and then

The last two weeks have been just this side of mayhem. Thanksgiving is just about my favourite thing about America, and definitely my favourite holiday. I adore an excuse to show people how much I love them by cooking for them, and there’s nothing stuffy or pretentious about Thanksgiving food. No need to stand on formality.  It’s about comfort and deliciousness!

So of course I aim for the most deliciousness possible.  It’s a little all-consuming, but I love it.

Elinore is Queen of the Arena, always

Just before Thanksgiving though, Murray did go ahead and cast himself, which resulted in one slightly puffy pastern and one rather horrifying elephantiasis leg that JUST HAPPENED TO  BE THE SAME AS THE LEG HOLE LEG.  Which meant that I fretted about it the whole week I was away, and came home to two perfectly normal legs. Phew.

Murray has also graduated to a new and important phase of his recover.

FREEDOM!!!!

Your eyes do not deceive you! The fluffy beast has finally been granted his freedom at nights once more. I put elastikon on both ends of the bandage to forestall any possible movement of the wrap (though it’s hardly needed anyway any more), and took Murray out with a bucket of grain and his hay as the sun set.  My clever trick worked, and Murray trotted off for one second once he realized he was free, then immediately returned for his dinner.

I did nearly chicken out on the turnout. I mean, elephantiasis leg last week, potential extensor tendon involvement the last three months… And what if Mr. Horse decided to throw himself around and break open all his newely-healed skin, or rip his whole leg right off?!!


Food trumps friends, apparently.

But it had to be done, for both Murray’s mind and his feet.  I mean, if my horse can’t be sound in pasture with a tiny scrape on his leg, there’s not all together much hope for us… Plus, he’s insured! But more seriously, I am very committed to this barefoot experiment (more progress pics to come soon! I’ve been delighted with the progress once I checked in with pics!), even if it means my horse will not be properly back in work for quite a few more weeks.  He will go back with friends very shortly, though our pasture groups are undergoing a little shake-up right now, so perhaps there will be new friends for Mr. Horse.

More exciting for me, and less exciting for Mu-Ray, we have also ridden twice!! this week.

The first ride was something of a whim. We got some new sand footing, and I knew I needed to get Murray out and moving around for foot progress. I steeled myself and tacked him up in the barn aisle, and… he was perfectly behaved. I mean, he wasn’t perfectly behaved like a normal horse is perfectly behaved.  I still had to untie him for safety, and he walked off quite lame and tripped just after the girth went on.  But he didn’t run off, he didn’t lay down, and he didn’t move his feet more than a tiny step the whole time.  Forking. Legend.

Murray and I wandered around the outdoor for a bit, then went to try out the new sand in the indoor arena.  And he was sound! (Still barefoot, remember!)  He did not love carrying my weight across the large gravel of the parking lot, so after a teeny bit of trotting we walked back in together.

My second ride was bareback and in the dark.  Bareback rides are so lovely warm when it’s cold outside!!  We did a little ground work in the arena on the new sand first, including walking slowly over some poles.  Murray doesn’t love slowly.  He wants quickly.  Quickly means more treats more often.  So we also worked on matching my speed — having him walk right by my shoulder even if I was walking quite slowly, or quite fast.  Then I slid on with bucket in hand (that was a challenge), and commenced the clicking and treating.  Which was even more challenging and twice as ridiculous — with me leaning over to stuff grain in his face every time we stopped.

moar foodz plz

One side effect of our bareback game was that Murray started responding very promptly to my shifting weight or a little squeeze with my inner thighs by stopping and looking at me for a treat. This is a very good thing for me, you see, as it means that whenever I lean to a fence my horse will stop. Which will surely be a very effective method of training me not to throw myself at the fences!!