Well, the last few days have been tumultuous, to to say the least! After a phenomenal ride last Wednesday, which I blogged about, I came out Thursday night with the usual expectations. I know by now I should have it figured out that horses are not robots, and it is going to take time for consistency to come. Long story short, we had a horrific ride. In the two and a half years I have owned my little mare, she has come off the ground one time - after getting excited coming off a jump. So needless to say, it is the last thing I look for or expect when working under saddle. Thursday, however, she started bucking or kicking out anytime I asked for a trot. We worked for quite awhile, but it was a battle the entire time. I found the first opportunity to quit that I could, and we stopped on a good note.
I came out again on Saturday morning, this time with slightly lower expectations, but still hopeful for at least a decent ride. Once again, she started hopping, kicking out, and doing all sorts of crazy behavior that is completely beyond normal for her. By this point, I am baffled, frustrated, and pretty much want to burst into tears. She is sound, no signs of back soreness, no lameness, checked the girth area....nothing. I chalk it up to her possibly coming into season and leave, feeling quite defeated. It wouldn't have been so bad, but we were making such phenomenal and steady progress for the last couple weeks.
Sunday rolls around, and it is the kind of gorgeous Carolina day that starts hinting that spring is right around the corner. Thankfully, the weather alone has lifted my spirits, so I head out to the barn to give it my best shot. I ride Samson first, to mellow me out a bit before taking on Delilah, since the last few rides were a little hairy. He has been reconditioning for the last month or so, and we decided to hop a few crossrails for the first time since trying it once or twice last summer. Phenomenal success! Our first attempt was a bit of a bunny hop, straight up in the air, and then straight back down again. We moved into cantering, since he seemed rather uncoordinated at the trot, and we hopped a line several times, each time steadily progressing. So after making some awesome progress with Samson, I cooled him out (he thought he was DYING, I assure you!) and pulled Delilah out of the pasture. I stuck her in the crossties, and started picking her feet like every other ride. I started with the right front, but as soon as I started picking them out, she ripped her foot away and shot sideways in the crossties. Odd.... I picked her foot up again, and lo and behold - blood was oozing out at a fairly steady pace. Since feet (and bleeding feet for certain!) are not my specialty, I pulled my trainer over to check things out. The verdict - she has an abscess. The conclusion - she is also apparently tough as nails, considering she never took an off step once. It wasn't until the last two days that it even showed up in any behavior whatsoever.
I probably sound like the worst horseperson ever, but I have to secretly admit - I was the slightest bit excited I had something to BLAME the last couple rides on. I know, that's horrendous. Please don't misinterpret - I would NEVER wish any harm on my sweet girl. It is just a relief to know that things weren't falling apart for no reason. I highly suspect the pain is what made her act so strangely towards the end of the week. So my 30 day goal is shattered by an unforeseen circumstance, but what can you do? We will pack and wrap and treat her, and when it is over - I will (literally, AND figuratively) get back on the horse!