Okay I don’t really drink, aside from a cider or cocktail a few times a year, but if I did drink, now would be a good time.
Things have been a little… stressful for me lately. A lot of us have probably felt that way this year, I’m sure. The past month or so especially has particularly felt like one thing after the other, so I wasn’t all that surprised a couple weeks ago when I felt Henry taking some random off steps. The next day there were more of them and they were easy to see. Because of course. Of. Course.
It was minor, and felt and looked decidedly FOOT, so I decided to just give him a week or two, put some Magic Cushion in there, and try not to obsess over it. Because honestly, I just can’t drive myself crazy with that right now, I’ve got too many other things already occupying my crazy. You know how when you feel your horse take one off step and then spend the next couple days spiraling into a process of overthinking that includes everything from “it’s a bruise” to “he’s broken his coffin bone” to “clearly he’s snapped his collateral ligament” and before you know it you’ve mapped the horse’s retirement in your head? No? Um yeah no, me neither. Definitely never done that. Definitely not lots of times. Ahem.
Anyway. I groomed him, and I kept the Oatmeal Cream Pies coming, but otherwise I just left it alone and refused to think too hard about it. I figured if it wasn’t better after a couple weeks and the Magic Cushion, then we’d involve the vet and leap into the pit of despair. In the meantime Henry had his teeth done anyway, and it rained a good bit, so it wasn’t too hard to just give him some time and put it on the back burner for a little while.
Saturday was the day of reckoning. I jogged him in hand and he looked good, but I can always feel things more easily than I see them with him, so I decided to go ahead and swing a leg over and see how he felt. But, naturally, as I was grooming him I discovered that he had pulled a shoe. Come on man. Luckily it was a back one, otherwise we probably would NOT have been sound (especially because the barn owner said that during the couple of colder days we’d had during the week, Henry decided to display both his speed and his acrobatics in turnout, culminating in a baseball-type slide that landed him on his ass) or rideable. The hind isn’t so bad though, so I figured we’d kill two birds with one stone and go for a walk hack in his pasture to look for his shoe. Good news – he felt normal. I didn’t feel any weird steps, not even on slight changes of terrain. Bad news – man I could NOT find that stupid shoe. Turns out that was because Henry had managed to fling it over the fence into the other pasture. And not just a little ways into their pasture, but like… 30 feet into their pasture. Kind of impressive honestly.
Since he’d felt good at the walk on Saturday, I took him into the dressage ring on Sunday to test the trot. I’m still operating as if he’d made himself footsore or had a bruise, and the dressage ring is the softest, flattest space we’ve got on the property, but also I figured if he was still sore anywhere then I’d feel it for sure in the corners. I only rode him for about 15 minutes, but he felt normal. Well… wild. Like after we had trotted once, he was certain it was time to gallop. There may have been some jigging and cantering in place. And spooking. God, lots of spooking. At trenches. At bushes. At birds. At the letters in the dressage ring. That’s the best indicator that he’s back to feeling good… he’s full of dumb beans.
We’ll get the hind shoe put back on this week, and then slowly start back up towards a normal workload. Hopefully I’m right and he was just footsore. The heat is finally starting to ease up a bit, so it would be nice to start doing more stuff with him. Maybe if I promise to take him XC schooling he’ll cooperate, considering the scathing death glare he gave me last week when I brought Presto home from Pine Hill. It’s like he KNEW. He knew exactly where we had been and what we’d done. I’m such a traitor.
But ya know, in order to do anything like that I’d need my truck back from the shop, and that is a whole ‘nother very infuriating, very tragic story in and of itself…