Saturday, May 21, 2011

Commander: Second Day on One Bute

He’s doing well. Remarkably well, given how painful he was just one week ago. If there was a hint of tentative discomfort in front today, it was so minuscule that it didn’t stop me from letting him go out. He was cautious about taking the 6-inch step down from the barn to the driveway; moved off his landing foot quickly; but other than that he walked free and easy, and handled the hardness of the run-in apron with no problem, though after a while he did prefer to stay on the mats inside.

It was good for him and Ben both, to get them out for about 45 minutes. They spent a lot of the time grooming each other. I was tempted to leave them out when their stalls were done, on this lovely warm sunny day after a week’s worth of chilly rain and drizzle, while I drove over to the co-op to buy shavings, but caution overruled impulse. That would have added around another hour to their turnout time; too much, too soon, to risk a setback for Commander’s wellbeing.

There was a farrier at the barn shoeing another boarder’s horse, and I visited with him for a while. I mentioned one friend’s suggestion of putting shoes on backwards. He said it can be helpful, as can other kinds of therapeutic shoeing; what approach one takes depends on each individual horse. When I mentioned my farrier’s name, the prompt response was “Ken Brown! I know Ken; he’s a great farrier!” And other comments indicating that I in fact have a damn fine farrier. You can imagine how reassuring that was to hear.

Anyway, if Commander is looking as good tomorrow as he was today, I will be tempted to withhold his midday bute dose, so that Kelly can assess him completely clear of the drug on Monday morning. If he seems clearly ouchier than today, I will give him the bute.

I spent some time with him after getting back from the co-op run, just neck-hugging and skritching him. He loved it, and when I stopped looked to me for more. He was first dubious, then appreciative when I took a damp paper towel to his eyes to clean away their perennial watery discharge and eye-corner crud. I think we’re developing a closer relationship over the course of his convalescence.

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