Off on a Limp
I rode Chance in the arena yesterday. I would have liked to have taken a nice long trail ride but there was the sound of ATV's in the woods and I opted to take the safer choice.
We had some really nice work. After some circling at the walk to supple him up he offered some of the best on the bit effort he's ever given me. He stayed round through transitions from one rein to the other and in between gaits.
I asked for quite a bit of trot within about a half hour schooling session and at the end did some nice round canter on the right lead.
Suddenly, something happened and Chance pulled up totally lame on his left front. My heart caught in my throat as I jumped off to see him holding the left front up, reluctant to even put it down again. I checked his foot in case he'd picked up a stone and found nothing, so I led him back, limping, into the barn.
There, cleaned his hoof, again finding nothing. I felt his leg. Nothing. I did some flexions, nothing. The only conclusion was that he had taken a bad step, perhaps hitting a stone, or twisting something. Since there were no other symptoms, I called it a night and put him in his stall for dinner--with turnout at his option. Later last night he appeared to be walking sound, but I still was a little worried.
Today, I put him on the lunge line and trotted him in both directions. Nothing. No sign of any lameness. I guess he had just dinged himself and the pain was only temporary.
After I lunged Chance, I saddled up Tucker for a workout.
While he continues his lazy ways and still resists my first leg aid to go into trot--something we clearly need to work on AGAIN. He did give me some relatively nice work.
After a long rein warmup at the trot with some canter, I began some suppling exercises. These consisted mostly of some turns on the forehand to loosen his poll and jaw.
Well, I guess turns on the forehand were not part of my basic schooling, because, at first, he had no idea at all about what I wanted. He wasn't naughty, just confused. First he tried a turn on the haunches, then a side pass, then reinback. I was very patient since he was trying various options and as long as he was doing something in response to my aids, it was positive.
We finally managed a few almost good ones, so I quit that and began to ask him to do some up and down transitions keeping his jaw soft. Eventually we graduated to shoulder in on each rein. While the trot was not totally engaged or dramatically forward, it was soft, and for now, that was all I wanted.
We ended up the school with some more work on the half pass. He is ever improving although I would like my seat and aids to be better. I'm still pushing him too much with my outside aids instead of "sitting into the half pass" in the direction we are going.
Ah well, at least I know what I'm doing wrong. That gives me at least a 50/50 shot at fixing it.
That finished up the ride on a good note.
The rest of the day was spent driving about taking back things I'd bought that didn't work, including a weather radio and a scale. I've had a rash of things to take back lately. For some reason I've managed to buy defective items more than once now.
Then to top it all off, my car started making a "clunking" sound in the front. I eventually drove it to the shop only to find out the front struts need to be replaced. That would be fine except that the total repair bill is way over the amount of money I currently can afford to spend.
Fortunately, I have the truck to drive in the meantime, and the option, I hope, of taking the car to school to have it repaired at cost. I just have to wait until I can get in touch with the auto shop there to take it in.
Someone suggested that with my current run of upside down luck, it might be a good time to buy a lottery ticket.
Think I will.