He seemed fine today. I pulled him out, groomed him thoroughly, tacked up, and went to the arena. After a long walking warm up, I asked him for a trot.
He obliged with just the slightest head bob.
Hm. Drop back to walk. Walk and think, "Did I imagine that?"
It's still there. Just the slightest head bob, maybe now a hair more pronounced.
Walk. Seriously? I don't feel any unevenness, but the head bob is totally not normal.
I ask an experienced dressage rider to watch us and give me an opinion. We trot off. No more slight suggestion; he's now full on head bobbing and very uncomfortable. She says left front. I slide off and take the old man back to the barn. He's walking fine. I rip his boots off and check his legs, paying special attention to the left front.
Nothing. No heat, no usual swelling, no sensitivity.
|It's that dark swirl in the center of the pic|
|All wrapped up|
Old man needed to be poulticed, wrapped, and carefully sheeted to make sure he didn't fuss too much with bugs around.
He'll be fine soon. The situation is in hand. It just gives me one more thing to neurotically clean. I mean, I wash boots all the time anyways, but now nothing but the cleanest and best fitting can go on him. I'll spend the rest of my afternoon researching the best boots for uber-sensitive horses. Sheepskin, maybe? It's hard with all the fine sand in the arenas. That stuff gets in to everything.
Despite my mild panic and near-obsessive pandering, the old man takes everything in stride. He pointed out the problem. Now he's enjoying all the pampering that comes with the solution.
Cute, wonderful, huggable bastard.