It was an absolutely beautiful day. The temps were in the mid 60's and it would have been great to ride out on the Mesa, but the 20" of snow the barn got left huge muddy drifts of melting snow and big mud puddles.
Ashke seemed pretty happy to see me and whinnied when he heard my voice. I brushed him off and got him geared up. I can't wait to be able to wash him again. The grime of a full winter is taking it's toll.
He was good in the arena, for the most part. He was lifting his back for longer and longer periods of time. His only issue was the arena was full of jumpers and riders and just a ton of people, which made him cranky. He tried to bolt out from under me a couple of times, and was full of up energy. We did walking and trotting and a couple of short canters. They had poles down and we trotted over them a couple of times. I even put him over a couple of small jumps.
The second jump we went over, I felt the right hammie pull. Not bad, but I could tell it was tight again. We worked at a trot and did some figure eights around a couple of jumps. Ashke was bending around my leg and moving forward with his hind end underneath him. We worked pretty hard. I rode him for over an hour and a half.
Then Nicole got on him to see how he felt. He gave to her request to lift his back and lower his head when they were working for the first couple of circuits around the arena. But that was it. I was watching and could see the exact moment his hip began to bother him enough that he began favoring it. I asked her to stop and bring him in. Nicole wasn't sure why, until I told her I could see him beginning to short stride on his right and didn't want to push him if it was bothering him again.
I got back on and walked him out a couple of times around the arena. He kept bouncing into the trot and really pulling against my hands whenever Cali was in front of him. I didn't want him heated up again, so I got off.
Notes to self:
Ashke still isn't ready to move over elevated obstacles. He did fine with the cavaletti poles and that it something I can continue to work with, but I need to avoid asking him to jump.
I can feel him getting better and better, even if his hammie was bothering him at the end. His back is strengthening and we are able to attain the flexion and lifting of his back for longer periods of time. I also would like to see how he goes if there are no other horses in the arena.
I need to remember to tell Diane that Ashke told the psychic the muscle group that is injured starts behind the right should and stretches across his ribs, up over his flank and all the way to his hoof down the back of his leg. That all of that is tight.