Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Had A Lesson, Sort Of

Well, About Half a Lesson

I think the session with Steiner may have left Tucker sore. I hadn't ridden him since and had a lesson with Gabriel this afternoon.

We started off like gangbusters. Tucker was really moving well and working beautifully. I looked in the indoor arena mirrors at one point and he was up in a beautiful frame, really carrying himself.

Then in our second or third tour of shoulder-in on the right rein, he took a really strange step with his right hind. Shortly after, he just quit the trot and started laying his ears back and refusing to go. It was not a total shutdown as before the Ulcergard, but a definite trot shutdown. He walk was big and beautiful, but he simply would not trot.

Something had gone wrong and Tuck was making it perfectly clear. We got a lunge line after I dismounted and lunged him a bit. He trotted off a bit stiffly at first, then seemed to warm out of it, but when I got back on, he still refused to trot, threatening to buck if I pushed too hard.

I dismounted again and we took the saddle off. I ran the end of my dressage whip all along his back looking for acupressure sensitivity and found nothing until I pushed on the pressure point in his right rump. He flinched significantly. I checked it several times and each time, he reacted. This is the point for either the stifle or the hock...not quite as accurate as my vet at this...so I suspect one joint or the other must have suddenly given out or gotten sore.

When we'd started the lesson he was acting just a little "funny" but really did settle to work, so I now suspect he was a bit muscle sore when we began. The exercise probably loosened things up until whatever twinge or issue finally stopped him in his tracks. It could also be that the shoulder in movement might have thrown something out in his back--especially if his muscles were a little sore already.

While I am disappointed at not having finished up the lesson on a good note, the part we managed was really quite wonderful. Hopefully this is just a small glitch in the program. If I can get my vet out ASAP, he can do some acupuncture/chiropractic work and get Tuck back on track.

Gabriel and I did discuss the Steiner clinic and comments and we were in complete agreement. Gabriel said that kind of attitude is what is ruining dressage in the US. The prejudice towards warmbloods and the arrogant attitude that "only warmbloods can do it" completely defeats the principle of what dressage is all about. That's the "competition" dressage so many people complain about. We both agreed that we know Tucker has limitations, but the whole goal is to train him to be better and certainly to reach for Grand Prix. I said my new goal was to ride a Grand Prix test on Tucker under Steiner. *LOL* Hey, at least I have something to shoot at now!

Gotta get Tucker feeling better first. He seems to have decided he now has the right and obligation to make it quite clear when something is wrong. Guess it's better than having a horse who works through the pain and ends up hurting himself even more.

I guess.......

Update from Wednesday Morning:
I called my vet and We have an appointment for chiropractic/acupuncture on Friday morning. I will have to trailer Tucker to the barn where I had my lesson. Otherwise we would have had to wait until Tuesday of next week.


  1. Jean you are an INSPIRATION on how you listen to your horse. It is very good for me.
    Are you sure Tucker is not a mare ? ^-^
    He is a BIG extrovert like Linda LOL

    Yes this "snobbish-competition-Dressage" attitude is really destroying that discipline. It is not only in the US, but everywhere in the world ... sadly!

  2. I think it's better if they tell you Jean. If you carry on when they are hurting, something's gonna break! You have to listen though, which is what you do so well as Muriel says.


  3. oh dear; hope it's nowt serious, but at least he did tell you (and you felt it!)

    i always remember with my second horse billy, he had a wonderful walk. one day i was riding in the arena and said, this walk isn't right. everyone else was "yeah, right, looks sound to me" but i knew... and i was right, he had a corn. i could so feel it.

  4. Have to give Tucker full points for making himself VERY CLEAR about the fact that something had gone wrong. Ears back, napping, threatening to buck.

    Toby used to keep going but throw in flying changes or kind of sideways strides when his sacroilliac went out. When his hocks were sore, he would refuse to reinback.

    My horses are very communicative. I'd like to think it's because they figure I'll listen. But this time, Tucker was SHOUTING!!