I got out earlyyyy this morning. I popped Amber out in the round pen, naked, and guess what? You probably wouldn't know anything was wrong unless you knew she had had issues - there was barely ANY stiffness in that left hind.
Okay, maybe she's doing better I think.
I ended up tacking up just to walk around. I got less than halfway around the arena, and she was limping and pinning her ears and just PISSED.
Could it be the saddle? Could it possibly be? It makes no sense, but maybe it IS, and maybe it's putting pressure on a nerve, and that's causing pain in the left hind? It just doesn't add up.
Yeah, if she was only moving like cramp with the saddle, but not in a specific leg, I'd say "Oh, time to look into getting her refitted for a saddle."
But it's only the left hind? And seemingly only with the saddle. What about the saddle could cause such a reaction? Apparently, even without my added weight it bothers her.
Emma didn't think it was her stifle locking up, and there's no heat, no swelling, and I can flex the leg all around and she doesn't care.
I really want to hear what Bob thinks, but in the end, I think I just need to "upgrade" my job ASAP and get some x-rays done and have a vet look. I still cringe at the thought that I'll probably go way into the hole, but the more this goes on, the more I start to see more than a chiropractic issue...and I'm not going to take my cheapest option here. Her health and well-being is too important. I'll let her rest, keep a check on it, and get myself in a position to be able to afford to get this taken care of. Simple as that.
Part of me, after dealing with Gulliver, still thinks maybe she's learned that it's a way out of work, but although Amber is certainly clever and I believe intelligent to an extent, I don't think her mind is working that high up. Then again, I jump off immediately when she starts kicking/limping/ear pinning, because I don't want to further injure her, and maybe she's picked up on that and thinks she's either intimidating me or just says "Oh, I can stop working if I do this."
But she drags that leg stiffly even after I get off, so I don't think it's a case of that...and she's got a good work ethic, at least, when she isn't hurting.
If things work out, Emma is going to ride her tomorrow so I can see what it looks like from a ground perspective. Possibly try a different saddle on her to see if it makes a difference. It's all I can do for now, and I think it wise to explore that possibility before I have the vet see her.