Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brego Back in Black, er, Brown

Over the course of the week, my generous riding partner had been icing Brego's right hind leg in the morning while I was at work. The puffiness improved. By Friday, other people at the barn kindly thought I was nuts: Brego's leg looked fine and people could not feel much of a difference between the "injured" leg and his other hind.

So I rode him around bareback at a walk and we worked on bending and circles and generally getting back into a work frame of mind. He was reluctant to work, but after I insisted, he did really well and was actually feeling pretty good. I did not push him at the walk, letting him choose how much to push from behind. I couldn't feel anything off. It was nice to have a bareback day where we wandered around the farm and basically hung out. Working full time and preparing for shows, we don't do much hanging out anymore. Maybe that's part of the problem...

On Saturday, his puffiness was noticeably reduced, almost completely gone. I tacked up with my dressage saddle and we went for a spin. We did a long, stretchy warm up at the walk. When I first asked for the trot, he felt so stunted, I immediately asked for spectators to watch him. He was just jogging stiffly around, was he lame? No, everyone said he was even, just not moving forward. So I asked for more trot and then bam, there he was. Brego was back! He felt strong and even, but his top line was stiff. He had trouble softening down. He is not the kind of horse to use his topline properly walking around a field, so it takes a little more work to get him to use it after a break.

I rode for about 20 minutes, mostly trot, and ended with him nicely stretched. Not nearly as consistent than before he took a break, but when he got it, he felt good. I only cantered him enough to check him both ways. He felt flat but ok.

So I will start working him back up. He was off for only four days so I am sure he will be back to normal soon. I am also investigating getting a good chiropracter to see him this week to make sure all residual kinks he might have acquired if he favored the leg are gone. I never saw him off on it walking around, but you never know.

Finally, I have two dressage lessons next weekend on other horses. I have chosen two different trainers and barns so I can get a feel of who I would like to continue with. Both horses are more advanced than Brego and both instructors have much experience, so I am looking forward to it.


spotteddrafter said...

Hey, don't listen to other people saying you're crazy - no one knows your horse better than you! No one!

I love having those days of just hanging out...after our next show, that's exactly what Jetta and I are gonna do. Trails and hang out. :)

Tripple Spring said...

I agree with spotteddrafter...don't feel silly. I scratched my horse from an event once for the same reasoning - a couple of rides isn't worth your horse's legs.

Anonymous said...

Glad he's feeling a bit better. :D