Another educational week for me as I've been living off the high with constant improvement and I've been tentatively waiting for something to go wrong and it did this week!
Trying to fit the right level and type of work is difficult in the winter and as I was faced with a beautiful early morning and a working from home day I took the opportunity to take Buddy out for a lovely hack. Usually I work to a two days on, one day off routine which sometimes falls to 3 days on over a weekend but one of those will always be a gentler session in the school. I use an app on my iPhone called Endomondo which tracks where you went, how far it is and average speed to name a few. I've found it so useful to track my mileage but also to compare the speed at which we do certain hacks. When B came back he was slower than when he was in shoes over the same routes but is now pretty much at the same speed and he is definitely not at his best yet so we'll be flying round soon a la speedy Gonzales!!
As my work the following week was scheduled to be a bit busier I thought I might have to give him a couple more days off so I worked him for four days straight.. And three of those were hacks. He was fantastic and is showing an improvement every time we go out and is so much better over stony tracks. He had Monday off and was fine to go out in the field but on Tuesday morning he came out a bit footsore. Cue a text from my YO telling me B was lame and me feeling sick all day as I was stuck in meetings and wouldn't be able to get there until late :0(
When I finally got to the yard he had improved although was clearly a bit uncomfortable. I ran through all the possible reasons in my head.. grass, thrush, too much work. To cover all bases I treated for thrush, he'd been off the grazing for the day so all I could do was wait. I went up to the yard in the morning and he was completely fine so I'm pretty convinced that it was just too much work. Wrist slapped and lesson learnt - DO NOT OVERDO IT... BUDDY IS STILL REHABBING EVEN IF HE FEELS AMAZING!
However, grass is still a concern and I am conscious that we are entering a dangerous time. I will see what Buds is like this evening and if he's a bit footsore then I know it is the grazing and I will have to start managing that. After doing lots of research I have upped his salt intake due to the raised potassium in the grass at this time of year and have upped his magnesium intake as a preventative I also use the laminitis risk app which is a good indicator. I would much rather keep him without a muzzle if at all possible but I would much rather a comfortable horse so we will deal with it all one step at a time.