Wednesday afternoon it started raining, and it rained and rained on Thursday. My trainer checked on Eli and hand-walked him for me on Wednesday, and put a little more DMSO on his hock. She said there wasn’t any heat, which is good. I did ride him lightly on Tuesday evening at the walk and trot, so for no heat to creep back in is great news to me. He was completely sound. I tried really hard to feel an off step behind, but I simply couldn’t. His trot was his typical long, swingy, forward trot with not even a hint of a hitch. After I rode, the hock wasn’t overly hot either–same temp as the left hock. Still, I wrapped all four legs, and my trainer pulled the wraps off for me Wednesday before she walked him around. Because of the rain, Eli will be getting time off anyway (grrrrrrrrr), but as long as the swelling continues to dissipate and the hock stays cool, I think it’s okay to hold off on calling in the vet.
Wednesday evening I skipped the barn and had dinner with a friend at Austin’s “fancy barbeque” joint, Lamberts. If you like the smell of the conflation of meat and fire, this place is for you.
We just ate at the bar, at some windows looking out over 2nd Street in Austin’s Warehouse district (not something you would want to do, say, ten years ago, but now it’s all gentrified with trees wrapped in lights lining the sidewalks). The boudin fritters are so very good (better than some I had in NOLA!). My friend’s brisket was on point. But just to warn you, the other fried things in with the fritters are not fried green beans or fried snap peas, but some kind of (probably) jalapeno pepper. Never have I downed a Manhattan with such alacrity.
Thursday evening I went to see Eli. There wasn’t much to do but hand-walk him and re-wrap him after checking on his right hind. The swelling is very gradually going down, and he doesn’t seem tender anywhere. Because of all the rain we’ve gotten since Wednesday, it looks like he’ll have at least a week off from working anyway, if not more! For once, he let me walk him with his blanket still on without kicking at the leg straps. I think he’s over winter now, too. Texas winters can be such a tease, and actually quite hard on the horses, because of the drastic temperature fluctuations in the space of a few days–78F one day and 38F the next isn’t fun for anyone.