It's been a bit quiet here as Buddy and I have been having some R&R with some time off in the sun for me.. and he ended up having the same! The weather has been glorious and I am a real sun bunny so this weather is great as far as I'm concerned. The ground is obviously rock hard everywhere which limits our fast work to the school or the gallops which isn't ideal but the hard ground is brilliant for bare feet and I'm noticing rapid growth and great changes which I will never complain about!
A couple of weeks ago I was concerned that Buddy may have been getting a bit footier as the grazing at the new yard is significantly higher quality than at our old place which obviously poses its own issues for a barefoot pony. I had kept him on daytime turnout so that he didn't have too many changes in his routine when we moved but he has now moved on to nightime turnout and is in during the day. This has improved his capability over stones and when I took him out last weekend I was pleased to see that an area he had struggled with a couple of weeks ago was no longer as much of an issue and, although he wasn't perfect, it was a serious improvement.
We have also now lost the flare that we had on our last picture update. As soon as this went his stride length improved and he moves much better without it. I had thought that it might be the case but I didn't want to interfere with what Buddy is doing and I knew that if it hadn't gone within two or three weeks then it was probably going to be a permanent fixture and we are at that tricky stage of not-quite-there hoof so I wasn't totally confident that he didn't need it. Buddy is still totally self trimming and his feet have not been touched by human hand since October 2012 which is incredible when you look at the changes that have happened and blow any theory out the water that shoeing is the best option for all horses.. Buddy is proving very much otherwise at the moment!
I have also spent some time over the last few weeks reflecting on where we have come from over the last year. Part of that was due to a journey I made back to Rockley to drop off new boy Fryday. It was odd being there without either the anxiety of wondering if it would work (or how I would cope when I got him back), the fascination with observing just how my horse was managing to make himself sound and the thrills of hope when tiny steps were made back to becoming sound. It was great to see Rockley in the beautiful sunshine and catch up with Nic as well as seeing the new rehabs all on their own journeys.
All of this has happened around the time we are approaching our going lame-iversary and its incredible how far we have come. I feel like this journey has opened my eyes and I have made some new friends along the way. I am lucky that I am finally at a yard where I feel supported - my fabulous YO is taking great care of Buddy and is taking an interest in what we are doing - and Buddy is thriving. Of course, we will be on this journey forever more and I am sure there will be challenges along the way. I am still anxious to find out whether Buddy will cope with jumping - this is a mental hurdle for me as he went lame last year once we upped his jumping - but I have to try it to find out... So the jumping is scheduled for the next week or so (eeeeeek).