Sunday, May 13th, 2018
I know I said I’d start limiting the personal images, but it was dusty today.
If you live, or have lived, anywhere with a clay-based outdoor riding arena, you understand the significance of that statement. Our arena is like a sponge; it holds water like crazy. The past couple of summers it’s been so wet that we haven’t gotten much riding time, so the dust is a welcome change.
It was our first “big ride” of the year, and it was so lovely! The boys were SO GOOD, and we all enjoyed ourselves. If you remember from last summer, we had been having a lot of trouble with Junior being sore, and we weren’t sure where it was originating. It made for a frustrated horse, and even more frustrated humans. It made rides stressful, and they almost always ended in a fight.
Our farrier suggested that he had sore stifles (they are the same as knees in humans), and that physical therapy or chiropractic work could help alleviate the stiffness. We worked on physical therapy at home on our own, with very little luck, and we were having some trouble getting an appointment with a highly recommended chiropractor suggested to us by trusted friends, so for the interim we took the leap and put him on an MSM supplement (a joint anti-inflammatory) to see if that would give him any relief.
A few weeks later, and he’s moving like an entirely different horse.
He couldn’t hold a trot for more than four or five strides last summer, and today he trotted a full lap around our outdoor (both directions!) with no issues. He was fluid and balanced, driving from his back end, his headset was so much lower (showing his comfort level), and he was excited to move out. He was more willing to flex both directions, and he wasn’t chewing his bit nearly as aggressively as he had last summer.
I felt like crying, if we’re being honest.
It was Paul’s best ride with him yet, and that was so encouraging.