Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday: Taking the Next Step With Commander

With trepidation, today I withheld the bute from Commander’s midday meal. His last dose was about 1:30 or so on Saturday, and he looked good; in fact the step down from the barn to the driveway seemed not to faze him at all today. He was moving just fine on his limited turnout.

Very limited turnout today, only 15 minutes or so, because he would not stop picking at the grass nubbins along the fence line, as he has on previous outings. Nubbins they may be, but apparently there was enough there to keep him working on them, and I did not dare let him keep at it.

Which set up another test for Commander: Could he be inside without Ben? The Morgan came back to fresh hay and his midday mini-mash of Speedi-Beet, bran, regular supplements, and medications (yum! no grain at all now), which kept him occupied as I worked on Ben’s stall across the aisle, ever alert for any sign of a separation-anxiety meltdown. Other than occasional trips to gaze out his window, he was fine. When Ben’s stall was ready I went out to collect the big lug, and let him hand-graze for a bit after we left the run-in. So Commander was all alone; no Ben, not even a second-best human, to keep him company; peace reigned as Ben grazed....


Okay, Commander had noticed his abandonment. I hustled Ben inside, let the boys sniff noses through Commander’s stallfront chainlink mesh, then put the Thoroughbred back into his stall, grained him, and that was that.

Which points to a strategy for giving Ben more time on turnout: Take Commander out first, to forestall any abandonment freakout; leave them out as long as it’s safe for Commander; then bring him back to the distractions of food and let Ben stay out until the Morgan starts getting upset about it. Which of course will require me to be on hand, ready to reel in Ben at the first sign of Commander losing it, sigh.

I’ll be checking on Commander in about two hours, and again around 10:00 p.m., and if he’s in significant distress I will bute him, vet visit Monday morning regardless.

Fingers crossed!



Checked Commander around 5:30. He looked just as good as he did at midday. Left him unbuted, just gave him his evening mash with the isoxsuprine and U-7. Left late evening and breakfast hay flake-piles out for the farm owner to give him, and for once I am going to have an early night, not need to do late-P.M. bedcheck, hurrah!

If you had told me a week ago things would be looking so good so fast I would not have believed it possible. Let’s hope his trajectory continues in its present course.

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