Sigh, where do I start? Life has delivered a load of lemons. I guess I’m supposed to make lemonade, but life forgot to deliver the sugar. I’m hoping instead that someone will get a delivery of tequila or vodka and we can share the goods.
My elation from my short ride on Tuesday turned to despair on Thursday. I knew after two or three strides of the walk that something wasn’t quite right. Huh? How can this be? Not now! We have a two-day licensed show this weekend and there are no refunds!!! Ms. C was with us since we were going to do our lesson. I knew from the look on her face that she could see something was wrong as well. We attempted some trot in both directions and the issue became more apparent. Ike was short striding and moving very uncomfortably. I dismounted and we poked, prodded, and felt every joint, leg and hoof. Nothing screamed, “here is where the problem is.” Ms. C hooked Ike to a lunge line and put him on a small circle. Ah, the right front shoulder and leg started looking stiff.
I took Ike back to the barn and debated what to do. To be safe, we cold wrapped the leg and soaked the right hoof in a Epsom salt bath. Now what?! Off to the car to grab the cell phone….and placed a call to the vet. As luck would have it, she was close by and made it within an hour. Her exam found some sore muscles in the left hip and right shoulder, a reactive nail in the left front, and a sore sole for the right front hoof. Sheesh! Three of Ike’s four legs. That isn’t boding well for the weekend. The vet recommended pulling the nail, soaking the hooves, and giving Ike some bute. [note to self – time to refresh my knowledge of the USEF drug rules and guidelines.] Ms. C’s husband is a farrier and he was kind enough to pull the offending nail. All we could do was wait for Friday to come.
Today dawned a beautiful day – the sun was out and the humidity was low…a perfect day to ride….or so I hoped. Ike’s demeanor was much more perky today which was a positive sign. But how would he go under saddle? I quickly tacked and headed to the ring. I am happy to report that the walk was normal. I am unhappy to report that while the trot was greatly improved, it wasn’t show worthy. Big sigh. I am pleased with the progress so far, but if things aren’t drastically better in the morning, Ike will be staying home tomorrow for more rest.
Here is the game plan: Our farrier is coming early tomorrow to put some Equi-pak (http://www.cottamhorseshoes.com/equithane.htm ) on Ike to help the soreness in Ike’s front hooves. I will then briefly ride Ike to see how he is moving. The decision will then be made to either scratch Saturday’s rides or load the trailer. If we scratch Saturday, we will pray that another day of rest will get us down centerline on Sunday.
This is not how I envisioned this weekend, but big man’s health and well-being come first.
Now where is that vodka?