The horses have been enjoying the cooler temperatures lately, and their human has too. 50s at night, high near 80 in the day, you couldn’t ask for better riding weather. I’ve mostly been busy with other areas of life lately but I’m never too busy to appreciate the beauty in my pastures.
After a busy two weeks with no riding, I saw some daylight and scheduled a ride with Mel last Thursday. She wasn’t hauling her own horse out due to her youngster’s Pigeon Fever so I hauled my boys Blaze and Scrappy for us to ride.
We put Mel’s Freeform Classic and old Equipedic pad on Scrappy and my Sensation and Skito on Blaze, and had a *really fun* 13 mile ride. The trails had a few slicks spots leftover from the rain in the areas of the trail the sunlight didn’t penetrate strongly; we rode conservatively on the turtle geldings but both boys did little hind hoof slips on downhills. Scrappy’s was minor and nothing resulted, while Blaze loaded stiffly into the trailer after the ride.
And unloaded even more stiffly at home.
The big red light really came on when he didn’t roll immediately upon being put back in his paddock, since Blaze *always* rolls, especially after being drippy. He only ate about half his mash. About this time my mom was due to be pulling up for a weekend visit, and I was busy staring at my non-rolled, non mash eating gelding who was standing very still with his head low, looking a bit glazed over, to be honest. Blaze is a quiet gelding who just went 13 miles, but this was different. While metabolic concerns flashed in my head, I thought of the hind slip I’d seen too, and felt him all over. There was nothing to be detected on his legs and he gave me both hind legs and flexed them seemingly fine. Then as he half heartedly dipped his head at flies on his front legs I could hear a faint popping sound each time he went left or right. Feeling along his neck about midway down I came upon tightly knotted muscle on both sides, with 2 specific knots on the left side. I have a chiropractor out fairly regularly but am no expert on the subject, however I do know what an improperly knotted muscle feels like and what may feel good to relieve it, so I went to work on his neck while my husband gently massaged his rump. By this time my mom had arrived and had heard the neck pops I keyed on from where she stood outside the shed. In maybe two minutes of working his neck and rump gently Blaze licked and chewed and heaved some big sighs, and that glazed over stillness left him. He was certainly still stiff but the alarming stillness was gone and he finished his mash, wandered over for a drink, and was all nickers for dinner. I talked to Mel that night and she had felt a left front slip while I had a seen a right hind slip, so probably both had happened and Blaze had tweaked himself properly. He was himself but still not rolling Friday, then cantered up his hill and gave a half assed roll Saturday. Today, he had a thorough roll and seems quite himself, but my chiropractor will be here tomorrow afternoon just to be sure.
Oh, and if that wasn’t unexpected drama enough? The Freeform with old Equipedic that I tried same day left Scrappy sore over his loins after those 13 miles. My working theory is that the padding-free Freeform and squashed down old inserts in the Equipedic=nowhere near enough padding for Scrappy? My Sensation has 3 layers of insert padding in the saddle itself plus the brand new firm inserts in the Skito, and he hasn’t been sore backed at all in it up to 18 miles riding. I’ll have to do another ride in a Freeform with a better pad at some point to test that theory, but meanwhile have 50s coming up in a month or so and will probably just stick with the Sensation.