Fortunately, it's a fucking mural, so at least it's pretty to look at.
Walking is boring. But so absolutely necessary. I worried (briefly) that I was treating his three month wound and sabbatical too much like a soft-tissue injury. And then worried that I was asking for too much, too soon for my almost-18 year old Thoroughbred.
Data is beautiful, so I track everything.
When he was diagnosed with cellulitis, I made it a priority to walk him often (or as often as I could) until the swelling went down. Then I went from frequent walks to one longer walk, doing the best I could for a low-impact means of reintroducing and preparing him for riding. And dude was a little shit.
And now that he's officially under saddle again, I've just been focusing on walking. Walking, walking, walking. He's trot on five separate occasions: three times out of enthusiasm, two times out of naughty. I've been marching my monster all over the property, taking care of what might touch that leg. But, still: walking.
I haven't ask for much from him. I realized that this was a great opportunity for finding and addressing any holes in our training, so while we've only thought of contact, slowly and increasingly each ride, and only grazed the edges of an open-handed bend, I have absolutely held him firm on bulging. If he can hold himself straighter, surely that old spine can grow stronger.
We officially reached forty-five minutes of walking last night. Increasing the time and not worrying exceptionally about speed or correctness. The plan, everything ceterus paribus, is to drop back down to thirty minutes tomorrow and introduce a couple laps of trot. Fingers crossed!