Managing a horse like Eli on stall rest is challenging. Up until today, if I walked him under saddle, he got some ace (although usually less than the vet suggested because he can be a bit of a lightweight with ace). And after walking, I’d let him out for 20 minutes or so and he … mostly … stayed quiet … mostly.
But on Thursday I was trying to beat storms, so I skipped the ace and the walk and let him out. He didn’t do anything crazy!
And then today, I let him out in the round pen. He had a good roll, but yeah, he had a brief zoomies moment. I stuck him in front of a fan back in the barn and tacked him up. Decided not to give him any ace. And we walked for 20 whole minutes without any spooks or his leapy signature move. Yes, it was after lunch and hot, but this gives me hope that we can do a little bit more every day without sedation.
He does enjoy all the extra grazing! I knew adding walking under saddle would at least initially require mild sedation, but maybe we can do without now? Eh, probably depends on the circumstances. If lessons are going on, it might be more fair to everyone involved to rely on some sedation to keep him from reacting ridiculously to a trainer clucking at a student & lesson horse.
But I felt like today was a good milestone, a good start to going forward with more work and fewer drugs. I also discussed a turnout plan with my trainer, so Eli will get out a little bit more, too.