Which means two things – Saturday and Sunday were super chill days, and I had to chill out after Saturday lol.
I think we all get there a lot – what is wrong with my horse and why won’t they tell me what’s wrong and hopefully this is the last of it and omg something is still not right!! be it with injuries or training. And I was no different – worried about my girl after Saturday’s ride.
But I’ve been giving Amber a lot of time, first with the stifle and then with that front leg and she seemed to be doing better. It was hard to tell, though, so Saturday with a plan of still taking it very easy and letting things heal up nicely because sometimes joint injections take longer to really kick in. And boy was she ready. She walking with a purpose, very ready to get the show on the road and get going. So this was a big improvement from the last week so well hey let’s do a teensy bit of trotting and see how you feel before quitting and going on a trail ride with Whisper.
So we trotted, and wow she felt nice. Very smooth. Very into the contact. Switched directions and I tried that left hand exercise G had me doing – holding the rein away from the neck and pushing the shoulder into the outside rein. Huh. Totally opposite western, and it didn’t work the best for lazy ol’ Liam, but holy crap Amber responded perfectly when I did it with her. And the trot felt so promising! And then she took a misstep. And the rhythm was gone. No head bobbing – almost no change of frame – but something absolutely wasn’t right. I walked her immediately, checked out the shadow and sure enough she wasn’t bringing that right hind forward at all. So I walked a little, and she started to feel better after a bit, but I hopped off.
It hadn’t even been 20 minutes, and it broke my heart because she kept nosing me and following every step I took like “but wait, how are we done yet? We shouldn’t be done yet, ma.” And it was very unlike her to stand in an arena and rest the right hind leg almost immediately after stopping. We still took a very easy, short trail ride, and she was so excited and happy for that – I think her brain needed it – but I was worrying the rest of the day.
Sunday I turned her out in the arena and let her wander while I picked up leaves (sometimes neighboring oleander dead leaves blow into the arena). She mostly followed me, but when she didn’t I could just observe her. Most of the time she walked okay if a slight hitch in her step occasionally. She had a few wee! moments and gave a few bucks. She was definitely off the first time she had a few trot steps after the buck, then seemed okay walking. Her second buck she seemed okay, but something is just still not quite right.
So after wracking my brain and trying to think of everything, I’ve been beginning to wonder if it wasn’t her stifle at all that was giving her the problem. After her SI injection, she was feeling marvelous. Leading up to English show day on the 11th she felt fantastic, absolutely superb. Her right lead even was feeling magical. And at that show was when she kicked out. Now we did find things in her stifle which was good to know. But I’m wondering if she pulled/tore/strained a ligament or muscle in that area when she kicked out. With rest, she gets better. A nice walk/trot ride Tuesday, a canter one Wednesday and she was still kind of flat and iffy, 2 days off and then feeling great before it goes bad again….I’m thinking it’s something like that. Also, considering how well she responded to her knee and SI injections, I find it puzzling that her stifle would still be this bad after almost 4 weeks if that were the true problem.
This poor vet lol. He got saddled with me when he did such a great job on her SI and his assistant ended up being awesome and is now my instructor lol. So I’m hoping I can schedule an appointment here soon and hopefully ultrasound the area (though that might be really difficult), and then check out that crazy lump on her foreleg that’s still there. The only silver lining I can see is that I’m REALLY getting to know my vets haha!