There has been a lot going on and a lot of planning has taken place and I had a moment of being super HIGH and then a moment of being super LOW and now, I am somewhere between those two emotions. We have a plan. This plan is absolutely nothing like the one I wrote about a couple days ago - shocking I know - and I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what was going on before I sat down to write about it because it has been a pretty emotional couple of days.
I will attempt to keep this short and sweet and not go off on a tangent and let one thought cloud my original thought which will lead me to another thought that has absolutely nothing to do with my original though.
Monday - imagine my surprise when I am lunging Chester and I see none other then the Boss and Kelly coming towards me!!!! WHA..?! YEA!!!! Kelly is on reading week this week and they were in the area, saw my car in the parking lot and decided to stop in!! I couldn't have been happier. Boss watches him on the lunge - he is moving pretttty good and she goes to me "Get your ass on that horse and start riding him. That's the only way you are going to know how he is feeling. Keep in mind, he isn't going to feel like how you remember him to feel. Walk for 20 minutes in either direction, do some circles, trot a couple times each way, then tomorrow increase it my 3 or 4 minutes. That is the only way you are going to know if he is ready." Whoo hooo!!! So - that afternoon, I went back and tacked him up. There was dust on my saddle. Brutal. Walking, he was superb...even looking for the contact and stretching down into my hands. (Please rest assured, I was not asking him to collect at all, but he was more comfortable with a little weight in my hand.) I was thrilled at how he was going. Then, I asked him to trot. Then, it all came crashing down as he proceeded to stiffen instantly. I had one of the coaches get on him at that point so I could see what he looked like. And he looked like how he felt...as though there were 2 boards attached to his front legs. WTF?! I update the boss and she is perplexed and tells me she will meet me at the barn tomorrow so we can take a look. I call DVME and give her my update. In a nutshell: I think his pelvis is out. This could have happened a - when he spooked 2 months ago b - become a secondary issue from him having the abscess, standing in his stall and becoming stiff. Actually, we know his pelvis is out - but, I will get to that in a second. So, because he has gone however long with his pelvis out - he is now super stiff in front from a -not moving b- over compensating. DAMN-IT - why didn't I notice this earlier??!! (Probably because I was so wrapped up in his front end..anyways.) Not to mention, his feet are more then likely sore because he has been standing for so long and hasn't had any shoes on for a while...he ALWAYS has shoes. DVME agrees. She says: "Get the chiro out, leave him in, I will come Thursday to check him out."
So, my new million dollar stupid owner question: "Soooo, why is he sound on the lunge line and then I get on him and he is crippled?"
DVME: Well, think about it. He has found a way to protect himself on the lunge by over compensating in the places he needs. When you get on him, you screw that all up because you are asking him to use himself properly. If his pelvis is out, then think about what that does to the rest of his body. Actually, think about where YOUR pelvis is and what would happen if you landed on it and put it all out of whack.
Me: Stiff as a board?!
DVME: You got it. Get Dr. Cove out ASAP.
Tuesday: I meet the Boss at the barn. We are watching Chester in the arena. He is standing like a normal horse, walking like a normal horse...we turn him in a couple small circles and when turning to the left, rather then crossing over his hind legs, he pivots on his HR..huh. So, we take a closer look and sure enough - right at the base of his pelvis on his right side - he absolutely flinches at the touch..$hit $hit $hit!!!! When he originally injured his pelvis a year ago, his right side was worse then his left. By this time, my mind is going a MILE a minute and I am thinking: Did he maybe throw it out again when he spooked?! And I have left it for so long... $hit, $hit $hit!!!! So maybe Dr. Cove will be able to work his magic, put him back into alignment and get him sorted out. I call Dr. Cove and tell him I think Chester is out of whack (he knows the situation) and is aware of his original injury to his pelvis and stifles a year ago.
Today: he was in the arena in the morning, came out of his stall stiff. I showed up to hand walk him, came out stiff and then eased out of it...phew.. His front feet are a little warm, but that is to be expected. Dr. Cove comes tonight at 7:00p.m.
Thursday: Our barn masseuse will be giving him a little rub down...so long as he isn't too sore for Dr. Cove..because I have a feeling he will be a little ouchie for a day or two after tonight. DVME will come out and give him the once over...we have talked about acupuncture for this horse and I think it is something we are going to discuss again...The Boss mentioned it yesterday too. I think it will be beneficial to him and will help to strengthen any damaged ligaments etc back in his butt...
Friday: Farrier is coming out to put shoes on and special pads that I think help cushion his toes (because he is a toe stepper) but I don't know too much about them yet and he is going to have to explain it to me...
Somewhere along the line, we have to make the decision when to start him with a little bit of bute - probably tonight after Dr. Cove or tomorrow after DVME - and I don't think he will be going outside until at least Saturday after his shoes are back on.
Chrio -> Masseuse -> DVME -> Farrier - > Ride - > Right?!
Geeeze. I am back to feeling like a horrible owner and NOT knowing what to look out for in my horse. I guess, as always, I should have had the Boss out much much much earlier...Lesson learned - again. You know what else I learned?! That I am NOT going to talk about his problems with the masses...there are 3 people that I will talk to about it: The Boss, DVME and Farrier Expert...Those are the people I trust the most and when you involve more people, your head just simply spins.
So - now, once again, I find myself with my fingers crossed, hoping, praying that the adjustment, shoes/pads and a little bute will get him back to normal...I did remind him today that our first training level event is only 5.5 months away and we need to get it together. A.S.A.P!!!
Ahhh geeze - this did turn out sort of long didn't it...although I do remember saying 'attempt'.
Update - good or bad - after the incredible Dr. Cove is out tonight.