My ride on Tuesday was pretty solid. We did spend some time just standing still in the scary corner, until Ashke dropped his head and breathed through his stress. Then we stepped forward another step and did the process again. Getting after him doesn't help (the whole move your feet until you decide to stand still) so we are trying the stand still until you relax thing. It seemed to help and on Thursday night, before our lesson, it didn't take much time at all for him to decide standing still next to the jump standards was pretty boring.
He was still and pretty uncooperative with me at the beginning of the lesson. We tried several different things and then I got off and let Amanda get on (if that doesn't express the amount of trust she has banked with both Ashke and myself, I don't know what would). It was pretty easy to see from the ground:
He is lame.
I think this is what as known as the pre-show lameness that seems to go viral through the barn on any given Thursday.
Amanda's horse, Laz, is also lame.
We think that the amount of play time in turn out, combined with the rain on Weds that left my horse, at least, a mud ball may have contributed to some sort of strain or tweak. It is very subtle. No head bobbing. No obvious hesitation. But I could definitely see it from the ground.
We unsaddled and tucked him in with a bucket laced with bute. There is no heat. No swelling. No obvious injury. It seems to be shoulder or chest related. Could be from the stone I pried out of his left front hoof, but both Amanda and I think its probably chest related; some kind of slip or twist in the mud.
I'll check on him tonight and evaluate whether or not it has resolved itself in the past day. We checked his back and withers and there is no pain there, so this is strictly a shoulder/chest/leg/hoof thing. The show tomorrow is just for fun and experience, so if he is still off, I will withdraw.
I don't think I will mention the next show to him, however.