Warning! Some graphic photos!!
Back in January, I had my vet look at a lump on Gem's chest. It was located on the fatty area of his breast. I noticed it last September and actually thought he had been stung by a wasp. My vet looked at it and recommended that it be removed and a biopsy done just to close the loop, but his first impression was that it was nothing serious. I trust my vet. I booked the surgery for the end of April. All went well.
|Beautiful, even stitches.....|
Of course, he pulled out all of his stitches during his escape leaving a huge, gaping hole. So, I hosed it (couldn't be restitched because it had been open too long), flushed it with iodine and then coated it with honey. Eventually, I stopped hosing it but continued with the honey for a few weeks. It was a very deep wound and has taken a long time to heal, but it has healed from the inside out with no complications. Yay! Thank you honey! I do appreciate that he's robust and a good healer.
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|Our bridge was like this one.|
|This horse does not like the noodles!|
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In July, DH's Mom asked if I would go offsite with her and ride a local trail (what?!). Apparently, TS and SS are not interested in going offsite this year. I declined; riding in 30C weather has no appeal to me, but said that I would go later in the year. I did however, agree to allow Gem to go offsite with another rider. MC rides a Clydesdale, but the owner (she leases) would not allow the horse off the property. I volunteered Gem as her mount so she could go with DH's Mom. I looked at this as an opportunity for Gem to experience another location without risk to myself. :-) MC is a more experienced rider than I, more physically fit and confident. I showed her his tack and then wished her a good ride. I trusted her to take care of Gem and she did. He actually loaded and unloaded with ease and rocked it when they were on the trails. The only time he refused to walk on was when they came to a big puddle.....strange... But they did not force him because this ride was for getting both horses familiar with the trails. MC couldn't say enough good things about Gem. :-)
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One of my goals this summer was to get comfortable riding on my own. I don't want to be dependent on others. I have been out on Gem "by myself", but usually within sight of others. There is still a safety net, so to speak, when you can see other riders. We needed to get out there alone. I tried! There were a number of times that I did not make arrangements with my riding buddies to meet up so that Gem and I could go it solo. The best made plans....sigh. People I hadn't seen in weeks seemed to jump out of the woodwork when I arrived, asking if they could join me on the trails....of course they could... :-) Eventually, the day came when Gem and I were alone. There was no one, with the exception of LA's mother, at the barn. I was excited...this is it!....not a nervous bone in my body! What the heck?! No issues with mounting; stepped right up and on. Off we went. Well, sort of. Gem started off fine, but once he realized it was just him and I, he walked vvvverrry sloooowly and kept looking behind us, searching for our usually riding companions. I could almost hear him say, "Wait a sec...where are the others??" :-) He eventually came around, after a lot of encouragement, and we walked around the open fields (I wasn't quite ready to go into the orchard or forest). One thing about riding on your own is that it's quiet....really quiet... So I chatted a lot with Gem, just to make sure that the critters could hear us and nobody got spooked. Strangely, I think he sort of liked my chatter. Note to self: Find Gem's bell necklace. My heart really swelled as we headed back to the barn and I had a big smile on my face. I think our partnership was truly sealed with that ride. I trusted him and he trusted me. I felt that we could do anything after that ride. What a wonderful feeling....