Desmond, Saeed, and The Baby decided they would like to “help” measure for the Round Yard this afternoon …
From concept to finished is all part of the adventure!
What a difference five months makes. Below, on the right, is a photo of Odie when he first arrived with us in December 2018. Next to it, on the left, is a photo taken yesterday of Odie.
His muscle tone is coming back (thanks to good feed, therapeutic exercise, and massage) as is his weight. Yesterday, we felt he was strong and ready enough for a first ride! He did great, though we are taking it slowly. There is still such a long road to recovery. He looked absolutely magnificent being ridden with the dappled sunshine through the cottonwood trees dancing on his beautiful mane and tail.
Afterwards, because the day was so warm, we bathed him (his first bath here). This marked the final elimination of all physical traces of his horrendous experience at the Kill Pen. He had a nap in the afternoon sunshine and breeze, which dried him, and then had an early supper — which he enjoyed immensely.
Odie’s first foray into the round yard earlier this week was difficult for him. He is anxious, appears to be very wary of the lunge whip (we soon ditched that), and expressed fear and damaged confidence. We sat with him for forty minutes in the round yard, waiting for him to drop his head, realize that he is safe and loved, and to come to us. And, eventually he did.
His second round yard session today was much better. We walked without much hesitation from the paddock and had a more relaxed experience walking around a little bit and navigating the cavaletti poles. It was a short session — about ten minutes in all, but Odie finished up a happy and encouraged horse. After the round yard, he had a stretching session in his stall and some muscle massage (along with a very green leafy flake of alfalfa hay!)
We’re posting below images from the first session. Watching Odie on that first time in the round yard as he worked out some of his angst made us remember people who said we were “certifiably insane” to take on this horse … that we must be “crazy.” Indeed, we had said it ourselves.
Maybe so. But in the words of the wonderful song “Crazy” from Icehouse that accompanies these images, “you’ve got a ribbon of rainbows / the sun in your eyes / burning through … could be I’m losing my head / over you.”
You’re making brilliant progress, Odie, and we love you!
We are starting to see real progress with Odie! It’s exciting to see him coming back to condition. His back is rounding up nicely, he is getting more muscle tone, and his ribs are starting to look far less obvious.
Here are some photos comparing him in November/December (just prior to him arriving and on his arrival) and photos taken yesterday, February 17, 2019.