He got his hug, because none of what went wrong was his fault. He did everything I asked, quietly and with a lot of try. But his hind end doesn't feel right. I'm hoping it's just a strength issue and a stiffness issue from being in a stall for the last two days after a good romp on Monday, and the 60+ days before that.
I started by walking him for almost 10 minutes. I wanted to get used to sitting on him again (holy cow, he's wider than I remember! Shea is a skinny narrow thing, I'm used to her!), and him get used to me being up there and getting himself balanced. He felt really good, no hitches, and he was willing to walk long and low and through. He was heavy and clunky feeling, but he's still tired after his day outside on Monday and out of shape, so he gets a free pass.
I asked him to trot, and that's when he started feeling like crap. I knew from watching him long line that he starts out stiff and works out of it, and that's what he did to the left. He had a hitch to his right hind, but within a lap he was feeling normal. The short sides weren't easy for him, which is completely understandable that he can't hold the throughness and support both of us on the short side.
I took him right, walked a few laps, and then trotted. It was awful. Not as bad as when he first got the injury, but not good. And he didn't work out of it. He got fairly close, like the lesson horse that totes little kids around but isn't really quite sound, who gets his bute every day and trucks along. I ended up posting on the wrong diagonal to make his job a bit easier, so he didn't have to load the right hind with my weight in addition to the supporting weight.
I took him for about 3 or 4 laps of the arena, just trying for long and low, and he really struggled. The short sides were the worst, he laid on my hand and hitched behind. If I posted on the wrong diagonal, that seemed to make the short side more bearable.
I stopped him and asked for a canter to the left, mostly for my own benefit because I'd watched him be a crazy boy for how many weeks now and I needed to canter him to prove to myself he's still my good boy. His left lead canter was a disaster because it was on the forehand and clunky, but otherwise felt fine.
I quit and did our icy hot routine: ice on the hock for 20 min, back on track hock boot for 20 min (they create warm), and ice again for 20 min.
|Uninterested in our icy hot routine. He was very bored.|
This pic does highlight the scaring on his white foot. He had the scar when I bought him.
The white marks above it are a couple years old.
I was so upset, I didn't even get an ears picture while I was sitting on him to commemorate that fact that I CAN sit on him again. So here he is, all dressed, in a new saddle pad I got from the new Dover store, a clean saddle and bridle, and basically decked out in fantastic black and white clothes. He wasn't cooperating.
|"No, I don't want to look at you, I want to mess up Lucy's blankets."|
I'm sure his future contains trail riding and hacking around the farm, so still rideable. Crossing my fingers for more though.
On another note, on the back of the tendon above his right hock, he lost all his hair from the wraps he had on for a month and a half. While we wrapped it loosely and used Elasticon to hold the wrap up, it still rubbed him through all the padding we had on his leg. I don't think anyone did anything wrong to make it rub, but it's just one of those spots that extended wrapping will make the hair rub off (it has been rubbing since day 1). I had asked the vets at OSU if they thought the skin would scar (on the rub, incisions, etc), and they said no. Everything should heal over just fine, and the hair should grow back normally.
I'm excited to say that the patch of hair that rubbed off is growing in white! It's still more skin than hair right now, but the hair that is there is white! Is it sad I wanted some of the hair on his hock to grow in white? I really wanted the big incision to grow in white so he'd have a stripe down the outside of his hock. As he's gotten older, anything nick or scrape that ends up under a wrap has grown in white. He's got a couple white lines on the front of his front left cannon bone (visible in the icing picture above).
|It's no fun unless you get a scar, right?|
I couldn't get my phone to focus properly, sorry!