Well, I've ordered some stuff. Some of it has come, some hasn't. Some won't for several weeks. It's not exactly what I posted about, either. I may or may not blog about it (though I probably will) but for now I'll wait a bit until I get everything and try out and see how I like them.
But....I've got another problem.
The first weekend in July I had made plans to ride with Jacke and try out a saddle to see how it worked, and I was very much looking forward to that - I love riding with her and it's been too long!
I went and picked up my breastcollar on Wednesday (it had been loaned out to someone else with a no-withers horse) and on Thursday went to fit it to Arabee again. I finally got it all adjusted the way I wanted and led Arabee out to get on, then proceeded to ride her around a bit, up and down hill, to make sure I had the crupper and breastcollar adjusted just right. Occassionally, and only on the gravel driveway, she would take a few super lame, hobbling steps, and then as soon as we were on grass again, walk normal. Sometimes she could walk on gravel just fine, for several strides, walk lame for a bit, then walk normal. It was very strange, and totally intermittent. Shoot! Well, I untacked, and decided to wait until the next day to diagnose any lameness - maybe she just stepped on a rock funny. Well, in the morning I went out and made Arabee walk around the pasture so I could watch, and it was no better, in fact, less intermittent and more consistently off - so I had to call and cancel the Saturday trail ride :-((((
Well, I kind of thought that she was dealing with an abscess. So I trimmed her hooves all nice and pretty, and poked around to try to find the sensitive spot. I thought that perhaps she was sore in her heels, from being out in dewy grass....so I started bringing her into the dry lot at night, and not turning her out until the sun burned off all the dew. Well, it improved the look of her hooves quite a lot, but it didn't stop her from continuing to be lame.
Now she's started to walk VERY short strided - it's her left hind leg - and every now and then it will "catch" and she won't be able to unlock her joint at the stifle or put any weight on that leg at all until it "un-catches." So now she has taken to full-time just reaching way far underneath herself with the left rear leg, and never allowing it to extend back, which is when it seems to catch.
Yet, she'll still gallop around the pasture.
I've done a lot of googling about this, and it seems that this may have been caused by weak muscles and that I'll need to strengthen those muscles - using exercises like uphill walking, ground poles, and collection exercises. I've also read that body-work, massage, and chiropractor adjustment can help with this, as well. I'm just not sure where to start - vet? equine chiropractor? exercises at home?
Arghhh! It seems that every time I get something 'fixed' - get better fitting tack, get the abscess healed, get this or that cut healed, get more time....seems like everytime I think I'm finally going to be able to just get out and ride SOMETHING else happens! I just want my mare to be comfortable, and both of us to be safe, and BOTH of us to ENJOY riding together! Even if it is just short, infrequent rides. Can it happen?