Wolfie's last set of blood test results came back last week. His white blood cell count is up and is now well within normal parameters. For the last 3 weeks I have been hacking him out in walk, trying to strengthen him back up. He is actively cavorting about in his turn out area effortlessly and has continued to show no symptoms or problems with his wind which I was concerned about. Over the last week I have taken him into the school a few times due to trying to ride between thunder storms and rain. Normally when Wolfie has any lengthy time off work, once I get back on, he wanders around a bit to start with like a drunken sailor, feels very babyish and any level of straightness is apparently 'forgotten'. However, on Sunday I took him into the school, I worked him in walk on a loose rein, then asked him to soften as we worked on 20m circles and halt/ walk transitions. He immediately softened, was stretching down through his back and neck, swinging through his back and taking a nice loose long stride. We had a trot round the school once on each rein, he bounced into the transitions, seeking the contact and felt, well amazing really. I've continued twice more in the school for short sessions and he's been the same. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Of course it's fantastic, he feels better than he ever has, it's as though something has clicked in his brain and if I didn't know better, I would say that the fairies have been up schooling him during the night when I'm not there. Or maybe he was listening when I did all the reading to him when he was ill! I've been continuing the ground work doing lots of suppling exercises and continuing the clicker training with him and doing lots of stretching exercises with the carrot stick so physically maybe that has been beneficial. He had his teeth done by the dentist last week, so that may have helped, although he didn't need much and just got a general tidy up of any rough edges. However, I also think it is in his mind set, he is absolutely desperate to work. With the nights getting shorter, we will be spending more time in the school so the plan now is to continue building and strengthening him, lots of variation in schooling exercises but keep it simple. Introduce pole work again and continue with the ground work and clicker training. I have treated myslef to a little video camera, so once I work out how to use it, I'll hopefully be able to post some videos of our schooling and groundwork sessions. I would like to continue to wrap him in cotton wool, but he is telling me that he is ready for more. I am paranoid about him catching a chill, especially with his winter coat coming through and being more likely to sweat up. I will clip him in September and rug him accordingly. I'm going to re-proof a couple of his turnouts and invest in another couple of good quality rugs.
It's been a tough year, both financially and on my energy levels with both Buttons and Wolfie being stabled at night for practically the whole summer due to the grass, fertiliser, weight issues, illness etc. There's been no reprieve from mucking out or the cost of bedding and hay since last winter. However, I looked at them both last night and they look so well, that it really has been worth it.