Friday, January 31, 2014

Scottie's First Week...

Included at least 3 days of ice/snow/sleet. :(  But she survived.

Scottie settled in really well.  I was worried about introducing her to the big "full board" herd in the big pasture, but FM (my senior TB) took care of her and they have become very good friends.  There doesn't seem to be any major issues, since neither FM or Scottie have new cuts (kick/bite marks).

Her knee continues to heal (another blog post on this later).  She has as much hay as she can eat (Bermuda and some alfalfa), and is being fed the barn's grain (Nutrena).  I am giving her a month on free choice hay to see how that diet improves her weight before I start her on supplements and start getting complicated.  I was able to give her a bath today with some excellent fungus shampoo that my vet gave me, and the rainrot is looking better.

Today was the first day that I was really able to work her because of all the snow/sleet in the past week.  I've been handling her every day, grooming, and walking her around the property, even though I haven't been able to ride.

- picks up all four feet to pick hooves
- stands tied
- enjoys being groomed (unlike some OTTBs)
- is not girthy
- takes bit easily
- stands quietly for mounting/dismounting
- bathes/goes on scary washrack with no problem
- so far NOT spooky; fairly unflappable; seems brave/bold
- yields to leg pressure at walk for turn
- lunges in both directions
- large, daisy-clipper trot
- sound (even with knee wound)
- apparently gets leads (lunging)
- trot is very comfortable (we haven't cantered in saddle yet)
- easy to catch

- very unfit/unmuscled; will be slow conditioning process
- unbalanced
- still getting used to the idea of "one" human; she is slowly becoming more personable, but still lacks major bonding ability
- can be BUSY if bored... pawing, fussing, knocking buckets (so far not mouthy)

First Day Work-out:
- lunged at trot both directions for approximately 5-10 minutes (each way)
- tacked up and mounted in arena, walked for 20-30 minutes doing circles, serpentines, figure 8's
- worked on turning with leg pressure, instead of reins

I have asked for some advice on the facebook group "OTTB Connect" as well as the Chronicle of the Horse forums.  I've been guided to some event conditioning schedules (start with lots of walking, slowly add trot, etc), which I am going to take a second look at.  I don't want to start her too fast because she is so unfit.  She isn't really SKINNY (although she could use a few pounds), but she is totally unmuscled.  Also, she is still a baby (only 4), and is apparently sound, I don't want to put too much pressure on her until she is in better shape.

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