Recovery

Baby boy is recovering nicely today. I went out early this morning to give him his antibiotics, and the swelling looked pretty bad but he was in good spirits and not moving stiffly. We went out to do a lot of trotting (vet’s orders) and he did really well. I put Natty and Chance in a turn-out by themselves but next to the one they usually live in and chased them up and down the fence line with Chance following like a good boy. After about 3 laps, Natty and I were done in (we’re out of shape), but Chance’s swelling already looked better at that point. So then I took them on a long walk on the trail. We went up a really big hill because I thought we’d have to trot to get up there, but no. Then we went down the other side and came around the outside of all the lower pastures – through woods, along the creek, etc. – a very good outing for a barn-raised boy. They behaved very well for most of our walk. The only problems we had were fairly minor – at the top of the hill we encountered coyote poop on the path and Natty thought we should take off running, but luckily she didn’t pull the lead rope away from me and stopped pretty easily. Then almost at the end of the walk, the other mares and foals came up to us from the inside of the fence, and Natty was so happy to be back with the herd she just put the brakes on and wouldn’t move anymore. I finally had to turn back the other way and was barely able to get her to the back gate into the pasture, where at least I could turn her loose and leave her. I left them out with the other mares and foals (against vet’s orders, but I don’t think they understand the strength of Natty’s herd behavior) while I went in to clean the stall. I put little piles of hay all down the center of Natty’s run because I think she hit the hot wire last night – she was very hesitant to go out there this morning so I wanted to entice her a little. When I was all ready to go, I went back out to the pasture to get Natty and Chance and bring them in. I caught her fine, but there was no way I was getting her to walk back to the barn. It took me over an hour. A friend of Chance’s enticed him all the way to the gate with love and scratches, but Natty wasn’t budging away from her herd. I finally gave up on her and decided I’d try the magic grain bucket, but even that failed. So I thought I would bring the Thoroughbred mare and her foal inside, and then Natty would come because she wouldn’t be alone. Wouldn’t you know the Thoroughbred mare wouldn’t come either? So I gave up on her, but luckily her friendly little filly followed me all the way to the gate, and the mare wasn’t about to let her baby get too far away, so she came too (and brought the other mare and foal as well – meantime Natty was still down in the far end nickering to me). Well, I ran inside for a scoop of grain and stood at the gate feeding little handfuls to both mares and foals, and that brought Natty up to the gate for her share, so I was finally able to get her out of the pasture. Luckily the gate to her run is only about 20 feet or so from the pasture gate, so I was able to get her in there. But oh boy what a frustrating experience. And she wasn’t being bad exactly, she just wouldn’t move. While trying to move her I did all kinds of things to bug her into moving – she lifted all her feet nicely, opened her mouth for me and let me check her teeth, let me rub her ears and hug her face. She just really didn’t want to leave the herd again, poor girl. Tomorrow they are going back out to pasture with the others unless Chance takes a major turn for the worse tonight because this separation is too hard on poor Natty.

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