In my last few posts I have stated that I wanted my old farrier to come out and take a look at Pippi. She tossed me off last week, after fighting me on her right lead, and for the last few weeks has been standing with her right hind under her body with her toe pointed out. Some of her attitude is undoubtedly from "summer time Pip," but some of it is her being uncomfortable. I saw a hitch in her right hind, the hock and stifle seemed stiff to me. No one else saw it. My Trainer really looked, and Miranda looked and she was certainly not off or lame. But.............. I saw something. She was just not the flowy Pippi that I am used to. And her mood was just in the toilet.
So today, my old farrier came out. She had grown out enough for him to have something to work with, and his busy schedule had some room. I was careful not to tell him what I saw, I just said I would like for him to take a look at her. ( I did say that she was acting stiff and sore). When he arrived he took a quick look, stated he liked the look of her fronts, and asked me to show him how she moved. In the indoor he had me trot up, and he immediately said her right hind was dragging and she seemed stiff on that side. YESSSSSS!!! He lifted her right hind and tucked it up tight, held it for a few minutes and asked me to trot off the moment he dropped it. Pippi had no negative reaction when he did, and she actually seemed smoother and softer. He stated that if she was in any major pain, that would have shown with that stretch. I have been doing that stretch and a forward stretch, and it had helped, but the hitch always returned.
He had assumed when I called that the new farrier had not trimmed her fronts to help her dropped shoulder. He thought that this might have hurt her whole carriage, but that was not the case. He was very happy with the trim on her fronts, and was pleased with the work. The right hind was too long in the toe, and too short on the inside, and too long on the outside. To be fair to the new farrier he thought it may have worn that way, he is a really nice guy, but I know it was like that right after her last trim. When he lifted it, and took a closer look there was also a small split in the hoof. Nothing major, and when re-aligned and balanced, it should not grow or become an issue. After he finished up, Pippi was a different horse. She stood square, and had both hinds side by side. I asked him to pick up her left hind, to see how she balanced herself. In the last few weeks she has not liked to stand on her right hind, and has cocked her hips funny when I did. She now stood totally balanced, and no longer sticks that foot under herself. And she was just chill. Looking at me with an expression of "aaahhhh, finally....."
So, I realized that I do have one good eye. I can tell when a horse is in pain and where the hitch is. And I will trust my gut from now on. As far as the attitude, well let;s just see. One thing is for sure, Pippi has no other good excuses. :)