Thursday, June 20, 2013

The ups and downs of riding ( I ate dirt!)

And by that I mean, Pippi went up and down, and then I really went down. No harm done, so no reason to worry. Here is what happened:

I arrived to ride last night after work, and Pippi seemed fine. The farrier that comes to where I board, does a decent job, but I was not happy with the way he trimmed her hind legs the last time. Pippi has been sticking her right hind under her body, and turning it out at the toe. The heel seems really low, to me. I noticed it before the clinic, and placed a call to my previous farrier who was out of town. I had wanted her looked at before the clinic, but as she was not lame, off, or seemingly in pain, we went on with the plan that he would come out when it was time for the next trim so he would actually have something to work with. So we moved on.....

Here is the deal, I am writing this with the benefit if hindsight, and so it all seems too obvious now, Pippi has been uncomfortable. In my defense, Pippi has a Mt.Everest high pain tolerance, which we know since her tendon injury where she never even favored the leg with a giant hole in the tendon. But there have been signs, that I overlooked. And I pride myself on always giving her the once over before I ride. I was stoopid!!

I longed her on the line first with the right lead. She was not wanting to move out, but it was hot, so I "encouraged" quite a bit. Her walk was fine, her trot was fine, but her canter was unenthusiastic to say the least. She would toss her head, and quit repeatedly. She finally gave me a full circle, and we switched directions. With the left lead, she was better at all three gaits. Cantered like a champ. So I mounted up.

The plan was to work on bend, transitions and circles. Started out on the left lead, and did awesome. Best 20m canter we have ever had. I then switched direction, and Pippi immediately fought me. Did not want to stay on the rail, tossing her head, and being obstinate. And that was just at the Trot!! I pushed her and she gave in, and when we had a great trot I asked for the canter. And that is when Pippi lost her mind. She hopped and popped across the arena, tossing me up on her neck. I was shocked, and just holding on. (The plans we have on how to handle this kind of thing totally out the window) I looked up while riding her neck and saw the wall coming at me, which, I must say, was rather sobering. At about a foot away Pippi also saw it and popped back, backing at 100mph and that is when I fell/dropped to the ground somewhere in the middle of the arena. I can't tell which as I sort of allowed myself to fall. Landed on my left hip, smart enough not to try to catch myself with my hands, and rolled sideways away from Pippi. She stood still, panting, near (over) me, as I got up quickly. I knew right away that I was not hurt, and reached for the reins. She never shied off, and looked rather sheepishly at me. Looked her over, and we walked around for a while until our hearts slowed and the panic subsided.
I then mounted her again. This time going left lead. Walk, trot and canter (must show horse we will work, plus remind myself that canter is not deadly) went perfect. Turned to right lead, and she was testy. So I hopped off, and we were done. When untacked I checked her all over (she never once seemed concerned with me), and cold hosed her tendon just in case. It did not seem swollen. Her right hind was now even more under her, and more turned outward at the toe.

The lesson here is. PAY ATTENTION!!!! Pippi was only fighting me in the right lead, so she was not being difficult, she was in pain. And when her subtle hints were ignored, she was pushed to the breaking point. And she broke. I am just a bit sore today, kind of like after a hard work out. I walked over 3 miles last night to work out the kinks, and I think it may have helped. I am waiting to hear from Farrier, and then we will see......

4 comments:

Kelly said...

You are a great horse mom - sometimes we just have to push to the breaking point to get the message that something is not right. As we both know, mares can just be in bitchy moods at times :)

Happy you are ok and your farrier is coming out to check her out!

Emme said...

Thanks Kelly - quite frankly I was thinking she was just being a bit testy because now that we canter she has to work harder. I thought she might just have enjoyed me more when we were just the two gaiting it. :)

Lauren @ She Moved To Texas said...

I'm glad you weren't hurt! I always feel bad when I realize something later than I should with Simon.

Emme said...

Lauren - I know. I wish I would have paid more attention, but at least I know now. Found a nice bruise on my hip, but other than that we are both fine. And that it all that matters. There will no riding until farrier comes out.