a little better and on herbs to help with the bruises and swelling.

Day 20 – In which I Rode… A barrel

We had the morning off then a lot of classroom classes which is a good thing because Cole’ is still lame.

This morning I was running through a riding pattern in my head and I realized that even in my head I was reaching for my reigns before using my eyes, bellybutton, or legs. I was going straight to phase 4. I spent a half hour practicing my phases to program my muscle memory. Cole’s being lame is giving me a chance to work on myself in ways I might not take the time to do here if she was sound.

Tomorrow the vet should come out and see if he can do anything for Cole’.

Days 18 & 19 – Lame again

Instead of a traditional 2 day weekend, we had only one day off because of the summit next weekend. WIth only one day off to rest, Sunday became Monday this week and we will continue to be off a day until the summit.

Cole’ has been lame in the front for the last couple of days. I think she has a stone bruise from not wearing boots when we went on the trail ride. She also managed to get into more trouble kicking at one of the geldings in the pen next to her. So now she is lame on the front and swollen on the hinds. I think I need to get the vet out to do acupuncture again. Pray that she will come and stay completely sound in the next couple of days.

Despite her soundness issues I jumped on her bareback in soft footing for about five minutes and practiced hindquarter yields a bit. She is getting better about understanding what I want. When she is sound I want to start riding the cloverleaf pattern.