Phinn has been relocated to Top Gun Stables, http://www.topgunrid.com/ and has a lovely pipe paddock constructed partially under a run in shed in a large pasture under oak trees. The large pasture his pen sits in is home to two lovely quarter horse mares, Moon and Honey. I don’t know if it’s the good influence of the quarter horses or the oak trees, or something completely different entirely, but Phinn has been an angel since he arrived here. We had to use ace for his last month of hand walking, biting, striking, rearing, spooking and bucking and all sorts of horrible behavior was the norm for him and it wasn't any fun for anyone. The farm is incredibly beautiful, a long parcel of 20 acres with a barn, covered arena, outdoor dressage arena, large pasture with run ins, and ponds (occupied by lots of turtles!). The entire farm is dotted with oak trees so even though we're in the middle of summer here in Texas shade is not hard to find, and when coupled with a light breeze its heaven!
We started tack walking in the covered arena, but I was suspicious that the footing, while perfect for a working dressage horse or jumping, was a little too much stress for his tendon. I had the opportunity to consult with our vet, David Gilcrest of Lone Star Equine the other day when Phinn woke up with hives. Luckily the hives quickly responded to Dex and during his visit, Dr. Gilcrest confirmed that the firm footing in the grass pastures would probably be ideal for this phase of his rehab. So our tack walking has been relocated to a front pasture, under the shade of the oaks, in view of a beautiful newborn quarter horse filly and her mother, Alice, turtle ponds, and the farm vegetable garden. Phinn's bad behavior has completely subsided, he stands quietly in the barn cross ties and walks quietly on a loose rein. Part of the reason for relocating him was to be at a facility that had a fenced arena for me to ride in - I was sure that he was going to buck me off at the first chance he got, but he's been a doll. I can't quite put my finger on the reason for the change, but whatever it is, he seems very happy. I let him graze on the way back up to his paddock with his ice boot on and he loves that too.
We'll walk for the next two months, gradually increasing up to an hour. If his good behavior continues we might be able to venture out into the back pasture as our hacking time increases.