And anyway, Blue has been different since Sunriver. Not bad, exactly, just… not himself. When I finally got him out of the pasture after his two weeks of total freedom, I noticed that he was looking a little thin. He’s on very poor pasture at the moment, and I don’t think he got what he needed in the two weeks to fully heal. I asked Bob to increase his hay for a bit, and the hay itself is much improved now, too. Blue looks better today than he did a week ago.
The thing that has been on my mind more than the weight loss is his movement. He still isn’t back to a steady trot. He is happy to march out at a good walk, but he isn’t willing to maintain a trot for more than maybe a dozen strides before switching to something else.
|Slow evening ride at Silver Falls.|
I can’t SEE anything wrong. In the round pen, on the line, loose in the pasture, his trot seems normal. His legs are tight and clean. But when I mount up and ask for steady movement that isn’t a walk or a canter, he just isn’t offering it.
- Maybe going the additional distance at Sunriver has him thinking about conserving himself, lest I ride him 50 miles on a whim every time I saddle him. Mustangs are smart like that, and he was certainly more apt to pick up the pace on the way back to the trailer than on the way out.
- Maybe his right hind leg isn’t back to normal yet. I’ve been trying to either sit the trot or ride the other diagonal since Sunriver, but his inconsistent moment is making it REALLY difficult.
- Maybe his whole hind end is out. He was stiff as a board when I rasped his hooves last week. Sadly, Sarah moved to a different barn, so it is a little harder to arrange for bodywork. (Assuming that I could afford it.) (Which I can’t right now.)
- Maybe there’s a stone bruise or an abscess getting ready to surface. Possible. I’ve been riding him completely bare an awful lot.
- Maybe he can sense that I’m hesitant to ask him to really move out because I’m mulling these things over in my mind. And he’s totally taking advantage, the little skunk.
- Or maybe he’s just tired and needs more recovery time.
At any rate, in my effort to be more responsible with my money and kinder to my horse, I’m not going to Bandit Springs this weekend.
I hate this feeling like I’m missing out on something, but seriously, would you go if you were in my shoes?