Boomer is doing really well. His leg is looking great, just a big scab. I rode him yesterday and mostly walked with a little trotting for fun. I really tried to focus on him having a good time. We also worked on his stretching long and low. He really likes to ride like a QH at the walk. He wants his head down and is very willing to accept contact with the reins. I just want him to be relaxed and enjoy his job. The biggest issue we have right now is that he pins his ears and get MAD when I dismount. He was doing that when I mounted as well, but I started getting on from the fence. That fixed it, which to me means that it was a comfort issue he was communicating. Now, What do I do about the dismounting? I kick both feet out of the stirrups, lean forward, and slide off. Not much extra weight on the near side. I have noticed that he HATES it when I jump up and down near him. We are working on that. I wonder if it is a movement issue rather than a pain/discomfort issue. Maybe it surprises him when I get off. If anybody has any ideas, I would love to give them a try! It is so frustrating to have a great ride and have it end on a bad note, no matter what. I don't like that at all. It really puts a damper on things when you know it will end badly because he is going to toss up his head, pin his ears, snake back at you, and offer to kick. Maybe I will spend a day in the round pen mounting and dismounting from the fence and see what that does.
I also worked Pete in the round pen yesterday and he did well, eventually. At first, he was really racey and was rushing through my cues, especially to stop and reverse. So, we worked on reverse back and forth over and over in the same spot until he slowed down and walked out of the reverse. The I let him relax before we started over and worked on using the reverse to get a better stop. Wouldn't you know, by the end of 30 minutes, he was stopping perfectly with me 15 feet away!
Today I worked with Boomer in the round pen and put his shipping boots on him. It was his second time wearing them. He lifted his legs up a little, but not much. He was fine walking, turning, and backing even when the boots rubbed and made noise! The first time he wore them he trotted around lifting up all of his legs even though he was only wearing fronts! I had to sew on extra Velcro because his legs are a little smaller than the boots and they were sliding down. They fit perfectly now and he seemed alright with them on. After that I gave him some maple syrup from his dewormer syringe. He was pretty indifferent and raised his head a little, but didn't resist. He also didn't really seem to mind the syrup, but he didn't really seem like he wanted more. Weird horse. I'm going to keep working on that for a few days until I have to deworm him next weekend. I also trimmed his hooves. He was great about it. I had him in the round pen and I tied up a hay bag for him, which he didn't even touch. I just stood there with his head down the whole time. His hooves looked great, no flares. His front right had a small chip/crack that only just started yesterday on the inner hoof wall at the bottom. It probably would have flared if I had waited another week or two to trim. I cleaned his hooves out, put his hoof between my knees (he didn't pull back once!), and rasped the wall down at about a 45* angle until the live, clean hoof was showing and even all around. I also rasped his heel buttresses down (level with sole, not 45*). I like for the heel buttresses to be even with each other and a bit higher than the frog. I lay the rasp on top of them to check. I have found that having the buttresses slightly higher than the frog solves all gravel soreness. I then turned the hoof over and used the fine side of the rasp to round the toe and smooth it out. I try to get a nice beveled edge, but mostly my focus is on making it smooth, even, and round all the way around the hoof. Question for those who trim their own horses, it appears that Boomer wears the left side more on all of his hooves. Left front and back are more worn on the outside, right front an dback are more worn on the inside. It is like he is leaning to the left. Is this a trimming problem or an alignment problem? Maybe because I am right handed I do a better job on the right side and he ends up bearing weight unevenly? Any ideas?