I received an early Christmas treat this year! One was a glorious snowfall that left Forrest and Tino quietly munching their breakfast hay in wonder…and the other was a completely recovered Traum! He remained inside his stall on this morning as I was still committed to keeping his healing hoof completely dry so that it could thoroughly harden. Oh, and by the way, if you want to totally freak out your trainer, go to Carl Hester’s Facebook page and share his video of his priceless Grand Prix partner, Nip Tuck (a.k.a. Barney) actually (gasp!) turned out in the snow, along with (gasp!!) two other horses and (GASP!!!) galloping over the hilly field. That’s right, Welly World, HILLS. Snow covered HILLS. Hashtag #letthembehorses!
But I digress. How grateful I was that in exactly one month, the injury to Traum’s hoof, which was essentially an enormous, shudderingly awful looking hangnail, healed and hardened and following my vet, Dr. Bibi Freer’s advice, I began to hack Traum out in the field as the footing would be more comfortable than the abrasiveness of arena sand.
And seriously, since longeing was out of the question, how many horses do you know that can go from a month’s stall rest with simple hand-walking, to tacking up and ambling kindly under-saddle with no sedative required? What a dear soul this gentleman is.
Following Bibi’s orders we focused on a nice, stretchy walk, and if, she suggested, he felt comfortable, go ahead and try a trot. He did and so I asked for a short burst of trot up the fence line and he felt wonderful. And again, not a hoof out of place.
As I had promised Traum that a lovely bridlepath awaited him when he recovered, the following day we hacked into the woods. Traum’s time with me is coming to its close in a couple of weeks as he returns to his owner, Sharon, whom I know is going to enjoy having her boy back home, tuned up and ready to carry her towards her New Year’s goals of progressing as a rider on a horse that’s worth his weight in gold. And I will begin my own journey of hopefully finding a new horse for me. Happy New Year!