I’m really happy with how Joe looked yesterday afternoon. I knew he’d come through pretty well on Sunday morning when I took him for a walk and a graze in camp before we went home, but I pulled him in yesterday for a masssage and a thorough checkover.
We got no comments on lameness or soreness at the vet checks, but some things show up better after 24 to 48 hours than they do at the time (as my own very sore legs will attest!)
So: legs all good, bum muscles all good: hamstrings a bit tight, but he seemed to appreciate a massage and some stretches for them and they loosened up quite well. He has an area under the back of the saddle over his loins that show some – not hair loss exactly, but the hair is smoothed out and a bit thinner. Maybe the saddle moves a bit in back? But he wasn’t sore and he has also decided to start to change his coat so I’m not sure – something to keep an eye on but not a major issue at this stage. The loins are designed to move, after all!
Pleased with his girth area – previously we have had problems with chafing in his armpits and some swelling and discomfort in the girth area. I bought a fancy elasticized girth to help, only to discover that Joe appears to react to the neoprene that the girth is made of! So far a fleecy cover for the girth seems to have done the trick.
Feet look really good – no rubs from the Easyboots. We have had some serious issues with getting boots to fit Joe but this weekend the current set stayed on through rocks, DEEP sand, knee deep muddy puddles and running water! I lost one front boot at about 10km out which left me dreading that I was going to have a ride full of boot issues, but after I whacked it back on it and all the other three stayed put for the next 90kms. Gotta be happy with that. He’s currently in Easyboot Gloves – size 0 on the back, size 0W in front, plus power straps all round. We have discussed using Glue ons but there was no way I could have got his feet dry enough for glue ons for this ride! We’ll stick with the current arrangement for now.
The only area with any issues was his poll: Joe has ongoing issues with this area – I can only assume he got an injury there at some stage and it is always tense and tight. Every time I work on it he starts out tense and “oh no you can’t touch me there” then gets into it and relaxes. This time by the end he was just about asleep, so that was good!
He gets an Equissage treatment this afternoon, I get a sports massage tomorrow, and then we’ll think about getting back in the saddle after 10 days or so. Next ride is currently planned for the 23rd August (80km) then another 80 on the 7th September, at which we’ll work on lifting our average speed, then a crack at 160km (gulp) on the 28th of September. If THAT works, I shall be very tempted to wrap him from head to foot in cotton wool and leave him in the paddock for 6 months…