Long time, no talk. Mostly very very good, straight uphill as Tris is starting to learn to not just accept the bit, but push through his hind end, up into his back, and in line with his shoulders. He's getting stronger, and the canter is coming along nicely.
Alas, tonight, after a week and a half of scheduling disasters that left him mostly-off-with-just-C.-riding, I went out and while grooming him, discovered a whopping big edema on his chest, about the size of my fist. Further investigation revealed a tick buried in him at the origin point. Fifteen minutes of some rather excruciating digging with tweezers and I still couldn't get all of it - the area around it was swollen, and it was dug in pretty good. Tris was a trooper, only shifting his feet occasionally to show his displeasure, and checking for my face after kneeing me in the forehead once. We had words, and he was very sorry.
So on second diagnosis: not an edema, an abscess from the tick bite. He always gets them, though usually before on his face. I cleaned and swabbed away with Corona, showed a few people who will be at the barn all weekend so they'd know to keep an eye on him, and rode.
Riding was...eh. He was stiff and fussy in contact, and sort of jumpy-forward, not power-forward, which I had some trouble channeling. I was also not navigating the outdoor ring very well, couldn't find a good circle until halfway through the ride, and all the changes of direction and bend so early were not sitting well with him. But eventually he settled in to work nicely, and we even blew out for some gallops down the long side.
The problem, though, was his trot to the left. Something funky's going on. It could be a veryvery mild lameness or it could be his new style of resistance. He has switched sides again, and was superb to the right and a beast to the left tonight, so that could have triggered this newly weird bracing to the left. But his head is jerking ever so slightly, and he's not nearly as consistent in the contact as he was. He showed a tiny hint of this in my lesson last week, but T. didn't say anything, so I set it out of my mind. This time, though, C. saw it as well, and I don't know. She agreed that it's tough to place. If he's still doing it next Tuesday for my lesson with T., I will bring it up and get his word on whether it's my riding, Tristan's resistance, or we need to give him a week+bute or something first-line like that.
The slightly good news is after the ride, the abscess was better, had clearly drained a bit, and the Corona stuck on nicely. I am away for the weekend - again! - so C. will keep an eye on him. I don't think this will need hot compresses, just scrubbed out with hot water and swabbed with Corona to keep the wound site itself clean.
Sigh. Not exactly what I was hoping for on such a gorgeous day...