Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Horsie Time

It doesn't get much better than this!
Wow, finally just a smudge of time to do with as I desire. It's been a whirlwind the past month moving ourselves, the dogs, and our stuff to our new home - separately and in multiple stages. The horses are the last to move, and are still in Duluth. This was my second trip back to see my patients, and the first time I've gotten to ride in over a month. Add in a gorgeous fall morning, leaves turning, bluebird sky, and peaceful woods trails to share with just my four legged companions,  and you've got a recipe for delight.

After methodically brushing every inch of his thickening coat, and every strand of his mane and tail, I was already feeling the horsie time glow (or, was that just the coating of white hairs all over me reflecting the sunlight?).  We set off on the Spirit Mountain trails, for both the first and the last time this year. The trails have been so wet when I have had time to ride, that we have done more road riding than anything this year.

The grass is still green and the hills are still steep, and we took our time going up and down, Rhio munching and me drinking in the blue sky and creamy pale orange of the newly turning maples. There is so much color this time of year - the palette of early fall is mesmerizing. With Kelso and a few songbirds for company, we made a loop around the trails and ventured back to the barn just in time to meet C for Rhio's chiropractic adjustment.
Zoomie boys

Puddle water is the tastiest, of course, and,yes, the sky really was that blue!

I had previously noticed a mildly alarming 'clunking' noise when Rhio ate; luckily, the dentist was already coming the following week.  Although I was not there for his dental work, it was reported to me that his right side jaw and neck were really tight (no surprise- his right side is always his problem side) and the dental issues he had were relatively mild.  Also, they could not elicit the 'clunking.'  Enter plan B for elucidating, or at least eliminating, the 'clunking' - chiropractic and acupuncture treatment of course!  C was able to squeeze Rhio in for an adjustment a week later when I was home, and she also found plenty of "stuff" on the right.
This is what happens when you are trying to take a pic with one hand, while holding your horse's lead rope for a chiro adjustment in the other.  Neat angle, though!

Yup, work on the right side.

Oh, yeah - that's the tight spot!
After also getting his shoes pulled and feet trimmed, I had to run off to see a paying patient.  Later, I returned and finished up Rhio's big day with an acupuncture session.  Too bad he doesn't like acupuncture!  He is one of the few horses I've worked on that truly doesn't like it.  I bribe him with food, and it generally works pretty well.  I try not to be offended at his dislike for acupuncture, even though he LOVES chiropractic adjustments and massage. I did get a chance to listen to him chew for a while, though, what with the bribing and all - and the good news is, no 'clunking'! 
Some of Rhio's needles - see the bent and twisted ones?  Sometimes that is due to muscle movement while the needles are in place, and sometimes it is due to a big energetic Qi release at the needle.
The next morning, before departing yet again, I stopped by for a quick snuggle and a few "carrot" stretches for Rhio's neck.  We practice our stretching A LOT and he totally "gets" it - after yesterday's sessions, he can reach a treat held at his hip on both sides!  I'll be gone for almost 2 weeks, so hopefully he'll keep himself moving about and his neck limber.  I cannot wait to have him nearby (the new boarding place is 27 miles away, but it's awesome) and be able to do this little routine maintenance stuff - as well as regular riding again! 
Rhio shows off how well the right side of his neck bends for his 'carrot stretches.' Treat hound!