Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tracing the Pain

For the past few months, since I started riding Lucy on a regular schedule, I've noticed that she is sometimes reluctant to canter.  It started as a slight resistance -- she was reluctant on the first ask but eventually went there willingly.  After all, Lucy loves to canter more than most anything else.

Monday morning, the conversation was a bit more... direct.

After a lovely warm-up with Lucy stretching and sighing and stretching some more, we moved into transition work.  Our improvement is huge.  If I ride all the way through the transition, we are gold.  If my mind drifts, I lose Lucy.  I'm getting to the point where it is second nature for me to ride all the way through and my final half-halt when we are in our first step of the lower gait is just a friendly reminder; nothing more.  Our trot to walk transitions need the most work so that is where we stayed for our entire ride on the weekend and for most of our ride Monday.

Because Lucy was going so nicely, I thought I would reward her us with some canter work.

I gave a light half-halt, slid my outside leg back and ... nothing.

Hello, Lucy. Are you there?  Canter, I said canter.
Head high: Sorry, can't.
What do you mean you can't?

We trotted a big circle, got ourselves settled, changed direction and I asked for right lead canter.
Yes ma'am!  I can do this.  Life is wonderful -- the air is blowing cool through my silken mane as we fly.  What?  Did you say something?  Trot?  Well, okay, if you insist.

We changed directions again and I asked for left lead canter.  The past few times this has happened, she nails left lead after doing the right lead first.
I told you I can't do this.  What part of no don't you understand? (small buck)  It hurts.

I suspect it is her hocks.  She needed (and received) hock injections before I bought her.  I'm guessing that she is due for more.  We have an appointment with Dr. Mike on Saturday for an evaluation and injections if they are indicated.


  1. oh dear. I hope that it's a simple fix. does she canter freely in the paddock or on the lunge?

  2. Glad she talks to you and that you listen. Hock pain can be a real issue with cantering. Glad your vet is coming out and expect things will improve.

  3. Hope the injections work for her again!

  4. Always something, but at least you have a good idea this time, and can help her!


Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.