Friday, September 30, 2016

Sore back :(

Cupid had been a little cranky the last few days, and I thought it was the heat and flies.  And possibly his abscessed foot bothering him a little, though he has been moving sound.  We had our routine chiropractic appointment coming up this week, so I thought that could help too.  But yesterday it all came to a head when he just refused to go at all.  We started out walking okay, but as soon as I asked him to trot he became very balky, kicking out with a hind leg, swishing his tail furiously, and even baring his teeth when I asked him to go forward.  Sometimes he is a little fussy, but usually it only takes a moment to get him going again and then he's fine.  This time he just would not go at all.  I got off, my trainer got on, and trotted around.  He seemed fine.  She cantered him both directions.  I got back on, and he would not go.  So it was confusing; he seemed like he was moving okay, my trainer thought he felt okay, so I wasn't sure if something was bothering him or it was a respect issue.  I told my trainer I wasn't sure, she said at this point I need to make him go regardless.  I asked him to go with my leg, and reaffirmed it with my crop with a few quick taps behind my leg.  To no avail.  My trainer got back on and Cupid was good. 

Then my trainer thought maybe because I'm much shorter than her, maybe where my leg sits on him was causing discomfort; either a sore rib or possibly ulcers.  When she got on without lowering the stirrups from where I ride Cupid still went for her but was noticeably unhappier, with his head up in the air and tail swishing.

We also tried taking his saddle off to see if that was bothering him.  Though the saddle fitter looked at it a few months ago, Cupid has put on some muscle so it was possible that it was not fitting him as well.  My trainer got on bareback and trotted him a little.  I got on and.... Cupid doesn't want to go.  It was quite frustrating - my trainer telling me to make him go forward and Cupid not listening, all the while not sure if he was trying to tell me he is hurting or if he was just being a total brat.  I got a few steps trot out of him, and gave him a lot of praise.  My trainer told me to trot him once more, it took a few tries and I was getting very frustrated again, but finally a few steps and we ended on that.

The chiropractor appointment was a little later that same morning, so when she came I told her what was happening.  She started the examination, everything looked good (better than usual even) until she got to his back.  She determined he was very sore in his 14th and 15th vertebrae, and showed me where you could feel a little swelling.  She made some adjustments and recommended giving Cupid a week off from riding (turnout and lunging are okay, just no weight on his back).  She thought he should feel better in a week, but if not then try him on bute and see if that helps; if not then further diagnosis in order. 
Waiting for our appointment
Pink for areas that needed adjustment, yellow for problem areas
The chiropractor looked at the fit of both my saddles and said they looked good.  We don't know how Cupid hurt himself.  I feel horrible for trying to make him go when he was hurting.  My trainer said he still needs to be obedient, but I don't really blame him!  I hope he feels better soon.

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