Then we had a little bit of fun playing with sends and traveling circles and changes of direction and energy. I also sent him forward while I walked with intent in a straight line. I wanted him to not cross my line of intent and he did not! He didn't even try to. Then I asked him for a trot and he offered a lovely canter while dragging the rope. I felt him lock on to me so I asked him for a change of direction. Kai offered a beautiful flying lead change. Right after he changed and began to canter on the other lead I felt he was about to break gait so I encouraged him to keep going for a few more strides before bringing him in and emptying my pockets of treats.
We stood there for a little while and then quit the session. I put his cooler on and curried the now dry dirt of off his legs. Then I hosed his legs and thoroughly shampooed them massaging his legs and feeling for any mud fever fungus growth. I did find one spot about the size of a quarter on his pastern on his right hind leg. It was evidently very sore because Kai did everything he could to avoid me touching it. I picked up his leg and put it on my knee like a farrier to try to keep his leg still so that I could massage the spot with tea tree oil infused shampoo. Kai was fidgeting and he somehow lost his balance as he swayed away from me and then he stepped down on the leg I was holding. I got myself out of the way and then quickly corrected Kai so he knew that what he did was absolutely unacceptable and then got back to work on that spot of black growth.
I massaged it off with my fingertips and the tea tree oil shampoo while Kai stood with his body all tense and his lips tightly pressed together but he was not trying to pull his leg away. When I finished the spot was entirely removed. I gave Kai a treat and a rub while telling him what a good boy he was for standing still even though it hurt.
I then played some brief friendly game with my blow dryer and then I dried his legs off with it while my wonderful Dad comforted poor Kai. Eventually his legs were completely dry and his coat remarkably soft and silky and white (just like it is advertised on the shampoo bottle). I stood for a moment relishing how nice his legs were before I slathered Vaseline with iodine and MORE tea tree oil mixed in it on his nice, dry, clean legs all the way up the cannon bone. I massaged it right into the skin for so long that both his legs and my hands were completely ORANGE because of the iodine. The Vaseline is to seal all the moisture out and the iodine and tea tree oil is to kill the mud fever bacteria.
I then put Kai back into the mucky paddock and watched his legs get covered in mud again.
Only time will tell if all my hard work pays off. All I can do is hope that this remedy works and that Kai will be spared of the pain of mud fever.