What a week it has been. Why is it that things always seem to go haywire right before a big show???? This week was supposed to be a textbook training week. It turned out to be anything but that.
Last Friday I did my last gallop sets at Twin Towers and then did a few cross country fences. Gus galloped nicely, and for the most part jumped well. I did notice that he didn’t seem to use his back end the way he normally did, but I chalked it up to his being tired after his gallop. Saturday he had off. Sunday he had a long walk with Erica.
Monday we were scheduled to do a light jump school so that we could do our final jump school Wednesday and leave Thursday. Gus was an absolute idiot over fences. He seemed to be using himself correctly, but he had a gigantic left drift over fences. He refused to get off of my left leg, and we ended up having a long hard battle. I won in the end, and considered it a positive thing to get it out of the way before we left for Richland Park.
Tuesday we did dressage. My goal was to give Gus a really easy ride and then take him for a long hack. Didn’t exactly go according to plan. He started out nicely, but then was an absolute idiot again. He threw himself around the arena refusing to do anything to the left without a fight. He didn’t canter well at all. He was never off, but he was tense and “stomping” in the canter. He acted like he was going to rear, and several times nearly got me unseated. We did our torture circling all over the arena, and I finally got him settled down after an hour. Wow…..all I wanted to do was practice my dressage test and go for a walk. When I went to untack him I noticed that his right knee was hugely swollen. I think he probably hit his knee with his other front hoof while he was throwing himself around the arena.
While we cold hosed his knee and checked him over for other injuries, I noticed his back was starting to look out. Now it all started to make sense. I started to put 2 and 2 together, and came up with the theory that his back had been getting sore over the last couple of days and now he was letting me know in his own subtle (ha!) way that he was hurting.
At 7pm I put in an emergency call to the chiropractor and the vet. I cold hosed and iced his knee all night on Tuesday. He had bute and was jogging up sound by 11pm Tuesday night. The right knee was still swollen, but it didn’t seem to be affecting him at all.
At 8am Wednesday the chiropractor came to adjust his back. He was REALLY out. He was locked up in his neck and had a few bad places on his left side. Probably the reason he wouldn’t get off of my left leg. The chiropractor said to ride him long and low that day (Wednesday) as long as Dr. Miller ok’d his knee.
Dr. Miller arrived to look at the knee at about 10am. He gave him a shot to help reduce the edema in the knee, and said he was fine. He wrote me a note to take to the show saying that Gus was sound to compete. WE WERE HEADED TO RICHLAND PARK!!!!!
I rode Gus after the vet left. He was phenomenal! I kept him long and low, and didn’t do any tight turns or circles. His movement was back to normal. I realized then that he hadn’t felt this good for awhile. His back must have been bothering him for a couple of weeks, but it took an act of complete rebellion and craziness for him to let me know.
So……I am packed and ready for the show. Erica and I leave at about 11am today for Michigan. His knee is fine, his back is fine, and I am now completely at peace about the whole thing.
Without the injury to the knee, I probably wouldn’t have been aware of the major problems with his back. I think God has big plans for us this weekend….and Gus needs to be physically ready for the challenge at hand.
I’ll let you know how it all turns out……………………