Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gotta Get Through This

After an awesome month, Sofie appears to be going through a flare-up. My ride on Wednesday was an improvement. She started out by being balky and resistant, but I got some trot transitions out of her, and her hind feet didn't leave the ground. After a little work in the yard, I rode her on the trail, which went fine, and then I rode her down the road, where she was pretty much an idiot. We basically did a serpentine. The. Whole. Freaking. Way. She didn't want to walk straight down the side of the road, she wanted to drift and veer into the road, and into people's yards. She only spooked once, towards the end, but trying to keep her straight was tiring. I did some walk-trot transitions on the way home, just to use the energy a little.

When I got back to the yard, I was a bit mad at her, so I said "Okay, horse, if you have enough energy to fight me the whole way down the road, I think you can trot in the yard." And so I tried it, and she did much better. I had to finesse it quite a lot, and kind of gently coax her into doing what I wanted, but I got her to go around much better than she had been. According to my mom, she looked good. I got off feeling great about it, and hoping we were over the worst.

Her trim went quite well, except for her being kind of uncooperative at the start (she always is). But she wound up standing ground-tied while Annie worked on her. Annie has power over Sofie that Sofie doesn't even quite understand. But she knows there will be consequences if she moves. Like backing-down-the-aisle consequences. So the rest of the trim was uneventful, except for Sofie running into the hoofstand and the rasp with her nose.

So yesterday I went back out to the barn. She free schooled sluggishly. Her movement looked okay, it was stiff, but not horribly so. But she was sluggish. Under weight, she was stiff, and she wanted nothing to do with anything that made her use her hocks. Like hills, or turns, or trotting. I did get her to trot, multiple times, and a couple of her trots were actually nice, but for the most part, she was really stiff, micro-striding behind and occasionally tripping because she just didn't want to use herself. At all. She trotted quite willingly on the trail (adrenaline will do that) and she didn't kill me or anything, but it's clear that she hurts. I'm getting what I can out of her with a LOT of finesse and rewards. She's not the same horse that was trotting all over the place, volunteering to canter and complying with my incrementally increasing demands. Last month, for the most part, she felt great. This month, she feels crappy. After the ride, she had a crappy look on her face just standing in the aisle, and she was very upset when we touched her chest. Obviously, what she did when she felt good has built up some inflammation in her hocks, so now she's overloading her front end, which makes that hurt, too.

This is a cycle we will probably be stuck in until the fusion happens. When the fusion is happening, it will hurt more. There's no way around it. If we stuff her with anti-inflammatories, it will slow down the fusion. Even if I could afford them, injections obviously will not help, so there's no point in doing them. Chiro Lady is coming to work on Sofie next Wednesday, which should help, and maybe in the future we will have her out more often. It's important to keep riding, because there's only so much we can do with groundwork. Even if I can only walk her at times, it's better than nothing. It sucks that this is happening now, because we were just to the point I had dreamed about for so long. We had it. And now we can't do much of anything.

But she still looks great. She's comfortable and happy out in the field with her friends. Her coat shines even in the dark, dingy indoor. She doesn't run when I catch her, she doesn't get crabby when we bring the saddle out or tighten the girth. She gives me what she can when we ride, so I know our training is solid. And I have to believe that we can wait until the fusion happens, and it won't take too long or hurt too much. I know what she's capable of, and I hope we get the chance to do it all.

sld 23


  1. OMG look at that trot! I hope the best for the Sofa, too. At this rate, y'all will get through it with flying colors.

  2. Yeah, that would be her "Wheeeee! I am a Warmblood!" trot. Sometimes she likes to think she's a tobiano Dutch Warmblood. LOL.