My plan started out well- Wednesday, Thurs, and Friday morning last week went off without a hitch. But by Friday evening, everything turned on its head.
Ben has not been quite right - to the right. He's been awfully fussy, and just not willing to bend to the right, or travel straight. This has always been his tougher side, but workable. But over the past couple of weeks, instead of working out of it, he's getting more tense about it - stiffening, tightening, grinding his teeth. I thought maybe it was me, so when I had my trainer ride him, she also felt it and agreed that maybe he needs body work. She also suggested that I try giving him some bute, just to see if he got better or stayed the same. And if he is in pain, the anti-inflammatories might help him.
That was Friday morning. On Friday afternoon I pulled him out with the intention of going on a light walk-hack in the hunter set up. I was currying the dust off his body and got to his rib cage on the right and in an instant he turned his head and tried to snap at me! Ben is the sweetest, most gentle animal on the planet - so obviously I was taken aback. So I started to gently palpate the area and he really was quite sore. Then I realized that the past couple of weeks, he's been turning his head to look at his side when I was brushing him- which I thought he was showing me he was itchy- which he often is and loves a good scritch. But obviously, what was a minor ouch has turned into a bigger one.
So the plan changed right then. Saturday he had off- but I also put him on some bute. Sunday he also got bute. By Sunday evening, I went out to see him and gently palpated his side- he did not react. So I did end up taking him for a light hack in the hunter tack. He still wasn't too keen to bend to the right, but I didn't press the issue- just made a mental note of it.
Yesterday my wonderful trainer was able to score me a last minute appt with her vet/chiro for this evening (Tuesday). Ben was even better yesterday, but still, not quite right- back to how he was about a week ago. His back is still stiff and he's taking really bouncy trot steps.
So I'm thinking the bute did help him, and he did get some turnout on the hill pasture yesterday which also probably helped him. However, I am very relieved to have the vet/chiro take a look, make adjustments, and tell me what he's got going on, and if he's okay to take to the show this weekend.
So a new plan is hatching. If Ben needs some time off, he'll get it. While it'll be a bummer for us to miss the biggest show of the year, his health and soundness is much more important. If that is the case, I'm toying with bringing my youngster. While I could probably get a vet's note to get a refund for Ben and not go at all, my friends are still going, and I hate to give up an opportunity to trailer one of my horses off the property. It could be a good experience for the little dude. If he behaves himself on Friday and Saturday, then maybe Sunday we'll do the Training level tests I'm already signed up for.
But here is to hoping the worst case scenario does not become reality. I'm hoping Ben gets the adjustment he needs and gets "all clear" tonight- even if we need to keep it lighter at the show this weekend. I guess we'll see...