Milton’s Miseries

All cleaned up!
All cleaned up!

The trailer break-away brake battery has arrived. Milton is auto-loading with a rope over his neck. (While I may be wading at the shallow end in the saddle, my horses behave on the ground.) We are getting ever closer to load & go. With any luck, we will get back to where we should have been months ago.

For The Record
What took (is taking) so long? After our failed inaugural outing [Universe], we regrouped. First, I had to care. That took a while. Then, I wanted a) a contained space and b) some other poor fool valiant soul to be next on Milton.

September – active snit [So Be It]
October – passive snit & getting ready for Nationals [Plans]
November – waiting for show season to be over [So What Am I Going To Do?]
December thru February – getting trailer out of mothballs, confirming that Milton remembers how to load and ship. Delayed by free time on the part of my mechanic coinciding with weather that did not invite lying on the ground under the truck/trailer. [Weekend Progress]

It would have been nice to do this concurrently rather than consecutively. Oh well. Meanwhile, Milton has been adapting. It’s been rough on him.

Feed Me!
When Milton arrived, we put him on a diet similar to Rodney’s. Unlimited grazing, heaps of hay, & a handful of grain. He developed a haybelly. A seriously large haybelly. He looked like a tick about to pop. The immensity of the lower curvature hid the fact that he was losing weight over his ribs. He ended up with a pear-shaped cross-section: pointy on top, round on the bottom.

We raised his food. He put on weight. He became less of a snarky bastard. He’s never going to be a ray of sunshine, but he’s less vile-tempered. Can’t blame him. Dieting will do that.

We raised Rodney’s rations as well. Milton has denuded the pasture. The field that easily supported Mathilda and Rodney for 4 years is a tufted wasteland that did not survive 4 months of an OTTB. Previous Horse was also a grazing machine. What is it about racehorses?

Scratch Me!
As best we can tell, Milton lay down in a fire ant hill. Fire ants are small, terrible, agents of the devil. They sting on contact. Their bites take forever to heal. Poor Milton had itchy bumps on his back and endless bite marks on his coat from scratching them. [Yoke: Horse Update]

We figure Rodney told him, ‘Oh those orange piles of dirt. They’re nothing. Just take your nap right there.’ Then he went behind a tree to watch and snicker.

Finally, we had a cold snap that quelled the histamine reaction. Milton’s coat improved along with his attitude. He stopped mutilating himself. Of course, the feed change came at the same time as the cold snap. We don’t know which caused the improvement. It will be interesting to see how he reacts come spring. Perhaps Milton is allergic to Alabama.

Next Step
Test drive. Indoor ring. Riding. Showing. String of conquering victories leaving all competition weeping in the dust.

Ahem. I’ll settle for a day warm enough for the diesel truck to start.


9 thoughts on “Milton’s Miseries

  1. I always say progress is progress, no matter how small! On a more philosophical note, we tend to view our world with a limited focus. Perhaps the time it has taken to arrive here was exactly what it was meant to be?

    1. Yes, but this voice of reason is drowned out by the screamy voice in my head saying, “What the hell is wrong with you? Just ride the damn horse.” My screamy voice is rather coarse.

  2. Sounds like an excellent plan to me. And glad to hear your trailer is okay. I’m getting a slant load to replace mine, not because horses ship better, but because I can shove cows in their easier. Oi.

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