Bravo and I really clicked into a training rhythm in June. We worked in the round pen, lunged in the indoor arena, kept up on our groundwork, learned that fly spray bottles weren’t horse-killing weapons, and had a saddle fitter out to take a look at my saddle. The saddle fitter confirmed my suspicion that Harley’s saddle was not a good fit without some significant adjustment. With riding progress temporarily halted, we trucked right along with bodybuilding so that when I finally had a saddle that fit, he would be even more ready to learn how to correctly bear the weight of a rider. This is something his previous owner was not particularly concerned about. It is incredibly important to me to try to show him this.
Then, we had a couple of weeks of rain, storms, and flooding. Bravo spent the whole time wallowing in the mud like a pig and being bathed and brushed clean every evening. He got rain rot, a nasty case of scratches all the way up his cannons, his dutifully durasoled hooves started to crumble, and he started showing ulcer symptoms again.
I am going to try to fix a few of the minor things before I call in the vet to work on what seems to be a full-system issue. My armchair veterinarian guesses are worm issue and/or bigger ulcer issue. My current plan is to continue treating the rain rot, scratches, and hooves topically. They are all starting to clear up now with diligent anti-fungal baths, ointments, coatings, and powders. In the meantime, the only training we will be doing is desensitization to oral syringes. Hopefully, this will set us up better for any vet prescribed treatments that may have to follow. He is currently extremely leery of any syringes or really any unidentified object coming anywhere close to his nose/face. I was told he had a previous twitching incident that may have left him with some negative associations.
I haven’t been able to PowerPac him yet per my vet’s suggestion and I’ve been forced to use alternative ulcer remedies as well. He’s made gains in overall body weight and condition but still not as much as I would have guessed with all of the resources I am pouring into him. He doesn’t seem to be in any immediate danger but I have to sort this all out before we’ll be able to make any progress.
Bravo is wondering if anyone would like to come over to his place for a bonfire- he’ll be burning piles of my dollar bills. BYOB because you know all of mine is spoken for, if not already gone…