Things have been going fairly well in Team Taco land over the past two weeks. As Amy suggested, I upped the frequency of my jump schools and I have definitely noticed a positive difference in my focus and Taco's rideability. They are just short sessions of cantering around over different fences, but it is so much more productive to jump when both of us are more relaxed and ho-hum about it!
After about a week of regular jumping, we had a lesson in which we just jumped a crossrail BUT I really concentrated on untwisting my body from its usual right-shoulder-forward contortion. At one point, Amy asked me to lengthen my reins so that I could exaggerate bringing my elbows (especially the right one) back. Wow, that felt strange! Amy took a video with her cell phone and guess what-- I looked perfectly normal. I understand that this is par for the course when trying to break a bad habit but still, I was amazed.
Last weekend I decided to travel to Lexington to watch part of the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. I was a little bit apprehensive about going since I was worried about seeing more falls. As it turned out, I did see Dorothy Crowell's fall directly in front of me, and it was completely terrifying, but both she and the horse got up and walked away. I am grateful beyond words for this. Dorothy is a lovely person and I had the good fortune to enjoy her company a couple of times last year, at the Indiana T3D and at the USEA Convention. Had she been seriously injured, I would have been devastated.
But enough about falls and fear. I did enjoy going to Rolex with Lauren and Megan, and it is always fun to see the Kentucky Horse Park in all of its Rolex glory.
I soaked up as much knowledge as I could. I got a lesson on how to warm up for dressage from William Fox-Pitt on Saturday (below)-- I was very impressed watching him and then, lo and behold, he won the dressage (and the whole event!).
I stayed for cross country and the Sunday morning jog, and then raced back to Nashville to ride Taco. He was rather muddy.
It was fun (cough, cough) getting the mud off.
Then I tacked up to lunge and ride. But when I asked Taco to pick up the trot to the right, he was definitely off, seemingly in the left front. No obvious heat or swelling. I lunged him to the left and he looked OK, and then tried the right again, but he was still off. So I took him back to the barn and untacked him, and got down to the business of going over his left front leg with a fine-toothed comb. All I came up with was a tiny cut under the cuff of his bell boot, perhaps caused by a speck of remaining mud. I removed the bell boot and scrubbed the area, then tried lungeing again. He maybe looked a teeny bit better, but still not sound.
I thought that perhaps the cut was stinging him so I slathered on wound ointment and decided to check on him the next day, which was yesterday. When I got to the barn he was sound jogging in a straight line, so I tacked up again. Unfortunately, when I got on and picked up the trot, I could definitely feel that he was off to the left. It clearly wasn't the small cut, since it was healing very well and he did not react when I manipulated the skin around it.
I was very lucky that Dr. Tony of Franklin Equine was already scheduled to come today for some other horses, so I called the clinic and told them to add a lameness exam to Tony's list. I had to teach this morning, but Amy was gracious enough to hold and jog Taco for Tony. He tried hoof testers (negative), a navicular test (negative) and low diagnostic nerve blocks (no change). His thought is that Taco must have tweaked a soft tissue structure by somehow landing wrong on that foot. The plan is to bute and rest for five days and on Monday we will see how he is doing. He can have normal turnout until then.
I am relieved that Tony thinks it is not something major and I certainly hope he is right! When Taco is not 100%, I am not quite 100% either. So everybody keep your fingers crossed that he is all systems go come Monday.
5 hours ago