Cisco has been rockin' the dad bod so far this year. We just can't seem to get going consistently enough to get any sort of fitness happening.
This is how 2023 has gone so far:
January - no indoor arena. Thankfully, due to the mildest January in recent memory, we got in a handful of rides on the neighbours covered track, which were mostly spent at a walk.
February - the arena was finally ready! Two weeks of riding before a deep freeze hit.
March - hoof abscess / not an abscess / definitely an abscess. A little over three weeks of the diaper/Vetrap/duct tape hoof boot, with a few short rides towards the end, mostly at the walk.
April - got one week of riding in before spring vaccinations. A week off due to the big lump at the vaccination site. Then teeth floating at the end of the month.
May - the air tasted like BBQ. Two weeks of no riding due to the hazardous air quality, one week of walking, then some easy rides. Also a bunch of stupid hot days.
June - the newest thing to slow us down - Cisco's lip injury.
Cisco has moved for the summer to a different paddock that's away from the dirt road in an attempt to ward off the asthma issues we had last summer. It's going ok so far with his new roommate, but they aren't hitting it off quite as well as I thought they might.
Two weekends ago I put Cisco back out after a ride. The other horses's owner had been out while I was riding and put out some hay for her horse - just the one pile. When I released Cisco, he tried to also partake in that pile (I told him I was going to get him some hay, but did he listen to me? No.)
I didn't see what exactly happened as I was latching the gate, but I think that Cisco put his face next to the other horse's face in the hay, and the other horse lashed out and caught Cisco on the side of his mouth. There were a couple of superficial gashes on the side, which weren't of much concern. But he also managed to split the inside edge of his lower lip. I have a suspicion that he might have bit his own lip, but who knows.
It's right in front of where the bit would sit, so until it fully heals, we're going bitless.
Cisco loves it. I hate it. My back does not like it when I ride a llama. All of our recent work on stretching forward and down into the connection has not transferred over to our rides with the hackamore.
I'm hoping another week will be enough time for his lip to heal and we can go back to the bit. As much as I don't want to promote the way Cisco uses his body in the hackamore (by which I mean he doesn't), I also want to work on getting him fitter, so doing something is better than nothing.
All of these things have been relatively minor and they've all just needed a bit of time to heal, which I'm thankful for. I'm very aware that things could be much worse.
At the very least, we've had lots of time to improve our walk work!