Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Steve Holt! meets Dr. Plotts

Steve Holt! and his entourage made a drive up north to Kulshan Veterinary for a quick visit with Dr. Plotts. Nothing wrong...just a training session and an opportunity to meet a vet and get a lesson on the state of unwanted horses.

Steve Holt! had not seen a vet before, and as we all know, they smell funny! But Dr. Plotts is a great one for buddying up with a horse before asking it to do anything strange or out of the ordinary. Just as he did with Sandy, he began by petting, rubbing and scratching; finding his soft spots and concentrating on making him feel good before beginning to explore the rest of his body.

He checked his eyes, looked inside his mouth, and made an attempt to take his temperature. That last part wasn't on Steve Holt!'s to do list, however. The two of them had a bit of a converstaion, and a compromise was met...the thermometer slipped in beneath the tail for just a moment and the good Dr. called it good.
The interesting part of all this today was when the mouth was opened to reveal the new teeth coming in. Steve Holt!'s got a couple of caps which his adult teeth are pushing forward and out. Horses loose teeth at 2 1/2, 3 1/2 and 4/1/2. Based on the information from the BLM, Steve Holt! should be loosing his 3 year old teeth...but he isn't. It's his 2 year old teeth that are being pushed out! Dr. Plotts was pretty sure that this horse is not a coming 4 year old, but closer to 2 1/2 or three. Of course, he said that this is only if Steve Holt! follows the pattern.

Then the good Dr. began feeling his jaw, and once again said he was feeling the molars erupting that would take place in a 2 year old. Upon examining his knees, he said they are not closed up and are the knees of a 2 year old. Knees close up somewhere between 36 and 40 months.

I don't know if the BLM will change the paperwork or not. The only concern would be that if someone else adopts him, I'd like them to realize he's still pretty young and that they ought to wait another year before really doing anything stressful.

All in all, Steve Holt!'s visit went very smoothly. After we got home I gave him a bit of a break, then hauled him to the riding club where I set up a few trail obstacles. I've decided that I'm only going to work on obstacles for the next week to see what happens.

And might I say that we had the BEST. RIDE. EVER!!!

The last ride on Monday had been so stressful that I'd hoped it was one of those break through type rides, and after having yesterday off, it would appear that it was. I'd set up ground poles, some pole bending poles (to back between), and another trot over pole that was raised a few inches. I started out doing some in hand work, then saddled and went out and began walking over poles. As he loosened up he broke into a jog. JOG, mind you, not trot, and he kept his head at a reasonable level and stayed at a steady speed with little help from me. We did circles and went over the poles, and he easily broke into a lope...left lead...relaxed...slow... Unbelievable!

All I did was circle around the obstacles, occasionally breaking to back between poles, then back to some circles and trotting and eventually loping over the ground poles. How I wish I'd had the video camera there! His reins were pleasure horse, noodle loose at the lope, and while it surely wasn't a finished horse lope, it was actually quite nice.

I was very proud of my boy today!


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks goodness horses have teeth that can speak for their age. I'm glad you had that BEST. RIDE. EVER.

Jeanette said...

How interesting...Steve Holt is pretty bulky for being as young as it appears he is. Is there any possibility that he will grow any more?
Congratulations on the GREAT RIDE!!! sounds like it was bunches of fun!!!

Tracey said...

Jeanette, he taped at 16 hands today, but his legs are looooong! Dr. Plotts did say he was going to be a big boy when he finished growing.

He does look bigger than a 2 year old...but I think that's mostly because he's so well put together. He's proportionate. But when you really take a look at him from the front he's still relatively narrow through the chest.

It's going to be interesting to see what he looks like in a couple years time!

froglander said...

Lol, now I am really curious to see how old the vet thinks Cody is when I have him gelded later this month. Sounds like you had an awesome day!

Shirley said...

Now that you know that he is a two year old, does it change anything for you? Your training program, your expectations?

Katee said...

A jog?! That's amazing. Watching the makeover events that is one gait I have really missed. I know that a jog takes balance and collection that green horses don't have, but still I always hope somebody will bust out with a great jog.

You are doing such a good job!

CTG Ponies said...

Sounds like he had a great first visit with the vet. He is definitely going to be a big boy! His ride sounds wonderful and he has such beautiful strides.

Tracey said...

Shirley, I don't think my expectations will change at all. I tend to take each horse as an individual, and Steve Holt! will still be asked to progress just like he would if he were 4 or 7 or 12...but at whatever speed or pace he's mentally capable of.

As far as if I'd change anything physically...well, he's got those slightly calf knees to worry about regardless of his age, so I wasn't intending to ask him to fly over fences or anything else that might stress them. We'll just continue with the flat work and I'll bear in mind that he's got until fall before those plates close up and he can begin doing more elevated trot overs.

Frog, we may have horses the same age, eh?

Katee, when I say jog...well, it's not your typical QH western pleasure shuffle. A tad more animated than that, but really, really different than what I've been getting.

CTG, I'm thinking there may be a dressage horse buried in there with that stride. Too bad I'm clueless when it comes to that sort of riding!

froglander said...

SH! is gonna be a good sized pony when he's done growing! It will be kind of ironic if Cody, who started out as being listed as an '07 colt and 15 hands, ends up being an '06 and 14.1 hands, lol. He still looks young to me, I'll just keep feeding him and hope he grows, heh.

I think SH! is doing great for his age mentally then for being a coming 3 year old instead of a coming 4 year old!

Angie said...

Now I am really amazed with SH being a 2 year old! What a gem of a horse.

Anonymous said...

Pretty interesting stuff. SH looks pretty well put together for a 2 year old. The ride sounds really good and much fun! Isnt it fantastic to have rides like that?