Friday, March 25, 2016

Still Recovering

Cupid does not seem to be in pain, but he is still not quite right.  He looks okay walking, in fact has been steeping under himself very nicely, but at the trot you can tell right away it is uneven.
He is being helpful and lending a hand

We skipped one lesson last week, and this week we still had our lessons but limited it to walk work.  I would have thought an hour of just walking would get boring, but actually we have been working hard on maintaining contact, bending, counter-flexing, shoulder fore, and leg yielding.  Cupid is doing very good, but there are certain spots in the arena where he seems to get more distracted and wants to look outside, and still likes to bulge out through his right shoulder.

I've been focusing on trying to keep my hands lower, and closed.  Also on sitting more evenly on my seatbones as I tend to sit more towards the right. 

I touched base with the vet and told him no abscess ever popped.  He said to give it a few more days, and if there is no improvement we might consider further diagnosis.

The shoer had mentioned that Cupid had a bit of thrush, and though I've been putting thrush buster in it yesterday I noticed a stronger thrush smell.  So now I'm wondering if he might have some deep thrush that is contributing or causing the soreness?  I am going to try treating for that and seeing if it helps.

Since I've been pretty worried I've been going to the barn in the evening as well as my usual mornings to wrap Cupid's hoof and leg.  (My trainer still thinks there may be something with the old injury and said it wouldn't hurt to give it some support.)  Cupid really likes the attention and getting to wander the aisles and nibble grass outside while all the other horses look on jealously.  The other night he was napping when I arrived.

Covered in shavings!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Feeling Better

Cupid has been staying in his stall the last few days with his hoof wrapped.  The vet came back yesterday, and though Cupid trotted out okay he still had a little bit of sensitivity to the hoof tester so the vet recommended one more day of rest and wrapping.
Drawing salve
Hoof wrap
Normally I would still let him get turned out as long as he is moving comfortably, sometimes it helps the abscess work itself out.  But we decided to keep him in since the pasture is still a little muddy.  He is pretty good in his stall but definitely gets a little frisky when I bring him out.  I walked to hand walk and let him graze a little, but he was being a handful so I let him out into a paddock and he ran around like crazy for several minutes, throwing in several bucks and head tosses. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I was rushing to get ready for my lesson yesterday because I couldn't get the new lock on the tack room door open.  I remember having a quick thought that Cupid's leg, where he was injured last year, looked a little different like there was a new lump on it.  I was in such a rush I forgot to put his boots on. 
We walk up to the arena, I get on and we start walking.  Everything seemed fine.  Going to the left Cupid felt a little counter-bent and I was having a little difficulty bending him to the inside.  As soon as I asked for the trot it was clear something was off.  Cupid was willing to trot but was uneven.  We tried the other direction and the same.  My trainer thought it was the right front (the leg he had injured).  We stop and the trainer takes a look.  She also thought there was a lump on the leg that wasn't there before, and said maybe he popped his splint.  I always second guess myself - was that there before??  Did it always look like that?  Is there something clearly wrong that I stupidly didn't notice?  I think I feel heat but am I just imagining it?
Cupid was not too bothered by our examination.  If you pressed enough on the lump he lifted his leg, but hard to tell how much it bothered him.  My trainer also looked at his feet and thought maybe he was sensitive on his feet.  The farrier had said on Thursday that he had a little thrush.
We ended the lesson early and I iced his leg and wrapped it and called the vet.  I wasn't there when the vet came out but he called and thought the splint looked "old & cold" and that he was sensitive to the hoof testers.  So sounds like an abscess or hoof bruise.  The vet poulticed and wrapped Cupid's foot and said it might look worst the next day before it got better.  But generally the prognosis is good. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wellness Day

Cupid had a very busy day today, with appointment with his farrier, chiropractor, and a saddle fitter!

First he had a loose shoe that needed to be tacked on.  The shoer added a nail to his other shoe too, so hopefully we will get through this next round of rain.
The chiropractor made a few adjustments, but said overall Cupid looks very good.  He had been a little sensitive on his right flank lately and I wasn't sure if he was hurting, but of course he didn't react when I showed the chiropractor.  She said he had put on some muscle since the last appointment.
Checking his jaw
Back adjustment
Finally I wanted the saddle fitter to look at the dressage saddle I bought last fall.  I was happy to hear that she said it was a good fit for him, but we are doing some reflocking because it is a little hard.  Plus she recommended lifting the front a little for better balance, she thought a small adjustment would make it easier for me to sit back better, I'll be interested to see if I can feel it.  I know I need to sit back more but I'm pretty sure it's me not the saddle!  We should have it back in about one week, much quicker than I thought! 

The fitter said that Cupid has big shoulders, and I need to be mindful I am not putting the saddle too far forward.  She showed me the proper placement, which is a tiny bit further back than I usually have it.  I told her I get thrown off when the girth looks too far back and she said that indeed that is that is how we used to be taught to put the girth right behind the elbow but that is not always correct.  So when I get my saddle back it will come with an anatomic girth.

She also looked at my jumping saddle.  At first she seemed a little displeased that it was foam not wool, but said it actually does fit Cupid well.  We will continue using it with the wool half pad.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Balancing Side Reins

Cupid and I had a lunging lesson with our trainer.  I knew I was going to be a little short on time, plus I just got my new balancing side reins and wanted to make sure I'm using them correctly so I thought it would be a good alternative to a mounted lesson.

I hadn't been lunging Cupid very much recently, so he was a little slow with the cues.  We warmed up with a little walk and trot both directions.  My trainer kept reminding me that I need to make him go forward; it is not enough that he is simply trotting and I shouldn't settle for anything less than a nice, forward-moving trot.  I admit, I am lazy.  To me if I ask for a trot and he trots I'm satisfied. :p 

We put the balancing reins on and Cupid didn't seem too bothered by it.  My trainer showed me some techniques and different ways I can use the whip.
Cupid working in the balancing reins.
We trotted and then I asked for a canter.  Cupid cantered for a few strides and then dropped back into a trot.  Sometimes I can't tell if he's having a hard time balancing or just being lazy.  My trainer told me to start asking for the trot after a few canter strides, don't push it just make sure the down transition was my idea. 

My trainer took over a little.  Cupid pays more attention, I guess if I'm being honest she commands more respect than I do.  I am working on being more assertive, and realizing that I can be a little more firm and it doesn't make me mean.