|"Heavy Horse." And how!|
This has been a recurrent problem with Hudson. Every year that she has been in regular exercise, there comes a point where she starts to have difficulty being ridden down hills, then shows the characteristic stiffness in the fronts while turning on the lead, on a hard surface. Last night I brought her from a canter to a trot on a right-circle, and I think she took a couple of lame steps on her right front during the transition.
"Sore hooves," is the usual diagnosis from lameness exams, followed by an array of recommendations, bute, shoes, boots, rest.
In the past, hoof boots with gel pads prevented the soreness from occuring; however, this year, the boots do not appear to be preventing the "sore hooves" problem. In addition, she had a couple weeks off recently, between the heat, our fence work and my day-job commitments, and so she is just coming off a reasonable rest period. But day two of easing back into training has brought this issue to light again.
This tells me that either we are training harder than in past years, which is possible, or the underlying problem is becoming worse. Regarding the toughness of the training, I am the epitome of the caution, since I'm conscientious that my schedule prevents them from getting the regular exercise she needs to be on a more rigorous schedule. So many people would consider Hudson to be in "light work."
|"Wake me up when you figure it out."|
I'm considering trucking this pony to Cornell for the full monty of lameness exams. I want to know what's going on inside her hoovsies. And is the problem related to going down hills possibly in those cow hocks of hers? The the white coats at Cornell have everything we need to look at every splinter of bone and stretch of tendon.
But, we'll start small. Step one starts with a front hoof (OK, horsemanship gurus, I KNOW the first step starts with a hide. Sheesh! I was trying to be clever!).
I'll keep you posted on what I decide to do with my spirit-is-willing-but-the-flesh-is-weak mare.