Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baby steps forward

When I told Dr. Murphy (Brigid) what the good doctors in San Marcos had to say, her first response was an inward gasp, followed by, "We're not going to just put him in Tina's pasture, right? We're going to use bell boots and wraps and protective measures, right?" If she hadn't been a vet, Brigid would have made a perfect OSHA inspector. Always thinking Safety First.

Since Tina's pasture is home to several sheep, I'd never put Snoopy there. One of his favorite games when he was young was to break into the goats' pen and chase them around. When he caught them, he'd pick them up by the tail and throw them. And he always caught them. The thought of him playing ring toss with the sheep, while funny, was asking for trouble. Probably.

Tina and I discussed a couple of options. The most viable one seemed to be to put him in one of the small pipe corrals on the hillside:

The incline of the ground would force Snoopy to utilize his foot and strengthen his muscles. Thinking that Snoopy might feel a little too good in such a large area, we listened to Brigid's concerns and decided to put him in a pipe stall that's a little bigger than what he's in now, but smaller than the corral.

But, first, a longe. Niki was supposed to trot him for 5 minutes each direction, on the longe line. Snoopy had other ideas, and wanted to lope. They split the difference - Niki loped Snoopy both ways for 3 minutes on the line.

Once in the larger stall, Snoopy was very quiet until he thought it should be time to go home to his "real" stall, then he started pacing and running and charging the gate. He should calm down this evening, when he figures it all out. And once he truly calms down, we can start to ride him at the walk.

This weekend, I dreamed I rode Snoopy in a horse show. We won first place in horsemanship, and were preparing to go into the trail course. It's the first time I've dreamed of being on him since he broke his leg.

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