Lame Pony

After G’s trim on Friday, I decided it was time to get back on her and start practicing for next month’s dressage show. It’s only a few weeks away, and I want to make sure those Training level tests are perfect.

I got to the barn early on Saturday give G a really thorough brushing before our scheduled ride. Big mare has been looking kind of crusty with sweat over the last week- temperatures are still over 100 every day out here. She grazed while I brushed. Anne arrived and got to work setting up the dressage letters in the outdoor arena. I tacked G up and led her across the rocky parking lot to the brick-hard arena. She seemed to be gimpier than usual over the rocks, but I chalked it up to her newly trimmed hooves. I mounted and G set off at a walk. Something felt really wrong. My energetic, eager horse had been replaced by a stiff, slow mess. Gina normally approaches work with an excited attitude. She walks purposefully and with plenty of impulsion. She’s never lazy.  
“Hey, Anne? I think Gina’s lame,” I yelled. Anne looked up from one of the dressage tests, surprised. She had me trot G out, and sure enough, G started to seriously favor her front left leg. Uh oh. Anne walked over and ran her hand down Gina’s leg. The horse flinched as soon as Anne touched her knee. Anne poked it. Gina twitched. Anne poked it again. Gina did nothing. I jumped off and the two of us took a look at the knee. Upon extremely careful examination, Anne found a small, curved mark on the front of the knee. After some thought, we decided Cal must have clipped her in the knee sometime in the last two weeks. The mark was smooth and nearly covered in hair, and the leg itself was cool and clean. No swelling or heat anywhere. 
Ugh. G was slightly gimpy last week, but I didn’t feel any indications of an injury on any of her legs. I figured she wasn’t feeling great on her long toes and would improve after a visit from the farrier. She’s definitely less lame this week, but still unable to be ridden. She’s getting around the pasture fine, so at least there’s that.
I’m going to give her some more time off and put her on a longe line this week to see where she is. Fingers crossed she’s recovered in time for the dressage show!
In other news, Anne and I are headed out to a barn on Tuesday. I’d like to move Gina closer to home for a number of reasons. The barn’s website makes it out to be a nice place, and the owner was very prompt about responding to my email about visiting. I’m excited to see how it goes!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

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