By Patty Wilber
I had hoped that Indy would be my versatility ranch horse girl,
but even after her bone chip surgery, her hock is disagreeing with that plan. There is a cartilage deficit due to the bone chip and it just doesn’t feel right to her. (I have cartilage deficits myself due to multiple soccer-related injuries, so I am empathetic!)
She will trot and walk out under saddle without any apparent discomfort, but despite a hock injection, chiropractic, and acupuncture, she still does not wish to lope freely and is uneven on stops and roll backs.
I had the vet out this week to check teeth, give shots (I cracked and paid him to give shots) and get a health certificate and Coggins Test for Atti for our upcoming show in Colorado (going to be fun!)
Indy, Penny, Durango and LT did not need any dental work. Cometa has a bit of a wave to his teeth that was smoothed out. Attie had a few baby teeth tops (called “caps”) that needed to be popped off.
He also gave a flex test to Indy.
I already knew she was going to fail, so it was not too gut wrenching. It was also good to have independent, certified medical confirmation of what Ed Krauss and I had already seen.
Dr. Dixon thinks she will be fine for walk-trot trail work. We mostly walk in the back country, and Alleve works on my creaky parts, so I can use an equine equivalent, like bute, now and then, if she needs that.
It is really disappointing because she was coming along on cows and has a lot of eye appeal under saddle (See above! So cute!)
I could sell her, but that just makes me want to cry, so she has a stay for now.
I could breed her, but bone chip formation can have a genetic component, and besides LT and Penny are the ones with proven show records.
But what to do for a cow horse for me?
Re-enter LT. She is officially unretired and we will have a go at cutting. I worked her on cows last week and, oh my, she is (at the ripe old old age of 8) still the cowiest and most athletic horse I have ever had the pleasure to train! She locked in on the cow and loaded up on her hind end like a coiled spring, ready to turn as soon as the cow twitched. She can bust a move! It will be a lot of fun to concentrate on cutting with her. She is not much of a versatility horse though, as she really seems to hate the class Ranch Trail. And ropes. She is not a fan of ropes.
She was my mount for this weekend’s Back Country Horsemen project in the Manzanos mountains, though! She can also pack, if she has to.
I am looking around for one more young horse to give the ranch versatility world another try. I have my eye on a couple, but until I gather more info, I am keeping the details under my hat. I confess, though, I am starting to get excited!
Callies Star Chapter 2 coming soon! But I found some plot issues that I might have to fix–or else leave even though they are totally improbable…