Got the word from Heather that the Iron Ridge arena had dried out enough to ride. We wait til about noon now, until it warms up to get started, so I used my morning to get the trailer hooked up, tires checked, etc., and groomed everybody.
Plan A was to take Poco and Jaz, since Poco needed to be ridden. I haven't been on a horse since Thanksgiving, and wanted to ride Jaz. I knew I probably wouldn't have the energy to ride both, but I wanted to see how Daltrey would do on his own. Mr. Fry, the old softie, said I was mean and that he (Baby D) isn't ready for that. He was so sincere, I let him call it, so now (Plan B) Poco and Daltrey would stay home.
I groomed and wormed Poco, then made him stand there while I tied the baby. The only problem was when I haltered him and couldn't get him to walk with me, but once we got over that, I couldn't have asked for better. It was the longest he's ever stood tied. I was able to brush him, worm him, clip a bridle path, trim his tail, wash his face, butt and sheath, and not only lift, but pick all four feet.
My plan was to leave Jaz for last so I could just throw a saddle on him when I got to the farm. It was a good plan, except I found 2 big nasty patches of rain rot just below his withers on his left side. They are always so sensitive, and these were no exception. I applied our homemade Listerine/vitamin E oil mixture to soften the scabs. One was fine, but I lifted a hunk of skin about the size of a silver dollar off the other, which rendered Jaz not rideable.
Plan C — and not what I really wanted to do: Take Poco, leave Jaz and Baby D.
I had asked Heather for a little one-on-one, since Poco's been going through one of his resistant and belligerent spells. True to form, he was uncooperative and resisted turning. As with the last couple times I've ridden him, he gets to a point where he squeals in what I can only assume is frustration. Heather got on and he was just as bad, which surprised both of us. He even lifted his back feet a few inches off the ground. Heather got off, and longed him.
He's off ever-so-slightly on his left hind (the one with the sock). He's throwing that leg outward laterally. It's very slight, but it's there. Tacked him down and Heather thought she found an owwy place on his back, and indeed, when I massage that area, he drops the hip and leans into it. He flexes willingly in both directions, and he has even let me pick up that leg and stretch it waaay out behind him. It is not deterring him from bucking and playing with his buddies, however.
It's difficult to tell how much is actual discomfort and how much is just Poco being Poco, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being. I made an appointment with the vet. Stay tuned.