|Still the best at posing dramatically|
Think about it. I'm training him one way or another every ride, and especially because he's green, his understanding changes VERY rapidly. So yes. I went from having a gung-ho, willing (albeit lazy) partner to one that is anxious and tense (and still lazy).
|We saw two very different questions|
Because I have that, I'm not too worried about other physical problems. I mean, of course I want to do a full course of UlcerGuard, have the expensive chiro out, and buy a French custom saddle, but since the budget doesn't accommodate those things without careful planning (or the French part at all), I'm taking things one step at a time.
|Not a panic response. Waiting for room service.|
He lives a very low stress life with lots of turnout and very limited grain. He could be presenting with ulcers, but I sort of doubt it. My experience with ulcers is that the horse is ok, then presents the pain, then tends to kind of check out/get frantic and escalate. While it's possible that Courage is just expressing himself differently... I just can't get excited about this option. I'm certainly open to picking up a tube of GastroGuard and giving it a whirl if the behaviors persist, but in the face of apparent cause/apparent solution, I'm still thinking it's a training problem.
Two: Body soreness/Chiropractic problem.
This is possible. It's even likely. I noticed exponential improvements with him after letting his body reset with a winter off. That being said, this horse ran for like 6 years with the same body he has now and he was pretty much fine. I've had him checked over a couple of times and he doesn't generally have major issues. If my incredible, magical chiro was still around, I'd totally schedule him, but that was true well before all this. I'm still mourning his retirement and haven't found a suitable replacement.
|I think those withers got taller|
I sort of wish it was this. I do love me some tack shopping. Because I do have a range of saddles available, I pulled some out and tried them on him. I concluded that my saddle isn't the best fit for him, and found one that was slightly better. That said, I thoroughly checked his back for soreness and got only licking and chewing.
So while not perfect, it's obviously fine. Maybe that's the magic of my half pad. Maybe I'm such a delicate fairy that hovers above the saddle it doesn't bother him (ha! no). Maybe whatever, but Courage tells me his back is just fine.
|Blurry video still by me|
As long as I'm seeing steady progress with just letting up on the pressure, I'm not too worried about the world falling apart.
*For the curious: I choose to lunge instead of free jump because we're dealing with anxiety. I want the ability to circle him off and have more control if things start spiraling downwards. For sure, badass free jumping pictures are on the agenda eventually, but now is not the time.