Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Commander conundrum

Today’s report on the bay boys: They’re both doing very well. Ben’s moving freely, and Commander’s got his spark back; he’s stepping briskly when I lead him across the aisle to park him in Cholla’s stall while I clean his, and having no trouble spinning and plunging about his stall when he knows his mash is coming. It would seem that a few days completely off the frigid hard damp ground outside has done wonders for his comfort levels.

Which leads to the conundrum: What to do about future turnout? Right now, with Ben laid up, it makes sense to keep Commander confined for his company, but at some point they’ll both have to get out again. It sure doesn’t help that last night’s storm, after lashing us with heavy rain for several hours, finished with a thin sticky layer of snow amid plummeting temperatures and rampaging winds. The paddock behind the boys’ run-in has become mostly ice sheets more or less skimmed with snow; the apron of the structure itself is snowy right now, but who knows what slickness lurks underneath? With the next several days’ forecast of frigid temps and harsh winds, I can’t see the footing improving; if anything, it’s likely to get worse as the meager melt of thin daytime sunlight refreezes overnight.

So: I have one horse with a bum ankle, who’s going to be boinky-Thoroughbred nutty when he finally gets to go out; and another who doesn’t do well on cold damp hard ground, and who’s wearing boots in front that, while they do have treads molded into them, for damn sure don’t provide the traction that winter studs in horseshoes would, and who’s also likely to be feeling boinky when he finally gets out.

About the only thing I can look forward to at this point is ordering more shavings. Lots and lots more shavings.

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