Friday, December 2, 2011

Crash Course in Longeing

Picture taken October 2011.

Chrome has started to swell more so I started thinking maybe hand walking wasn't going to be enough to keep the incision open and draining, so I decided to try longeing, that way I could keep him at a trot for a longer amount of time. I've put off teaching him to longe so far because I didn't want to stress his joints by having him on a circle, but I don't think longing him for a few more days while he heals will cause any problems with his joints. The incisions are pretty scabbed over and I don't want it to heal on the outside before the inside heals, so trot we did!

I used one of my long driving reins and took him out into the pasture. I had to pop the whip behind him for a second (without touching him) to get him to go, but boy once he started moving he took off (at a trot). He kept trying to take off in a straight line away from me and when I'd pull him around on a circle he would stop. It only took two or three times before he figured out going in a circle. :) As lazy as he is I rarely get to see his pretty movement anymore, but wow on the longe he looks nice! Obviously he had his head in the air and he was trotting really fast, but he will figure that out eventually. At least I have a nice, forward trot. I was worried he would be extremely balky (not want to move forward).

I could tell he was not happy with the situation at all, but I don't really have a choice. I need him moving to get that incision draining. I really don't want to take him back to the vet to get the incisions opened back up. I had him on a large circle, probably about twenty meters, so hopefully it wasn't too stressful on his joints. He kept the circle pretty round except on the path leading to the gate he tried to run off each time around (remind me to wear gloves next time eek! No burns this time luckily). I moved him up near the fence so the round pen panels blocked that side and he did much better.

The really cool part is that after longing for about ten minutes I was able to drop the whip and keep him going. :D And even more awesome is that when I said whoa he STOPPED!! He was so awesome. I didn't have to pull his head around or jerk on his head or anything. I just said whoa and he stopped and stood still so I could walk up to him and hug him. I was worried he would try to walk toward me, but he didn't. Chrome is such a good boy.

When we finished our longeing the incisions were draining again, so that's awesome. :) Poor guy was miserable. I think it was hurting pretty bad. I feel awful for forcing him to move, but it's better than getting an infection. I spent some time walking around with him and giving him treats to make it up to him lol. He appreciated that part of it. So I'll keep doing that until he's healed, then I'll leave longeing alone until he's three. When he's three I'll teach him how to longe correctly. At least he has the circle part of it figured out lol. Anyway sorry for rambling. Later guys!

P.S. Forgot to mention we worked with Faran today on picking up his hooves and I got pictures and video. I'll post it tomorrow if I have time. Weekends really suck at work so we will see.


  1. That must be tough to keep him moving. I didn't know that he needed to drain and that he needed to move to do that.

    Mango Momma

  2. I found this educational movie
    Now I know everything and I have watched the procedure as well. I found it so interesting that they leave the wound open and that exercise is important. Sort of the opposite of a dog castration.

    Mango Momma

  3. Moving him is super!! Don't worry about lounging him some. Your not doing it for hours, in a tiny area, nor at a canter. His joints will be super fine! You're doing great and yes, keep it draining. Love us!

  4. Mango Momma, thanks for sharing the video. That was interesting. I stayed by Chrome's head during the procedure, so I didn't see any of it until after the fact thank goodness lol. I'm glad I had the video though. I wish they could castrate horses the way they do dogs though, it would be a lot easier. I think it's because it's impossible to keep a horse's incisions clean though since they live out in the pasture twenty four seven.

    Janine, thank you! I appreciate the reassurance. I've been a total worry wart during this whole process.


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