NQR Continues to Continue…

After falling off on Halloween, I was waffling on riding the day after because I was pretty sore, but not as bad as I remember being when I’ve fallen off previously. If it weren’t for the impending time change and knowledge that opportunities to ride outside would become few and far between, I probably would’ve skipped riding on Tuesday, but due to that knowledge I decided that I need to push through and check in with my horse.

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Ground tying pros…sometimes.

With that being said, I wasn’t particularly interested in cantering as I was being a chicken and was paranoid about a repeat of the day before. I put on my western spurs and decided to make my ride about trotting OUT and moving away from my leg. Copper has a tendency to counter bend on a circle and ride crooked and it annoys me to no end. Of course, I could be causing it somehow, but until I can get a lesson with someone to help me figure that out, I have resorted to asking him to bend around my leg with the spurs on, and gee, how much more willing he is when the spurs are on. After trotting a lot, I felt like I should ask him to canter. The conversations that I have internally are quite entertaining. I spend a lot of time arguing with myself, but confident Sarah has won out a lot lately, so we cantered. And I didn’t even fall off! I did, however, opt out of my spurs after the first canter transition was very strong and the subsequent strides more forward than usual. The first canter was also on the wrong lead (womp womp). I blamed the wrong lead on him rushing the transition and pulled my spurs off and asked again and was rewarded with several correct canter strides before I asked him to trot. We didn’t canter a full circle as that is his (and my) bad way on the circle and I wasn’t pushing my luck. I was happy to reverse him and canter a circle the opposite way before refocusing on trotting out. He cantered nicely on our good circle and returned to trotting nicely enough, though he does still think about anticipating the canter, which is why I just casually tossed in a couple of canters and went back to trotting as if it was no thing. Success? That remains to be seen because…

When I rode him on Monday of this week (for some reason I always ride him on Monday/Tuesday then nothing the rest of the week?) he was lame. He was good going clockwise, but when I turned him around the other way he was super lame if I was on the right diagonal. If I switched to the left he was much more sound, but not 100%. When I returned to the clockwise circle he was sound again as long as I was on the left diagonal, but when I switched to the right (experimentally), he was very lame. I did canter one circle going our good way just to see how he felt and it felt fine. I was also feeling greedy and wanted to canter him one more time before winter and darkness. The lameness seemed concentrated on his left hind (aaagain), so I opted not to canter him on the left lead.

On Halloween…after I fell off. He wasn’t lame this day.

So now I’m wondering if he was mildly sore on Halloween when I came off and if that is why he gave me the unprompted flying change that left me on the ground (he swapped from the left lead to the right lead, which is, by far, our better of the two). He seemed fine on 11/1, but at this point there is no rhyme or reason to his actions. One school of thought says that his fitness (or lack thereof) is the reason for the lameness, but after crawling on him with a bareback pad in the barn last night, it seems bigger than that. His entire hind end was weak last night to the point that he felt kind of like a gaited horse instead of a trotting horse. I thought he was back sore (and still do…) but when I palpated his back last night, he wasn’t remotely goosy anywhere, so I’m just scratching my head and thinking about calling the chiro/vet/witch doctor out yet again this year.

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Still needs back and butt muscles. Shoulder is looking pretty good.

I will note that he has been remarkably pleasant throughout all of this and never lays his ears back at me when I mount/ask for an upward or downward transition (not the gif above for a pretty quiet canter transition…). I do always mount from a block or, when climbing on him bareback last night, I mounted from on top of my Stanley trunk to get the added height necessary to get on him lightly. When the chiro was here earlier this year, she remarked that his back looked good, and was glad that I use a mounting block whenever I get on him. I’ve always tried to use a block with everyone. It just seems so much easier on all of us that way.

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Here, have a random picture of Kricket and Robin from the other day. Note that Robin is looking at me all bug eyed because I greeted her from my brother’s yard. Not a common thing, but in a herd full of Arabians/Saddlebreds and an OTTB and TWH, she was the only one who spooked…there is a reason she’s been voted least likely to be ridden…lol.

So I think I’m going to give him some really boring walk only rides if he is walk sound (he wasn’t on 11/8…) and some time on the lunge line without carrying me to build up his back and hopefully things will start to improve. If they don’t, I’ll likely be calling the vet again to check out his back this time. I guess my vet will get to watch me ride him since that’s when the lameness is the most prominent. I’m also going to have him pull blood on Copper this time (though, Jesus take the wheel, because pulling Copper’s blood is a struggle) just to double check to make sure he doesn’t have EPM or something that would be hindering muscle development/causing him to waste in winter. Up to this point, my vet has just said that Copper is a hard keeper…but tell that to circa 2012 Copper…

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In April…coming out of a winter where he subsisted entirely on free choice hay with no added supplements or grain. Such hard keeper…

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5 thoughts on “NQR Continues to Continue…

  1. I wonder what the deal is?! Maybe a chiro apt if that’s an option?

    I like Confident Sarah. 🙂 I’d like to see Ballsy Sarah. 😉

  2. Hmm, before I even got to the end of this EPM did cross my mind. I’ll just suggest every single diagnosis I know, and then I’ll definitely be right! 😉 Seriously though, I hope you get a real frigging answer soon!

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