Sweat was already making my shirt stick to my back as I walked Lucy up to the arena. She'd been quiet at the tie rail while I groomed her, until turkeys strolled past out driveway. This morning a Tom was sitting on the fence with his tail fanned, and gobbling for all he was worth. The horses were all standing in their pastures, facing the street, heads high and eyes wide.
Fortunately, the arena is in the opposite direction from the road so Lucy was back to mellow by the time I snapped on the lunge line. It didn't take her long to settle into a relaxed trot, stretching down and blowing. When I asked her to canter, she bucked. And crow-hopped. And shook her head. She never did canter, just kept up with the crow hopping. Watching, I could see that canter was painful for her. I know how Lucy bucks when she is fresh, or pissy, or worried. This was none of those. She couldn't canter either direction. I thought two things: 1) No wonder my back got hurt with all that jarring crow-hopping going on and 2) her hocks need to be injected again. I'll have to save up for that, and in the meantime I won't ask her to canter.
Lucy stood quietly for me at the mounting block and I got on without incident. We walked around the dusty arena, with the sun beating down, for five minutes or so. Brett was working with Pistol up at the far end, keeping things low key. I asked Lucy to trot and she was a bit sluggish. We trotted a few steps and my back felt fine, but I wasn't happy with the transition. I asked again and used a bit more leg in an effort to get a more energetic response. As I pushed against Lucy with my leg, pain shot down my thigh. Lucy is very light; very sensitive; so the pressure wasn't much, which is discouraging. It shouldn't have hurt at all. I'll see what the physical therapist says later this week, but I don't think I'll be riding yet for awhile.