Horses don’t like when you make plans

I didn’t want to blog yesterday because I was afraid of saying anything too soon before I had a full picture, but there is now only say a 50/50 chance we will have our first miles recorded to OCTRA.

Tuesday night, after a severe rainfall, I took Bentley out again and he was looking pretty sore in the slop.  It was taking him longer to work out of his bob and it was much more pronounced than it had been in the last week.  He also had zero impulsion which made it even more difficult to help him bend and stretch to feel better.  I was being criticized by some onlookers for trying to push him through it and after a few minutes, I just gave up as it was not any fun to ride when people think I’m torturing my horse and hes not enjoying the footing (ok well maybe they don’t think im torturing him, but I think they think I am torturing him!  My mind can be a little dramatic when it comes to my horse).

Wednesday was our lesson, and with the hopes that it WAS just the footing, I decided not to cancel.  We worked out in the plateau.  To my disappointment, he was still bobbing on that front foot.  We didn’t give up and after a few minutes, he was moving wonderfully again.  Margie said that because since it is his front foot that is bothering him, once I get him balanced correctly, there is less pressure on the front leg and he can work like normal.  He may be working out a bit of stiffness too, but a large part of it is having him move correctly from his hind end.  This does make me think back to the 2nd flareup and how he took off with Heather, he was getting spunky and she was getting nervous, leaning forward and forcing him more on forehand and into a very front heavy gallop.  Makes a lot of sense that would have caused it!

We were able to do our full lesson at a good trot and came recorded over 8 miles including lots of lateral work (margie was ver proud of our leg yields, hes coming along so wonderfully!), with plenty of go left in him, as well there was no heat, swelling or increase in the bob.  However, the bob didn’t go away, maybe decreased a tiny bit, but was still quite obvious.  Yes, he wasn’t bobbing when I rode, but back trotting in hand he certainly was bobbing.  Lee thinks he has developed a habit of trotting in hand: unbalancing himself and putting too much on the forehand (when im not up there reminding him!).  It did surprise me that he was still bobbing in hand after our ride, because it doesn’t take too much to keep him in light contact and balanced from the back through the ride.

So tonight he gets a rest, and tomorrow is trailer day.  I don’t know if we will get a grade 1 or grade 2 lameness.  Hoping that it will subside to grade one (as its consistent when we are going straight, less at the circle which we wont do anyway) by Friday afternoon.  If we get a grade 2 lameness, we will not be able to start.  I know once he gets on the trail, he can do it, our lesson proves that since the lameness didn’t get any worse and I could TOTALLY keep him in contact the whole time, or even just walk 90% of the trail and do mileage only. It will be a matter of actually getting to start with judge approval.

I do intend on riding him whether its official or not.  If I have to go out on the trails after everyone is done, I will do that.  I at least want to keep him working as before the setbacks (still suspect it was from the slushy footing) he was improving tremendously with short calm trots and lots of walking.  At minimum its a training ride to get used to going new places.  Or maybe we can find an empty place and work on our dressage.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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