Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday: Commander is One Smart Cookie

Midday report: On two bute per day, Commander looks very good indeed. I will probably withhold tonight’s dose and see how he looks tomorrow after 24 hours since his last dose. If at all possible he needs to be at least 24 and hopefully 48 hours since his last dose by the time he’s seen by the vet on Monday morning.

I’ve added Finish Line’s U-7 gastric aid supplement to his diet to protect against bute-induced ulcers. If he’s going to need to be on it for a considerable time, I’d like to get his stomach buffered before any ulcers begin to blossom.

Weather permitting, he gets a short time outside, and today the weather permitted. If I hadn’t watched him like the proverbial hawk and shut him down at the first hint of exuberance, our trip down the driveway would have been quite a spectacle of explosive Morgan caracoles. But he knows what the chain under his chin means, and all it took were swift light tweaks on the lead line to remind him “Behave!” and he walked politely.

But that’s not why I call him one smart cookie; no, it’s what he did once he was set free. After trying to graze on the already depleted nubbins he could reach along the fence line (sorry, Commander; there’s nothing there worth contorting yourself for), he started face-fighting with Counterpoint, first in the middle of the concrete run-in apron, but very quickly he moved to a much more comfortable position:


Yup, that’s right, he went into the run-in, onto the rubber mats, and reached around the corner to play. That beige bar you see at the top of the photo is the bottom edge of the swing-up window in Counterpoint’s stall; I had to shoot the boys from up there in the barn because any time I came outside the white boys rushed the fence to beg for food or release onto their field.

Here’s a clearer look at just how Commander positioned himself:


It’s amazing these guys don’t actually do any damage to each other given how ferociously they go at it:


So Ben and Commander had their 30 to 45 minutes outside, and walked back in a fair bit calmer than they went out. Hopefully I’ll be able to get them out every day, hopefully for longer stretches at a time if Commander isn’t set back by short intervals on ground less forgiving than his well-bedded, wood-floored stall.

Tomorrow is another day.

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