I called our farrier today. I'm seriously thinking about putting pads on Jackson's feet.
I'm drinking a margarita. Sorry 'bout the typos.
Jackson is still off. He's back on stall rest and bute and he's still off. We have repeated the same three week cycle over and over since April. It goes like this:
Jackson is lame - varying from slightly gimpy to seriously can't bear weight. I put him on stall rest and bute.
After a few days, he is walking ok. I ride him at walk for 10 minutes and continue with stall rest.
I gradually add to our work in the arena until we are doing 20 minutes of trot work. Continue stall rest.
I add 4 hours of turnout in the daytime when it is hot and he won't be tempted to run around. Continue adding to arena work. One day of work, one day of rest.
I work him 30+ minutes. We canter and trot. He works hard. He is happy. Me too. 8 hour daytime turnout.
I start doing his 10 minute walk warm up on the bridle path.
I add a once-per-week hacking around the block on bridle paths - sometimes he only makes it halfway before becoming ouchy. If he makes it the whole way...
I am very happy and start dreaming about taking a lesson. By this time, he has been sound for three weeks with progressively increased work and turnout. So, I switch to night time turn out so he can be with the herd.
He loooooves his turnout. He plays on the hard packed dry lot pasture. He is lame again.
start over. repeat and repeat and repeat.
get seriously depressed.
make a margarita.
I know that if we go with pads, he will forever be wearing pads. But I'm also starting to become convinced that he will never be sound on the trail without them. I don't want him to be just an arena horse even though dressage is my first and primary discipline/love. Both Jackson and I also love to chill on the trail and go to trail trials and the beach.
Farrier comes Friday. Decisions, decisions.