On Wednesday, March 31, I show up promptly for my lesson with the Boss and while tacking up, notice an oddly shaped (BLEEDING) cut on the Pickle's butt, right at the end of his tailbone...WTF? How on earth did he do that? Did he roll on something? Did he scrape himself on something when he was rolling? Did he get kicked? Huh - weird. So the Boss and I take a look, poke prod etc and he seems fine...the lesson ensues.
Friday, April 9, I show up promptly for my lesson - SIDEBAR: last week for me was a nightmare at the office and I only rode on Monday and for 20 minutes on Wednesday - and tack up. I noticed on the Wednesday, when I was checking out his cut, that he was a little sore on his butt on the left side when I pressed down. It was weird, because I even said to one of the girls that was there "does this look swollen to you, it feels weird." But - he was in good spirits and when we were riding, he was his normal self. On Firday, I get on and the plan was to have an easy flat lesson because a - he had been ridden 1 1/4 times that week and b - I had the week from hell and the last thing I wanted to do was have an intense lesson. Not fair to either of us, or Joyce for that matter. Well, let me tell you, I was frustrated instantly. I couldn't get him to engage, put his head down, be receptive of my contact, his trot was that of a donkey with hip displaysia...he resembeled a giraffe with his head stuck straight up in the air....it was to the point where we tried EVERYTHING and nothing was working. So, Joyce goes 'Want me to ride him?'...UH, YEAH!!! And, the same of the before occurs. So she is walking him, trying to get him to bend and become supple..and I go "Maybe he is sore in his butt from that cut? I noticed that the other say he was a little ouchie" Joyce looks at me, gets off and we immediately start poking around on this butt...sure enough, when we pressed down on his left side, below where the cut is, he flinch away...hard... :-(
Joyce and I have determined that he got reared up on and that cut resulted from Troy's (his pasture mate's) front shoe. The cut is NOT infected (that was the first thing Aaron asked when I told him...for someone who knows NOTHING about horses, he seems to know an awful lot), and we believe it is a deep muscle bruise that took 4 or 5 days to surface and really become ouchie for the Pickle.
I feel absolutely HORRIBLE about a - making him jump all those xc fences b - getting mad at him when I couldn't engage him c - for being a horrible owner/rider and not realizing I should have been taking it easy on the Wednesday (April 7) when I pressed down on his butt and he flinched. I feel like a total jackass. :-(
The Chiro/acupuncturist is coming out tomorrow evening and is going to take a look at him...ugh, I feel so bad for him. So he is still going outside (he is not lame at ALL) and I am hand walking him for 20 minutes/day...which is more like a prance, trust me, he feels FINE, he is just ouchie...and he is getting groomed to perfection each day too, which he loves...I think he thinks he is on vacation. Joyce said about a week or 2 will be all he needs and he'll be fine.
Everything was going amazingly well up until this point and I was very happy with how far we have come as a team. Of course - something like this had to happen. Although not serious in the least (I hope), it is still frustrating and disappointing to know we are loosing 2 weeks and going through a little bit of a set back 3 weeks from our first Short Course and 6 weeks away from our first FULL event. Then again, it could be a lot worse. The Great Max Cocoron (Groom to one of the US's best riders) has said "We have made a deal to listen to our horses more to see how they are feeling, and will do what they tell us", and that is exactly what I am doing. I am listening to Chester, he has said "Mom, I feel good, but I'm a little sore when you ask me to use my butt". How do I know he feels good...? We turned him out in the indoor arena on Saturday afternoon and he resembled a jack russel terrier doing laps around a living room. Aaron looks at me and goes "your horse is a knucklehead."...tell me something I don't know.
So, until then, I will be hand-prancing the dragon (because that is what he sounds like) down the lane way and attempting to keep him in line when we pass the dreaded pile of rocks on the side of the road, which are, according to him, just as scary when I am walking beside him...