Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Taking a breather...

Argh.. so now I think I broke my pony.... Well.. I don't know... I rode again the other day and he was sluggish again. And then I started thinking.. he was sluggish at Poplar.. even at training. What's wrong with him?!?! Maybe he really is hurting.... Originally that was my thought but then he clocked around the rest of the course at Chatt Hills schooling. So I thought, well if he's hurting, wouldn't he be stopping at more than just one particular fence? It really seemed like he wasn't understanding.... But then... when he started acting like a school horse.. you know, the kind you have to keep kicking.... well, that's just not Fleck. He and I both share the need for speed! So... I ran bloodwork... unremarkable. I'm sending off EPM titers.. just in case. And giving him about three weeks off... and doing the animal communicator tomorrow am. He's going back to Dr. Brown on the 18th..  And I'm going to take him to Dr. Dayton, Dr. Keeton, or even UGA if those don't help. Or maybe even if they do.

In a way it's great timing... I had this week off and was able to spend time with Mike, and just chill. I did ride some, but not like I would have. Then I worked at the day clinic today, go back to work tomorrow for my normal week plus an extra 5 hours Saturday plus it's Memorial Day weekend.. then I go to the beach for five days, come home and work 2 days at the day clinic, then work my next week. So it would be really hard to keep riding during those three weeks anyways... So he gets a month off more or less. He'll probably end up being ridden about 5 times during that month, but it'll all be light rides. So... you know.. he deserves a little Summer break too.

And then Peri suggested I have Kathryn look at him. She's Sunny's massager. Only it's not just massage. It's pretty cool! It's ... okay, I have no idea how to spell it, but... reike energy type stuff... But it seems to be very anatomical and pathophysiology related too. I mean, the energy stuff is very holistic, but how it's all tying in appeals to my science brain. So anyways.. Kathryn worked with him and she said that she felt like he was very blocked in his shoulders and that it could certainly be playing a big role. So... I'm optimistically hopeful that this will make a huge difference!! I mean.. I know he's got issues.. he's a 15 year old event horse who's been ridden hard the past few years at the least. He's gonna have some arthritis and some discomfort, but... I'm hoping it's all just mild/normal/expected wear and tear and will still be managable. And that this will give me back my lean mean goofy speedy eventing machine!
I did hop on tonight just to see. So far....seems to be helping! He seemed happier today... granted he may just have been REALLY hungy, but he neighed extra exuberantly tonight for dinner. And he felt very loose and good tonight. I didn't feel any lame steps and he seemed happy enough trotting around. I didn't have to kick, kick, kick. However, he was still a little sluggish in his walk and while the canter wasn't hard to get.. it was a little hard to keep and he did fall out of it when I took my leg off. It just wasn't quite as labored as the other day. So.. fingers crossed. But hey, it was better than the other day! And as Kathryn said... we only got through 2 layers of it yesterday.. there's plenty more. So... fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dressage... and tears... (happy tears!)

So.... today I had a lesson with Cindy and rode in the Perfection saddle. I was worried it was going to be too narrow, but he really felt good in it. We had a good ride. He was trying hard and I was trying hard and we got some good work. I do need to remember to open my left rein (and NOT cross the neck) when half passing left. He felt pretty sproingy. So... tonight Cindy A. came over and fitted him again and now... I'm trying to decide which saddle to go with. Sigh... Such a huge decision... such an expensive decision...

