Writing Rut? Um, yes. That "30 Day Challenge" thing I tried was a huge bust, lolz. Even with my pathetic bending of the rules I think I got to the fourth question or something. Blah. It's hard to write about my pony when so much else is going on job and family wise-both of which, by the way, are up in the air. Grandma is still in hospice, and (not to equate these things) I still don't know if I'll be working past October 1st.
Still, I want to write about Miles, because even with our challenges he is the "happy place" my brain goes to when I need to think of something good, something to look forward to.
First, a HUGE shout out to Aimee and Izzy - they were kind enough to ship us an Amigo Bug Rug that rubbed Izzy's shoulders but fits Miles like a very big, very covering, pretty light blue glove, sans rubbing. Combining this with going into a stall at night was exactly what he needed. He's getting much needed rest, along with extra calories, and is putting on weight again. I have to get a picture of him in his gear though-I never thought I'd own a horse I had to cover from head to hoof in the summer, but I totally get it now.
The mosquitoes seem to ebb and flow. Are you sick of hearing about them? Me too. I'm even sicker of being a prisoner to them. Sunday they finally ebbed, thanks to a super brisk breeze. It's a good thing because I was PISSED OFF-the day before was the very first time I had tacked Miles up, walked up to the arena, and turned right back around to the barn. Those little bastards were flying in my mouth, in my ears, to say nothing of what they were doing to my horse. It's been awhile since I've seen or felt Miles ready to explode, but he sure was. Poor boy.
ANYWAY, Sunday. I took the golden dogs out, and we had a short ride around the grounds and briefly down the trails. Ohhhh, it was lovely. There were a couple other riders milling about around the barn, and the dogs had a blast with everyone, though they aren't getting any younger. They were already pooped by the time I mounted so I didn't want to exhaust them by making them keep up with us on a mile long trail ride. When I did point Miles down his favorite trail though, the one that goes up a hill diagonally through a field, he started double timing it and wanted to break into a trot (and I'm sure a canter) so badly. I held him back and talked to him, and after he tossed his head and squealed he relented, begrudgingly. Y'all, he didn't want to turn back home - you know, where all the other horses were hanging out. I love this horse so much. I can't wait to canter him up that hill someday soon.
He can be a challenge to keep healthy and happy, for sure. I wish he wasn't soooo sensitive, for his own sake. I thought we were over the whole "hard keeper" issue until the mosquito invasion. At the same time, his issues are a nice distraction from everything else going on. It's horrible to admit; I like being able to focus on fixing something I have some control over, you know? However, between the fly sheet and stalling at night (not to mention, once again, the Durasole which has totally fixed his ouch-y feet. I can't recommend that stuff enough!!) I'm figuring things out slowly but surely.
Our ride before Sunday I actually popped Miles over a crossrail a couple times before we were chased out of the arena by insects (see a pattern?). It's no big deal to him at all anymore, which tells me maybe we can start working on lines and eventually cantering a course of three jumps or so. I have no desire to increase the heights of the jumps over 2 feet. My boy raced long and hard until he was 7 years old, and his joints have paid their dues. Besides, there's a lot of fun to be had with small jumps in the right configuration.
Finally, because SmartPak is awesome, their supplements in "SmartPaks" (individual containers) over $40 a month ship for free, and ANY order over $75 has free shipping as well-NO exclusions. I'm not a huge fan of any one company, with the exception of SmartPak. Everything, from their customer service to the quality of their products is far superior to anyone else in my (totally un-solicited, un-sponsored, unfortunately) opinion, horse-related or not. So, this free shipping business has given me the excuse to spend just a little more on Miles' supplements and put him on SmartFlex Senior Pellets. It's got the same (or more) levels of MSM and Glucosamine I've been giving him, with the addition of Vitamin C, Devil's Claw and Boswellia, not to mention pro and pre-biotics and another free-radical "scavenger" they call it. The very best part is it's pelleted, and he won't be losing half of it through his feed bag or having it left at the bottom of his feed pail. The reason I went with this particular supplement, even though Miles isn't technically "senior", is that I think his joints probably are:) It's also the highest rated supplement they have within a price range I can afford. My boy isn't "unsound" now, but it will be interesting to see if, for instance, it takes him a little less time to warm up, especially with winter coming. I'll keep you posted! More riveting reading about insects and supplements to come, no worries:)