October 23, 2011 1 Comment
Derby and I tagged along with Liz and Cloud today for a trail ride. It was a beautiful day and Liz’s hard work with Cloud has really paid off – he was a relaxed lead horse and she was able to give him a loopy rein. Derby was really good too, navigating the little ditch behind the paddocks, narrow alleys between trees, a swale with tall grass and the rocky edge of a cornfield with no problem. However, as we approached the road – a small country highway that we need to walk along for about a quarter mile to reach the trailhead – things started to fall apart. The dual culverts we have to face drew a look, a sidestep and a snort. A fleet of motorcycles passing didn’t help matters. Derby became very tense. Up until that moment he had been perfect, but now I felt like I was sitting on a powder keg.
Sheepishly I asked Liz if we might turn back. I will admit to having a bit of a phobia about the road and between Derby’s tenseness and my own trepidation, I didn’t want to push it. Even though Cloud was being totally perfect, Liz indulged me and back we went. Completely uneventfully.
We went into the indoor for some real work – the trail excursion had really been just a warm up – but when I asked Derby to trot, he felt significantly off and was very unwilling – swishing his tail and humping his back , neither of which are normal for him. I hopped off, felt his legs, and picked his feet. I didn’t find any real heat, nor did I find a stone.
I waffled back and forth between the vet’s assurances that the horse was fine and just needed to be worked through the muscle stiffness and lingering effects of the abscess (and the lameness that caused) and the fact that the horse had been nice and forward for the most part, but not so on Thursday, fine on Saturday, and not great today. I decided to listen to the horse. We’ll see what we have tomorrow.