Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a hesitant ride

Two weeks off: one week just from being tired, another because Major's leg was swollen. He never did have any lameness, no heat, didn't seem to rest it more. I gave it a week to look better before I called in the vet. And a week to the day his leg was tight and looked good.

So I wanted to do a short ride today to check it out. Major thought we should just hand-graze and walk, like we'd done for two weeks! We headed out, a bit draggy, and with me constantly questioning each step, did that feel strange? Was that a stumble? We headed out into the forest after a couple laps of the arena. After two weeks off my horse just walked on a loose rein, no silliness. I was pretty pleased with that. But still hesitant, and I know Major sensed my apprehension. I got off about 30 minutes into the ride, just to check, all seemed fine. Major was certainly wondering what was going on, not wanting to follow me, maybe thinking my apprehension was directed at the trail, and not him. I convinced him all was ok, and we continued.

On a trail ride there seems to be a moment when it clicks in the horses mind "we're going home!" I should check this point against my GPS tracks, is it halfway? What makes this same trail now the going home point? Do they sense a change in us? Often I make lots of confusing turns to discourage this behavior, but I wanted to keep it short. And Major was pretty glad to be heading home, so we did more trotting than I'd planned on, even if it was vertically (jigging along).

Once walking nicely, we got home without too much worry. The leg looks fine, he trotted over to his dinner, and returned to me for his final piece of carrot. I'm still nervous (I'm a worrier on this type of thing) but all I can do at this point is check his leg tomorrow, and go on from there.

There are some bloggers (namely Eventing-a-Gogo) dealing with some much bigger issues, and it makes my worrying very small in comparison. It is trite but true: horses are too fragile.


  1. I call it the "magic corner." You turn that particular corner and like magic! your horse comes alive and starts moving toward home with impulsion!

    Glad Major's mystery swelling seems to have disappeared :)

  2. Sounds like he is good to go but I understand your hesitation. I have now successfully given Blaze a week off from riding without losing my mind and his back seems much better. That said I will be doing a short little experiment ride in my arena and then a short trail ride with lots of back checking before I go out for miles again.

    Horses are definitely fragile! Its funny too because you can go for a long time (years, in my case) with relatively no issues at all, yet you know every day that some small thing can cause something, if you know what I mean. Its hard to make my husband understand this, he has seen the horses be fine and healthy for a couple years, so he doesn't always remember how fragile they are! He was dead-set on turning our mini horse out to "play" with Blaze this summer while I was going to all those endurance rides and I'm like...okay those two fight like total brats and the mini double barrel kicks Blaze at leg about NO?! "well they have done it before with no issues" says he....

  3. Thanks Funder, definitely the magic corner, I like that!

    Bird: Hope Blaze does ok, I'm sure you'll be worrying. Good thing you didn't turn the horses out together! I had to show my SO the swelling (pretty obvious to me) and he thought I could ride anyway. Their heart is in the right place, and they try, right? 8-)