It ended with me getting to the barn with plans for 35 minutes of dressage schooling...and Tristan was lame.
Not lame-lame. But...not right. Stepping off his RF a little too fast, not using himself right. Then he wouldn't canter right - Sunday I thought that might be because of my use of the bareback pad. He was deeply reluctant to do it on the longe after I jumped off and put him through his paces. He didn't want to land on that RF.
So I gave him bute in his PM grain, he'll get more today in his AM grain, and we'll see what he looks like tonight. It could be a momentary thing. It could be a more worrying long-term thing. All I know is I've been chasing problems in this foot for 3.5 years now and I am so fucking tired. I just wanted to ride my horse.
I am in a place I have been before, and have been increasingly the last few months. What is the right next step? I can keep chasing things with his foot, and obviously I will do everything I can to keep him happy and comfortable - and he is by no means uncomfortable, he is just not sound enough for work at the moment.
If he were 14, I wouldn't hesitate - we'd inject that coffin joint, and probably his hocks, too. But he's not 14 anymore. He's 20, and he's not in full work, and which path is the best? Basic maintenance and just enough work to keep him stretched out and comfortable, or joint injections and a stepped-up maintenance plan to keep him in work?
I still love riding my horse. I still need that release. I'm not ready to let go of that, but I'm also deeply reluctant to commit to thousands of dollars in maintenance. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that we're getting closer and closer to decision time.
at least he's cute, right?