And the news is good, for both Ben and Commander.
Commander’s been getting four to six hours of turnout each day, including
access to the large paddock in back of the run-in for most if not all of the
time, and he’s been thriving on it. He thinks he’s grazing as he works at the
tiny dead nubbins of what once was grass. His spirits are better and he’s
moving well, for him. Over the last couple of days, however, he’s had access to
that paddock for only half an hour, then been confined to the run-in’s small dry
Because Ben is out! He healed well and quickly from his suspensory
re-injury, and yesterday noon got his first taste of freedom since late
December. He stayed on the ground as I walked him down from the barn and turned
him loose, got the boinking and bucking and neck-snaking silliness out of him
without rupturing any tender tissue, and came back in some three hours later
looking fine. At bedcheck, still fine. At midday today, still fine.
So Ben got taken out again today, this time with a bit of Ace aboard (long
story short: yesterday’s supposed oral dose was mere air), he settled in without
the airs slightly above the ground of yesterday, and I let both boys stay out
till 6:30, whereupon they came back in looking none the worse for their extended
If they boys continue to do well, I’ll keep them on the noon to evening
schedule, perhaps enlarging its start to midmorning. I’d like to get both of
them full-time free to the larger paddock, but that must await (a) Ben being
ho-hum with turnout rather than thrilled into energetic enthusiasm, and (b) the
top-thawed ground refreezing so that they don’t tear the turf up and slide into
disaster on the slimy ground below.
Amusing to me: In Ben’s absence Commander has crowned himself king of the
run-in, bay boys side. Especially yesterday, whenever Ben approached the fence
between my guys and the white guys, where Counterpoint was eagerly observing
Ben’s return, Commander would pin his ears and body-block Ben’s access. The
Mighty Morgan even uglied the poor Benster off the water tub. He also made it
plain that the marginally larger run-in stall is now HIS and no TB need apply.
So far Ben hasn’t tried to regain his throne.