What about Pig?
|Spoiler alert: He's doing great!|
I realized I wrote a lot about myself, Bast, and the dogs in the last post, but I never mentioned Pig! Honestly, I think that's just because I don't have a lot of big accomplishments or goals with him, because he is doing fantastic and features pretty heavily in my daily life.
In 2020, Pig continued to struggle to keep muscle tone, energy, and balance. I worried this was due to progression with his neck arthritis, but some blood work showed he had concerningly low selenium levels. After several bouts with tick-borne fevers, we think his aging system is struggling to thrive with the lower selenium available in the grass and hay of our area. I started supplementing his selenium, and he made a miracle turn around. In the last year, he's been sounder and happier than ever since his retirement.
|Another key to Pig's happiness is an incredible amount of fly gear.|
Nothing makes me happier than seeing his cheerful ears greet me every day, or taking his sassy-self on our daily hacks. I haven't put a saddle on him more than once in over a year, preferring to hop on him with a bareback pad to gallop the local trails. He's become even more of my best friend than he was before retirement. I honestly think he's probably the one happiest I moved closer to him. Seeing me multiple times a day seems to just make him happier, to the point where I try to stop by on my morning runs to just to say hi to him.
|My orange king in a field of pumpkins.|
In addition to ditching the saddle, I also finally ditched riding Pig in a bit at all. I've said a million times that this horse is extremely difficult in the bridle. Well, the key to success with him in the dressage ring was training him to listen 100% to seat and leg aids, barely requiring any rein aid at all. He's still much the same, and even from a full gallop I pull him up with my body not my hands. So after getting tired of having to clean slobber off a bit I never actually used, I was committed to finding a different option. Enter the flower hackamore and our ridiculous endurance bridle. It's the perfect amount of leverage to allow people who don't know Pig to ride him safely, and still gives him the idea that maybe I might be in control. (He's not a horse you can ride without a bridle. He takes complete advantage and does whatever he wants the minute you take it off. HAHA!) I love it, and he does too.
|Yeah, that's a horsehair tassel. Yeah, it's 100% extra, and he rocks it. It also keeps flies out of his eyes, which he is absolutely happy about.|
So, that's the quick story of how Pig has become my all time favorite trail horse and dog-walking companion. He's in the best shape of his retirement, playing with all his friends, enjoying his rides with his lease rider, and babysitting his dumb brother. I'd say 24 looks good on him, wouldn't you?