Two traumatic things happened at the barn last Friday.
Crisis 1: In which Marley missed dinner
Usually when I get to the barn in the evening, Marley is eyeballs deep in his pile of hay, munching contentedly. When I arrived on Friday, he had his head over the stall door and was half snoozing, complete with droopy lower lip. As soon as I said hi, his eyes shot open, his head shot up, and he let out an ENORMOUS nicker and started throwing his head up and down. Marley throwing his head up and down is generally his way of communicating that he is dying of starvation, so I peeked in his stall. No hay.
Not sure how the Food Train missed him, but Marley had missed dinner and was PISSED. Barn manager was, as always, super responsive and we rectified the situation quickly, but our quiet Friday evening at the barn wasn’t off to a great start.
Crisis 2: In which there was (maybe imaginary) swelling
Usually the very first thing I do when I get to the barn is check Marley’s legs because, well, I am obsessive. I was distracted on Friday by the lack of hay, so didn’t get around to checking his legs immediately. Once Marley was inhaling his dinner, I started my traditional check and…. hmmm. Is it a little puffy? Is there filling above the fetlock? Is it warm?
It’s possible I was stressed from the week and totally overreacting, but I swear his leg was a little puffy. He wasn’t reactive at all to palpation of his tendons, and he trotted out sound perfectly, but rather than press my luck we had an evening of hand walking and icing.
By the time I left I had convinced myself that I’d imagined the whole thing but I’d rather go a little too slow than push it and end up with a broken horse. Even if we’re just puttering around in large, loopy circles – it’s still the best part of my day and I’m thankful for every ride on this beast!