My laptop charger is on the fritz, and I am computerless. Posting from Jessie's desktop, which also refused to connect to the internet until just now.
After the wonderful ride on Wednesday, I gave her Thursday off and planned to do a brief ride Friday just to get a feel for anything I might mention to Emma we need work on for the lesson Saturday.
She was off immediately, but she was also very looky at something on the "scary" side of the arena. I assumed she was just a little "up" and that was what I was feeling, so I tried to work her out of it. Then when we trotted, she was just crap compared to the past few rides, and I was very concerned, so I got off and walked/trotted her in hand...she wasn't obviously limping or having a problem. So I though maybe she was just having an off day.
Back at Goldsboro, when I was still just taking lessons on her, she did go through a phase as she started to get more work where she wanted to "hop" in the trot, with no obvious lameness in any of the legs. And the farrier confirmed nothing with the feet but a small bruise that shouldn't have affected anything in the soft footing there.
So I cautiously worked her through it. She did better, but was never really up to par with the previous work that week.
Saturday it was quite a bit worse. I asked Emma beforehand to let me know if she saw anything weird, because she was off on Friday but had worked through it. Soon at we trotted Emma saw something right away. She would take normal strides, then hop around a few. Head bobbing, not nearly as soft as she is on a normal day. Almost bracing on my hands at times.
I got off, and Emma got on so I could see it from the ground. It was like it was in the left hind leg, then it switched to the front. But it was never in the same leg. We felt her legs down, no reaction that indicated soreness, and no heat or swelling. Feet looked fine, as they had when I cleaned them out before tacking up.
We scratched our heads, but since she was notably worse off than Friday, we all felt it was best to call it a day and get Bob's more experience opinion on lameness.
I'm not really stressing bad over this. No heat or swelling is a good sign, and the fact that it's not really in any specific leg...but at the same time...it's still something wrong. And because it's just an awkward thing, switching legs, I unfortunately am beginning to wonder if she really DOES need shoes. That too worries me, because I have heard she is very clumsy with shoes. To the point Casey felt she was dangerous.
I won't jump the gun yet. She still needs to see the farrier, the barn is trying to find a new farrier - can't remember if I mentioned that Bob's farrier ditched him (Bob's pretty pissed). I also still want to have a chiropractor work on her at least once. Her feet are all just so unbalanced, and the angles are all different. I'm praying that that's what it is - kind of like if a person was wearing two different shoes, a flat tennis shoe and then a wedge sandal. It isn't out of the question that she just feels wonky and off balance because of the feet, but then I consider the fact that she's been awesome, sound, happy and working well despite the feet, and in one day it changes.
Either way, what a trier she is. Even though she was clearly not feeling good, she didn't act nasty with me or Emma trotting her out, and although she was hesitant she willingly did as we asked. She's such a good mare. She doesn't like to say no. Hoping that will carry over to our jumping and she'll be the kind that will take on anything you point her at.
Usually, she is always waiting and ready for her rider to ask for a transition up or down though, and I always get an instant reaction from her - she loves to trot, and loves to canter even more. That wasn't what we got Saturday (although I did get that on Friday). Something is wrong. We just aren't sure what.
The return of the mystery lameness. Seemingly the same symptoms as last time. WTH?!?!