I was able to cut out of work for the after noon (a privilege I will no longer enjoy with such frequency come Monday)
I got to the barn and he was tied in his stall and his right ankle strike-point was open again and he had a dried saddle-sweat mark... I went and found KAT and she had ridden him for me (yeah! free training!). She had lunged him first and said he did well, but she had to have a "conversation" about the lookiness. She didn't work him too hard so he'd still be okay for me to ride. I tacked him up and put his new ankle boots on - wish I had the video camera on him! He acted like he'd never had boots on, but by the time we got out of the barn he was walking normally. I still thought lunging would be in my best interest since I didn't know if he'd be funny about the boots. There was lots of tractor and bobcat activity going on around the arena but no horses around. I lunged him (forgot my gloves, but no repeat injury) and he broke into a lope and immediately smacked his left hind on his right boot - grey mark I could see from where I was standing (white boots to match his white legs) and he did his little trip while he did it. Maybe he'll stop tripping when he's not hurting himself? He didn't seem to mind the boots though and seemed nice and relaxed. I mounted and was so happy to see he had his naturally flat neck back AND his soft jog. KAT brought another horse in and he wasn't too bad about it. He kept riding really well, doing the lovely jog that he had when I tried him out. Just wonderful and so encouraging! When KAT took the other horse out I was prepared for another fight, but all I had to do was remind him to keep his head in line and on task and he did very well. He did veer towards the gate slightly the next few go-rounds "Are you SURE we can't go see where he went?" but accepted my correction/direction easily with no fuss. If I had been more anticipatory to the veering I don't think it would've been an issue at all. He didn't trip at the lope under saddle, so maybe the boots are helping with that, too? I don't know how long I rode him for because I always forget to check my watch when I start. But if I had to guess it was 45 minutes. Both his boots were scuffed up and grey, but the right one (the one with the wound) was solid grey, must be his shoes. Another reason to consider going barefoot. I groomed him and put him up with clean water buckets and a few treats. My heart swelling for him as he watched me leave. The feeder was throwing hay down so he would get his dinner soon. So much better today. Big sigh of relief after yesterday's "fun."
Don't get to ride tomorrow - too much work to do and I think a day off won't be so bad for him.
On my way home I stopped at Target and bought a cheap digital watch on a fabric/velcro band. I'm going to put it on my saddle (nice to know those training dees are good for something!) and hopefully it'll remind me to check it when I mount.
My new clipper is charging so I have to decide by Saturday if I'm going to re-roach him or let it grow. I plan to have a friend take some quality pictures of him and I this fall, and I don't know if it'll grow fast enough to look okay by then. He looks a little muley right now which is not terribly flattering on him....I really like pretty manes, but I don't know how to pull a mane (Arab girl, remember?) and roaching is so easy.... But you know what's REALLY cool? It's MY decision!! He's MY horse! Yippee!!!
Okay, back to work. Someone's gotta pay for this horse!