Trailering to the Horse Park
I rode Tucker in the morning, and he was, as ever a good boy. Trouble was I waited until around 10 and should have ridden by 9. By 10 it was already hot and miserable. Still we had a good school, even thought I kept it short.
I rode the Second Level movements again and then did a poor redition of a First Level Test. We wouldn't have won any prizes with either effort, but he has no trouble handling all the exercises, so that's just fine.
At 12, I set up the horse trailer for Chance's adventure as he was still definitely lame when I lunged him. He was not as bad as the other day, but definitely off.
Loading him was just a bit tricky. He would go in easily, eat the grain, and then back out as soon as I moved to the back to fasten the tail bar. We did this about four times and each time I made sure I didn't make any kind of fuss or major correction about his backing out. The lead line was long enough that I could just stand at the breast bar and hold it while he moved. Finally he came in and seemed to relax. At that point I chirpped to him and said, "Stand," and he did so that I could fasten the back bar and put up the tailgate.
I drove extra carefully, wanting to be sure his ride was not at all upsetting and luckily didn't have to stop for any of the traffic lights on the way.
Once at the Park, the show was going full tilt. Four rings of competition and two warm-up areas. Chance unloaded quietly, looked around, and settled in to graze on the parking field. Dr. Klayman was really impressed at how quiet he was. He dubbed him "A Prince," his highest accolade which he usually reserves for Toby.
We lunged a little first and it was clear Chance was lame on his right hind leg. A flexion test would have been next, but I can't run due to my really bad knees. My friend Stacie was coming to help out, but she wasn't there yet, so the doctor checked the kid over pretty thoroughly, using both normal palpitations and acupuncture points. Absolutely nothing abnormal showed up.
After she paged us from the show office, Stacie finally found us, so the doctor did flexion tests. Chance was visibly more lame after the hock flexion, but also a bit more off after the fetlock test, so there was nothing conclusive.
So, I was left with two choices. I could keep Chance in for three weeks and see how he was, or we could do nerve blocks to try to locate the problem. Since I already have an appointment set up with Dr. Klayman on June 4, I opted for the more aggressive approach. Chance will be on bute for about 5 days. I set up the run-in shed as a covered and very restricted turnout--we had done that for Tucker when he was lame on his abscessed foot. It is actually kind of a nifty little setup for the hot summer days as that is the shady side with the most likely chance of a breeze. There's a good view of the house and side paddock. It's also right next to the outdoor water spigot, so I can keep a water tub easily full.
I'm sure it's not as much fun as romping free, but it's much better than simple stall confinement.
So, the good is Chance's behavior and his excellent loading for the ride home. The bad is still not knowing what's bothering him.
Time and rest are often the best healers. Now all we have to do is wait and see.