All last week, I logged my small farm. It was long, grueling, dangerous work and while I was busy wrestling with trees, Brego was safe in his sacrifice paddock. He was taking a break, a well deserved break.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I began to notice at the beginning of last week that he was foot sore in his front right. Since I was too swamped to consider riding, I packed his feet in Magic Cushion, booted him, and let him rest. By the end of the week, the pasture was logged and cleaned up, the fencing rebuilt and he was turned back out to walk around. He appeared better.
Last night, I attempted to take a lesson in the neighbor's outdoor jump field. Brego was not right. He was certainly not head-bobbing lame, but I could feel some harshness in his gait. He felt flat, resistant, ears back, stabbing with each stride. He was still sore. I checked him out thoroughly: no heat, no elevated digital pulse, no obvious injury, perhaps some softness on a spot on his sole. So I suspect he has a stone bruise or is brewing an abscess.
He was so subtly off that it took some serious convincing of my trainer that there was even a problem. Of course, she listened to me, but she questioned if he was just resistant getting back into work after a week off. But I could feel it, something not right, not his usual self. And it's important to listen to those little feelings, because pushing a horse who hurts will ruin his body and his brain. Mentally, he will grow to resent work which is supposed to be fun. Physically, he will start compensating with other parts of his body, maybe getting stiff and out of balance. Just a bad deal, all around.
Whether a stone bruise or an abcess is not catastrophic, especially in a year already so full of other responsibilities that I can barely find the time to ride. So I scratched Groton House at the end of the month. I scratched a small Jumper show this weekend. Brego will get more time and turnout to see how he feels, with maybe light trail work in boots to keep him moving.
Meanwhile, I have lots of distractions in my Other Life to occupy me: the farm, the job, the garden, the pasture, tractor maintenance, trailer maintenance, the list goes on and on. Brego is the horse I will be riding in 20 years, raising hell and having fun. He has the time now to heal and get back to 100%.