Since Wednesday, Chester has been lying down during the day in his stall, with people all around him. He has lost a little bit of that gleam in his eye, the perky ears that always greet me haven't been seen in a while. He is glum, he is bored, he is depressed. I have been told he needs to stay inside and hand walk him as much as possible...but it was to the point where I didn't think it was doing him any good.
I knelt down beside him this afternoon while he was lying there, looked him in the eye and went 'What is wrong with you? Something else is up isn't there?' I could see the World behind those eyes..."Mom, this sucks". So - I took a breath and thought to myself as I sat in the shavings with him and scratched his neck....
His circulation is down which is why he is stiff -> we have been hand walking/free walking in the arena as much as possible.
He comes out of the stall STIFF -> It takes him a couple minutes, but he comes out of it once we start walking around in the arena...when he moves, it isn't 100%, but it gets better everyday.
He is bored/depressed for being in his stall for the past 6 weeks.
Horsey, has to move.
At that point, I looked at him again and said - okay buddy - you're going out.
One of the barn's coaches was there and we took a walk back to the paddocks (There was a torrential downpour yesterday, which promptly turned into a town wide skating rink as temperatures dropped over night) and I wanted to make sure it wasn't too bad. It wasn't, so back to barn we go, on goes his Rambo and back to his paddock he
Okay horse - this is your chance to prove it to me that you need to be outside as much as possible...don't screw it up and don't prove me wrong.
I came back 3 hours later and watched him from around the corner of the barn. He was standing with one of his buddies and I am sure the conversation was about how brutal I was being to him making him stay inside for so long....When I came around the corner, his head jerked up, ears pricked and he walked towards me..humm, this is a good sign...
We went straight into the arena and he proceeded to trot around with his nose to the ground, snorting...he wasn't 100%, but he was damn near close. His legs and feet were cool an hour after being in his stall.
Tomorrow is another day - but today gave me hope. He is going outside from now on until he gives me a reason not too...
Sometimes, you have to listen to you gut...because it knows best.