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Cole Report - Week #2

February 12, 2019

A snowstorm hit the Hudson Valley– 5 inches followed by ¼ inch of ice.  The barn was closed. However, Barn Manager (BM) began Cole on the CBD oil dose recommended on the bottle – 1 pump in the morning and 1 pump in the evening.

 
February 13-14, 2019

Out of town on branch visits (work).  I was unable to get to the barn.

 
February 15, 2019

BM brought Cole in for me before I arrived after work.  He was definitely AWAKE, meaning circling his stall, but didn’t seem as anxious as he has been in the past.  However, the most notable thing was that he was covered in shavings, meaning he rolled.  It’s been a long time since he has done that, which means two things to me:

  1. He’s more relaxed
  2. He is more comfortable in getting down/up in a smaller, more confined space.

I groomed him for his evening walk.  While he used to flinch while being brushed with the mud brush, this didn’t happen!  He exhibited the same hind end discomfort when having his feet picked (hitching them up higher before relaxing them downward, fly kicking).  We walked around the property for 25 minutes.  He was relaxed and willing

February 16, 2019 

It’s a Saturday, so it’s a day for riding!  I brought Cole in from the pasture and hooked him onto crossties.  He was very nervous and fidgety; he would surge forward and jerk back when he was met with the stopping pressure.  A sharp word from me settled him down a bit, although he did swish his tail and fly kick a couple of more times with his LH foot. No flinching while he was being brushed.

We rode with P and M, a fellow boarder and her horse.  While P was getting M ready, Cole and I rode the paddock perimeter just as a warmup.  He was quite alert but was listening to me.  He moved out really well, with a longer, relaxed stride and a lowered head.  When the herd in the large pasture started trotting around, he didn’t spook, although he gave them a hard look.

P and M met us in the driveway, and we went down the street to S Road, a private road that has a winding, slightly steep incline.  Cole would normally pick up his “Standardbred trot” (super quick, head up so high I could kiss the space between his ears) and zip right past M.  This time, however, M took the lead and Cole followed with a rhythmic, relaxed gate.  He even lowered his head to stretch out his back.

Moving back down S Road and headed home, he had a relaxed, swinging walk.  There was a moment where someone fired a rifle SUPER CLOSE (and scared the daylights out of ALL of us) and Cole tensed up again, but he worked out of it as we headed home.  Our ride lasted 50 minutes.

Back in the barn, Cole was placed in his stall with a fleece since he had worked up a mild sweat.  Normally he would be pacing around and staring out of the window.  Today, he was much more mellow.  He still ignored his hay, but rather than pacing around the stall, he strolled.  As I groomed him, he was really relaxed.  Picking up his hind feet was easier.  After being cooled down, he went back outside.

 
February 17, 2019

Another day for riding.  We planned for another group ride – P and M, as well as the BM and her horse W.  I brought Cole in, and placed him on crossties.  He was completely relaxed.  He even rested a hind foot and, while alert, he wasn’t dull.  He stood quietly while being tacked, didn’t flinch while being brushed, and didn’t dance around.  Even the BM said she noticed he was generally quieter and seemed more level. 

The three of us headed up S Road.  For the most part, Cole was level and willing.  He did have a moment when M was walking away from him, and he got anxious and wanted to follow.  Normally he is much more independent.  I also noticed that he lost some muscle in his top-line, particularly his neck.
Again, his trot was relaxed and swinging.  His hips seemed really loose as well.  Once out of S Road, we headed down WC Road, which none of the horses had been down before.  While Cole was alert and looking around, he didn’t exhibit any hesitation going somewhere new, and didn’t spook when a dog came running out of a house towards us.  His loose gait held up all the way home.  Our ride lasted 55 minutes. 

Overall, it was an EXCELLENT ride.  It left me thinking that he is feeling better as his body is much more relaxed, and that his “sparking” nervous system has been soothed a little. Back in his stall for cool down with his fleece, his relaxed manner continued.  He strolled around the stall, although he still didn’t touch his hay, and enjoyed his grooming.  His RH hoof was really easy to pick.

He was turned back out afterwards.

 
February 19, 2019

BM brought Cole in for me when I arrived after work.  He was actually eating some hay!!  I could see he had been circling in his stall, but it wasn’t destroyed.  Perhaps he was strolling again?
He was a little dancy on the cross ties, but he settled down after 5 minutes.  He even cocked his hind leg.  His was reluctant with his hind feet for picking.  Perhaps this is because he was stalled for over an hour before being handled?
We hand-walked around the property for 20-minutes.  He was walking so freely I had to stop him a couple of times so I could catch up!
Our grooming session was good, no flinching.  His hind feet were a little easier to clean, which a less pronounced upward, jerky movement.
More snow predicted for tomorrow! 

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