Life with Dragon has been a challenge. But the rewards have finally happened.
After a lengthy journey-- repairing the damaged feet that often come with an OTTB who raced for 7 years--injecting arthritic hocks--soothing tight muscles with massage/acupuncture---and giving him loads of TLC and time off, Dragon is now trotting/cantering/galloping freely in the pasture like a young colt--every day!
We've both worked very hard--especially him! Went through recurring bouts of hoof abscesses-- mysterious on and off lameness and stiffness, sporadic lie downs that would last over an hour, strange episodes of all sorts that had my vet scratching her head. When one problem resolved another would occur. At one point I thought he would never recover, and would suffer for the rest of life-- on bute--with whatever permanent damage he had incurred from his 90 races.
But lo and behold he made it through! I tacked him up yesterday--the first time since my last post on this forum--and he was NOT cinchy or hoppy. He trotted fluidly in-hand up and down the yard with impulsion and joy--something he had never done in the past.
Though he had been willing--months ago when I was riding him--I now see just how stoic a gentleman he truly was at the time. Pain was the norm for him. "When a rider is up, I go forward, I take the pain. That is my life."
Dragon hopefully will NOT be think or feel that way ever again! Fingers crossed that we are truly on the path of good health that will last well into his golden years.
In a few days we will go for a ride. By the calm but bright new look in his eye, I believe he's looking forward to it.
Happy holidays everyone!