I think it is safe to say that horses teach you a lot about yourself. From dedication and determination to patience and perseverance to triumph and heartbreak and everything else in between.
My Lesson about myself today: I am easily Frustrated. (I will come back to that.) Chester, continues to baffle me and makes me look at him like he has 4 heads. He continues to be a little ouchie right at the end of his back right before his hips - but no more or no less then any other days this week...the amazing Dr. Cove is coming next week and I can almost bet Chester will need an adjustment. I did notice however, that he is kicking out a little more when he is standing in the crossties...a sure sign that he is super stiff through his stifles...as that was one of the things that set me off a year ago when he first got hurt.
We did our stretches and I put my jumping saddle on him, my thinking being I will stay up off his back as much as possible and ride with a very light seat. To start off, he was pretty stiff in behind and I let him walk for a good 20 - 25 minutes before I even thought about asking him to trot. When did - to the left - he was fine...to the right - going straight wasn't an issue, but through the corners, he limped...considerably. So - I said - forget trotting, let's just walk/stretch/do some lateral movements. I would have LOVED to get his ass going over some cavaletti (which was a KEY to our rehab a year ago) but decided to wait until next time. When I jumped off him, his mouth was frothy, the pickle was out and just stood there as relaxed as could be while I stood mouth open, staring at him, FRUSTRATED BEYOND WORDS. Well to the point where I wanted to scream...The last thing he looked like - was that he was in any sort of discomfort at all. I took his tack off and he proceeded - again - to roll ALL the way over, get up, grunt and shake like a wet dog, like he normally does. SERIOUSLY HORSE...WTF??!
Is this a mental thing with Chester?! Horses REMEMBER, this horse is SMART, this horse is SENSITIVE...maybe he isn't feeling 100% and he remembers what happened and he is scared? Maybe I am the one who is scared to push him because it doesn't FEEL RIGHT...and that is the hard part of this situation.
So - because I am now wondering what the hell is going on - I update my very patient DVM Extraordinaire with the latest from this afternoon. This is what she says: "I can't really be sure if it is pain lameness at this point, definitely sounds like his muscles are sore, but that shouldn't make him asymmetrically lame. An adjustment from Dr. Cove couldn't hurt, but likely won't correct the primary issue completely. A lot of what you have been describing can be perfectly NORMAL given his injury, time of year and lack of mobility, but other things, not so much. If we are still at a loss, it wouldn't hurt to pull some blood to look at his kidney and muscle values either. Do NOT worry. We will get him sorted." She will be out in the next day or so. Until then - we continue stretching and walking/stretching under saddle.
I sound like broken record - and I am sorry for that - but I am unbelievably frustrated beyond belief when it comes to this situation - let alone EVERYTHING else that is going on in my life. The LAST thing I need to be worrying about right now is Chester. You know what is worse then that...? EVERYTHING seems worse then it actually is because of my situation.... considering I am an emotional person to begin with - I think (know) I am more then likely blowing this WAY out of proportion...it just seems to be one of those "Sure, why not add it to the list" of things I might as well be frustrated about.
When I was speaking to my DVM Extraordinaire (about Chester and everything else going on) I said "Sometimes I feel like I want to throw my hands up in the air and say 'FUDGE IT'. Her response "Fair enough. BUT, you have enough to deal with, so Chester is just taking you over that edge. Let me worry about him."
EcoGold the other day posted a Keys to Success article - and one of those things - I am paraphrasing - was to ensure you surround yourself with the right people that can help you achieve your goals...I am 1 million% grateful for my friend/DVM who will do anything for me...and more importantly, anything to ensure Chester is as happy/healthy as he can be.
If there is one thing I am not, it is patient...but, Chester has taught (forced) me to be patient and take things like this one day at a time, one step at a time...and for that I am eternally grateful. In the meantime - think positive thoughts for Chester...