Tomorrow the new job starts and my brief four day vacation ends. I had plenty of things I needed to get done today. Laundry to fold, lunches for the week, paperwork, bills to pay etc...... My plan had been to arrive at the stable to play with Dickie at 8am for a quick lesson in manners then hop on the big red mare. I ended up devoting the whole day to horses. When I arrived he melted my heart once again with his cute face reaching out the stall door to say "hi". I came with my stethoscope hoping to listen to his heart now that I have done a little more reading. I wanted to hear if it was occurring between S1 and S2 like I remembered and if it got louder or had the same intensity throughout the murmur. If it gets louder then quieter it is more likely to be harmless. If it has the same intensity throughout (holosytlolic) it could be mitral valve regurgitation which isn't good. I also wanted to put him to work a little and see if that changed what I was hearing. The last time I checked I wasn't an equine cardiologist so I know everything is speculation but I am not one to do nothing when I can obsess and stress myself out. It sounds like it is definitely from the end of S1 to S2 and is probably holosystolic (same intensity throughout). It doesn't change with work. I really can't wait to get the cardiologist out so he can hopefully tell me I am wrong. I called my vet and they still don't have all the details about how soon I can get him in (should call tomorrow) but they said it can be anywhere from tomorrow or months from now.
Once I got my moping out of the way we set to work to have a fun day. We went into the indoor arena to work on moving his shoulder away from me. His is marvelous about backing up and moving his hips but his shoulder always seems to be running right into me. Attached to his shoulder is his leg, and at the end of his leg is his big heavy HOOF. We have discovered the hard way that ramming his shoulder into me also tends to correspond with my foot under his hoof. When he is calm and not worried about anything he is the perfect gentleman but the second the sheep go running or the pomeranians start yapping I feel the sharp pain of a 1,000 lbs on my foot.
I let him wander around the arena a little first just to sniff everything and decide it was ok. Then we went to work. We started with what he seems to do well, picking up his feet, backing up, forehand turns, and getting face scratches. Next we worked on moving his shoulder. He decided that was very hard and reminded me he is only two with a hop up on his hind legs and attempt at biting me. Then he immediately stood still and put his head up against me like I would forget he was naughty if he was cute enough. Oddly enough the temper tantrum put a big grin on my face. The day before the vet had wondered if maybe he was so calm because his heart wasn't giving him enough oxygen. Today he was acting like a typical 2 yo boy wanting to throw a fit because he couldn't get his way. As soon as he got the idea I ended our session and went to see how he does in the cross ties. I like my horses to stand still even without the cross ties so we worked on that. He was a perfect gentlmen (thank you to Pony Up and the Reeves' for that). I spent the next few hours riding my mare and watching the 4-H fair a few minutes away.
At about 130pm I thought it would be fun to walk Dickie up to where Bre lives and have another short session. I also wanted to show him off to visitors at Bre's barn. I was so impressed I was beaming. When I made it down it Dickie's barn he saw me coming from the field and left his yummy grass to meet me in the barn. How many horses will leave their buddies and a field of lush grass just to see what the people are up to? I had been sure that I was going to have a hard time catching him. I was even more proud on our walk up. He saw the sheep and little yappy dogs and really wanted to jump on top of me but seemed to remember our lessons. When we got up to the outdoor arena I worked on having him trot when I ran, walked when I walked, and stopping as soon as I stopped. When I took off running he planted his feet firmly in the ground and refused to take one step. He looked at me like he thought I had lost my mind. Bre was watching all of this I am sure with amusement because I have done so many crazy things to her than nothing seems to phase her anymore. After a few times of bolting forward he got the idea that he has to stick with my pace no matter what. Our walk home was a little more eventful because the yappy dogs were actually outside and several cars drove by but I am happy to say that my feet arrived back at entirely unscathed today.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I love this horse:
1) He is crazy smart. He has been with me for less four days and every day he picks up where he left off.
2) He is curious. He is always watching what is going on around him. He is aware of the sheep, the dogs, the neighbor lady on her tractor. He calmy inspects every inch of the arena.
3) He doesn't panic. Even when he sees something that is terrifying he doesn't bolt or get dangerous. He might tell you he things something Will eat him by planting his feet for a second but then he will walk right by it.
4) He loves people. He frequently leaves other horses or food because he wants to see what we are up to. He comes up to you in the field or sticks his head out of his stall.
5) He is dramatic. I know this sounds silly but I like a horse with some drama or spunk. When given a poke in the side to move over he just has to occasionally bit the air (not even in my direction) in disgust. After throwing someone's helmet on the ground he spooked himself so hard he almost when down on his knees.
6) He is gorgeous from the curved ears, to the delicate nose, to the spots on his rump, to the big bones in his legs.
7) He thinks it is funny to throw anything he can get his teeth on. Brushes, things sitting on the arena rail (see above), halters, fly masks. I don't know what is wrong with me but I love some naughty in my horses.
I am going to post this grammar and spelling errors alike. I thought I should get it out just because it ended on a positive note and I want to get the positive energy flowing!!!