Why not freak out, you ask? Because Red used to play this game every single time you tried to tack him up on crossties. After having a neuro exam done, a full blood panel done, and a full soundness check done for Red, the vet found absolutely nothing wrong with him and I just learned to cater to his silliness and tack him up in the stall. After getting there and talking to the trainer, however, she tells me Bobby just dropped with zero warning. Red would start to tremble and then slowly lay down. If you were standing right next to him, it was very easy to catch. Apparently there were no signs from Bobby, and I trust her opinion.
My guess is that the saddle was sitting weird and it pinched a nerve when he shifted or moved forward. Either that or a muscle spasm in his back or shoulders. He panicked when he hit the floor and tried to get up, but his shoes didn't allow much traction on the concrete and he bounced his mouth off the floor. He scraped up the outside of his lip impressively and his teeth bruised up the inside of his upper lip pretty good. He had a few very minor scrapes on all four legs, but they were barely noticable. I cut off the scraped up skin that was dangling and wiped some TriCare on that and his legs. I gave him some Bute after his lesson, then more for tonight and tomorrow morning since I'm sure he'll be a little sore.
|the little dangling piece on his lip is skin.|
I watched most of his lesson and he didn't seem stiff or sore, though he was drooling a good bit. The trainer kept it short and easy for him. He did six trot poles three times to the left. The second time he went through, he popped over the last one and cantered off, just lkike he's supposed to. The rider wasn't too impressed though. She tumbled forward onto his neck so he came back to a trot and continued going around, ready for more. He went over the next time beautifully, really reaching under himself and lifting UP with his back and haunches. He looked great!
His lip definitely hurt afterwards, but I mixed his bute tab up in a little bit of soggy alfalfa cubes and he ate it right up then moved onto his hay. I think he'll be fine. I'll give him a really good look over tomorrow and massage his back and hips again (I did it yesterday, too) and see if I get any reaction. Hopefully it was just a one time freak thing.
On the plus side to a crazy morning, I finally got on Red again! First time in three weeks. He practically bridled himself he was so eager to get back to work. He walked around a little pokey, but with ears up and looking around at Bobby and Eve working. He walked over the ground poles happily, then, after ten minutes of walking, circling, and leg yielding in each direction, I asked for the trot. His last ride, I couldn't get him trotting without a crop and lots of kicking and even then it was only shuffling. This time, he exploded into the trot with my first squeeze. He bounced along happily in each direction, picking up his feet tidily over the poles. The trainer raised the final pole to a tiny xrail for Eve, and I took Red over it. He jumped it from the trot and, even though he didn't canter after, he moved out just fine.
After we went over, Eve's rider pointed her for the fence at the canter, but she circled before starting the poles because she was coming in crooked. She made the circle too tight though, and when Eve went to correct herself, the girl lost balance and went right over her shoulder. She was fine, though pretty scraped up since she was wearing a tank top. Red decided this would be an opportune time for a break and we stood next to them for five minutes while the girl calmed down before getting back on.
I asked him for the canter to the left and he instantly responded. It wasn't super fast, and it wasn't totally off the forehand, but I was willing to let alot slide on our first ride back. I mostly just wanted to get a feeling for how he was feeling. I let him go once around the entire arena, then once halfway around. We walked around once at the walk before I shortened my stirrups and asked for the canter from half seat. He picked it up fabulously, so I let him canter over the baby xrail twice. His canter was much better after the second time and he was very balanced around the turn towards the jump.
However, also after the second jump, he was feeling so good he started hopping along. No bucking or anything, just playing with a few crow hops. I pulled him back up and let him go out to the field for a big canter down the long side of the field closest to the barn. He exploded into a gallop when I turned him around to go, but he came back to me easily and I let him have a good stretchy canter to the right. I walked him around the two fields after that to cool him out, but there's no doubt Red Pony is back for now. He spooked at a tiny puddle. He spooked at the burn pile. He spooked at the beans moving in the breeze. He spooked at a bird on the fence. "I feel good!!" he said! I think he'll be ready for Burgundy Hollow October 9th. I don't have anything planned between then and Bucks so maybe if a dressage show or hunter show comes up, I'll take him to one of those. Hopefully he keeps moving forward. I'm going to do my part and keep up with his massaging.