Will I ever learn?
Ashke has been stiff for about six weeks now. Not horribly, but enough that I can feel that slight hitch in his step and although he has been great in our lessons, it's taken forty-five minutes of warm up, shoulder in and haunches in to stretch out his right hind. Then we have about thirty minutes in the sweet spot, maybe less if there is a lot of canter work, before his leg gets tired and he tells us he is done. It has been apparent on trail as well and although he is tracking through, the "drop" part of his step with that leg has been noticeable both visually and audibly. (He goes clip, clip, clip, clomp).
I was trouble shooting with Amanda two weeks ago about his joint supplement, his supplements in general and the distinct turn the weather has taken in the past two weeks. I decided afterwards to go into Smartpak and see if maybe I could tweak them a bit. I evaluated the options on the joint supplement and decided to tweak it just a bit to see if it helps. It can't hurt, since the levels of MSM and the other anti-inflammatories are the same, but we are adding a little extra glucosomine to see if it helps with his left patella. I then turned to muscle support and realized that we've been missing the lysine.
I completely missed that it wasn't still in his supplements. We had ran out one smartpak ago, I forgot I was out and made up our most recent bags of supplements without it, since my local agfinity store was out as well. I soon as I saw lysine listed on Smartpak as muscle support, I went and found some at the local store. I added it to all of his supplement bags a week ago. Since then, I haven't ridden, in part due to the weather (subzero temps) and in part due to holiday work stuff. Ashke has played with the ball a lot in the last week and although he was moving very good, it's not the same as being ridden. He can self-select to move in a way that minimizes the impact on the parts that hurt. We really can't do that under saddle.
Last night was amazing. He was loose and comfortable as soon as I got on, even though the temp in the barn was in the low 20's (I think it was warmer outside, since the Chinook winds are blowing). We did spiral circles at trot and canter, leg yields at the trot, serpentines where we move between walk and canter, with halting from my seat, shoulder in, haunches in, square corners at the trot which then evolved into three quarters of a circle at the trot and crossing the diagonal. Then we worked on that at the canter. We also did slow collected trot to an extended trot, back to slow. He was amazing. At the end we worked on small canter circles around two cones, with a change of lead in between, on an elongated figure eight. We almost had our first flying change, with him adding just a step of trot in between.
So, the lysine is now added to the smartpak, along with two other amino acids for muscle support. One of these days I will learn.