Saturday, November 10, 2018

Charlie's dad bod 2.0

Charlie ended up getting almost another week of rest since our glorious trail ride. If you recall: a couple weeks ago he appeared to have aggravated an old splint injury from last spring.

Per Charlie's natural gift for excellent timing, it happened to be on a day we were supposed to do a much-anticipated clinic with local BNR Stephen Bradley. Famous for, among other things, being the last US rider to win the title at Burghley.

somewhere buried inside my fluffy stout OTTB is a chiseled jumping machine haha
But no. We were instead sidelined with another big fat leg, evoking haunting memories from last fall when Charlie was on a similar trajectory of progressively worse aggravations to a previously-healed splint. Eventually culminating in the bone abscessing and requiring surgical removal.

for now, tho, we fluffy! and dressed up for the long dark walk up the drive to the arena
There is literally no reason, according to anyone who matters, to believe we should have a similar outcome this time around.

I even wasted hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars on a full set of rads and an MRI just to confirm this. Just to be told what I already knew: wrap and bute and get the swelling out, plus some SMZs, then back to normal.

current state: dusty
I gave Charlie a little extra time off tho, just to be sure. Then opted to bring him back extremely slowly: mostly walking walking walking. But the day after his third ride back (that glorious trail ride I wrote about last week), the leg looked a little big to me again.

Like, realistically it was just a bit stocked up. Not even necessarily noticeable to anyone less crazy than me. The horse is stalled overnight through the winter and had only been turned out for about an hour when I went to get him. So it's not unreasonable that Charlie's relatively high-mileage legs might be a little filled. Except it was only that one leg.

look at that big ol' belly tho! 
Which like, ugh. Whatever. I just left him out in the field and went home. After, ya know, calling the vet to be like "OMG IT'S BIG AGAIN THO!!!!!" ... "Well, ok, just a little big." ... "But it shouldn't be big at all, wahh!!" and having her basically say to call back if it was still big the next day.

Bc. Yea. Big legs happen in the world of Charlie horses. Sure enough, the next night the leg was as cold and tight as it ever gets. But all the same, I opted to give him more time off. Just to be sure. I guess. Who knows.

i esp appreciate how much fuller he's gotten through his hind end. he'll always be an angular bronto with a peaked back, but at least we don't have any actual bones jutting out anymore!
Anyway, tho, the silver lining is that Charlie stayed entirely sound this whole time. Actually, idk if that's a "silver lining" or "infuriating detail" when I'm sitting around not riding my favorite horse. But whatever. In the grand scheme, it's a good thing.

And so finally, after what was effectively a few weeks off, I'm getting Charlie going again. Honestly the time off has been good for him, I think. It was the plan all along to give him a couple weeks off this fall anyway, I had just hoped to squeeze in that clinic and one last horse trial first. Oh well, nbd.

speaking of fluffy tho
Now that the clocks have changed we're limited to the rings on weeknights. Luckily the outdoor rings are lighted, even tho the lights esp in the dressage ring are kinda crappy.... More often than not, tho, that's where I end up. And that's where I ended up for Charlies "first ride back 2.0" haha.

And he.... wow he actually felt pretttttty incredible. Like, big-giant-powerful-OTTB-fresh-off-a-few-weeks-rest incredible. Sure, our steering was faulty, our downward transitions could best be described as "free falls," and my repeated requests for a slower pace were politely (but resolutely) declined.....

yea 100% obsessed with this little fella
But damn. Charlie felt good. Really loose and soft through his entire topline from poll to tail. Really pushing with each step, big and round and uphill. Honestly he just felt like a LOT of horse. But in the best way possible. It's.... wow, a really addictive feeling haha.

I hadn't cantered the horse at all since his big leg, but have opted to do so these first few rides. Mostly just to see. I want to know if riding him is going to produce another big leg. Bc, ya know, that's kinda an important question to answer when you're trying to train a horse for sport haha.

fall sunsets, soon to be winter. but not yet!
Luckily, tho, so far so good. Charlie's leg has remained cold and tight. And he just feels like a million dollars under saddle.

Obviously my intent is still to take it easy. Going into the off season, really my main focus is working on the basics, working on his own physical strength and well being.

And as such, I'm pretty cool with the fact that he's become a little.... stout lately haha. He's just a rolly polly little ball of putty lol, and I've got the whole fall and winter to reshape him into his next level of badassery. Hopefully with all four legs still firmly attached and healthy!



26 comments:

  1. So glad to read that things seem to be on the up and up

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    1. It’s always a roller coaster with these horses I guess !

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  2. Yay for Charlie! You must feel so relieved. Carmen has been getting into her fluffy winter bod a bit early because it will.not.stop.raining. waaah.

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    1. Ugh yea the fluff is unreal. Charlie really needs to be clipped if he’s going to be in work bc he sweats so much on his neck, but I’m not at all inclined to clip if he can’t stay in work tho!

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  3. Maybe he just wants dramatic progress pics again. Dad bod to eventing machine.

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    1. Ha I mean, if I get my way that can totally be arranged !

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  4. I would be (and have been) just as paranoid as you. And frankly a little paranoia probably helps (though also makes one nutso). Glad he feels like a million bucks!

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    1. Paranoia reigns supreme around these parts lately lol...

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  5. Happy to hear he is feeling good and ready to go.

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  6. I kinda love dad bod Charlie. What a cutie.

    And yes, you totally have all winter to turn him into a hot dad lol

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    1. Lol so cute tho! And definitely wayyyyyy better than that lanky skeletal gaunt frame from two winters ago!

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  7. I like his dad bod, he's looking super.

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    1. yessssssss he's lookin like a big boi and it makes me so happpy haha

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  8. sometimes a little time off just ... helps reset them. I basically gave spicy the past monthish off, and been slowly bringing him back with a metric fuckton of careful lunging (so borings) but we worked for the first time in weeks last night and he was like... really good?

    so maybe its 3 steps forward and 2 steps back but im still NET one whole step forward!

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    1. that's so awesome tho!!! historically charlie's been more sound when staying in regular work, like when he came back from surgery he was creaky as fuck. idk what's different this time around, whether it was just a shorter break or bc he didn't have to be stall bound, or maybe just bc he's packed on enough new muscles that his entire carriage is more correct? idk. but i like it!

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  9. Hey, I'll take a fatty OTTB during the winter. I'm glad he's feeling back to his old self again!

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    1. omg yes i much prefer him in his current glossy well upholstered state vs how gaunt and bony he used to be!

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  10. There's a reason people think the dad bod is attractive- his belly is just so CYUTE!

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    1. hahaha for sure - i'm almost even more tempted to take him into the hunter ring for a little play now too, considering he's finally filling into that more hunter-esque body type!

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  11. SO SO HAPPY TO READ THIS! Yay Charlie! So glad that not only is he doing ok in work, but that he is feeling better then ever. I HATE those first few rides back where you are questioning every step and misstep that they take. Fingers crossed that things continue to improve and that his leg stays cold and tight!

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    1. ugh yea for sure - when charlie came back from surgery we walked forever and ever, and finally when we went to do our first few steps of trot, it was almost like he had... forgotten how. like, it was a terrible feeling lol. so i'm super grateful that's not the case now!

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