But tonight... after cleaning, I was on COTH and reading... and read something which hit home. It was a poor girl who was having a bad time showing her horse. He was being naughty in the dressage ring and she was so frustrated with him and showing. And everyone gave her good advice, but then someone mentioned that perhaps she needed to get back to being in love with her horse. And that hit home... Not necessarily tonight.... a few days ago. It didn't hit me square in the face.. but sorta snuck in and creeped into my consiousness. Perhaps when I decided to call an animal communicator... I didn't want to hear the AC say that he didn't love me, or he knew I was mad at him. I wanted to be his best friend again. And sadly... I kinda wasn't lately. I put my goals and ambitions in front of our relationship. He's my best friend... my heart and soul (aside from my most wonderful loving husband!) and my pride and joy. And here I was... mad at him. For some stupid reason... that he wasn't cooperating with my plans. Really?? Cause he's a horse... and he really has no clue that I wanted to show the world that he WAS a prelim horse! And why?? WHY does it really matter if he can run prelim? Because people said he couldn't? So.... who cares!? Except, I kinda do/did. I wanted to prove them wrong.. because he's awesome... and amazing.....and an incredible jumper and brave and honest and all those wonderful reasons why I love him. I want the world to see that about him and love him too. But it doesn't mean that he has to run prelim. Yet.. if I'm being honest... I still want to do it. It's fun... when I'm not terrified or about to vomit my guts out. And I still want to reach that goal. Yes, I'd even still like to do a one star. But at least now... (and I hope I remember this later!), I feel like I can be a bit more relaxed about it. If we don't ever get back to prelim... well, he did finish A PRELIM with NO XC penalties other than time. And that was because we got stuck behind the one horse. So HE IS A PRELIM HORSE!!!  He is *A* prelim horse... he may not be a more than one prelim horse.. but he is a prelim horse! And really, he should get credit for the other event we finished even though we had two stops.. because those stops were all my fault. So... I proved it... Why am I stressing about it still?? Because I'm as obstinate as he is. ;) Only, really, he's not that obstinate...

So anyways... point is... I'm back to loving him. And I think he knows it. He might still be holding a little grudge, but he's coming around. And we're back to having fun again. Real fun... like happy in our hearts and souls fun again because we're a team again. And I hope he fully forgives me... and that he forgives me again when I backslide because I get caught up in the quest to become a prelim team again. I am not stupid enough to know that it isn't a possibility again. And I'm not too proud to admit that even now... I'm still digging my toes in the dirt about running training at the next event... instead of P/T. I swear... there's something wrong with me....

But at least my pony loves me again :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

More disappointment but a positive ending

So.... we went to the Area Champs... and did not fare as well as last time. The potential was there....

Overall, a fun weekend. There was many of my favorite people there, so that was a bonus! I got to hang out with the besties (some of whom I feel like I never get to hang out with), some old friends I rarely see, and some I see all the time. It was great fun. And a well run show. Just... not quite what I was hoping it would be for Team Awesome.

So... we got there Friday in good time and got settled in and walked XC. It was... well, a disappointment and a relief. And then the fear set in. It's like.... its okay if we have bobbles at prelim because... well, it's prelim and we're still new to it, and apparently it's just hard for some of us. But at training again.... we had something ridiculous like 16 clean consecutive runs... what if we can't get around at training?!?! Does that mean I broke him? But I seriously was worried at a few places... the issues we had at prelim didn't appear to only be size related, which made me worry that they would now carry down to training level. And I was right.... Sigh. But at the same time... I was a little disappointed. The course was fairly simple... after moving up to prelim. I mean yes... it was a championship course and had some tougher questions, but it was a little disappointing too. I'm still very much as stubborn as my spotty and very much have that "but we should be doing prelim..... " voice in the back of my head. So... oh well. So then we hacked and Flecky felt lovely. Then Beth got there and we walked the prelim Champ course. Now I was glad I had dropped down. Sure, it was the prelim champ course and not just regular prelim, but... there's no way Fleck and I would have made it through. Not with the ride I've been giving him lately and the horse I've had lately. It just looked tough and tricky and technical and big. My heart wouldn't have been in it. So I was glad for where I was.

Saturday am was not quite such an early am. A bonus of riding training level again. Although riding early would have been a heck of a lot cooler! We had a decent dressage. Warm up was a bit more conservative in that we didn't push Fleck to the point of him pitching a fit and working through it but he was quite nice. The test was decent. It was a vast improvement over two weeks ago naughtyness. But because of that... I didn't push as much as I should have. He was behind my leg and a bit.... putzy perhaps. But no blow ups so... there yah go. We still blew the free to medium walk, but we did pull out three 8's. We got a 38.6, or 36.8.... I think a 38.6. And I abhor that test. I was correct... I did break the stretchy trot... we got a 4 on that I think.... Oh well. The three 8's were nice. That put us tied for 11th out of 18. A three way tie I think. I was okay with it. Not thrilled, but happy with it considering the last test. I think now I can breathe again and start pushing again. :) And I am happy to get 8's and 4s rather than all 6's, so... yay. :) So then we had a short break and then got ready for XC. He felt pretty good in warm up. He was jumping fine and felt good. Nothing ground breaking good or bad happened. So then we went out. He started out okay. Jumped the garden gate fence decently, sorta got deep and petered out a little over the hanging log, jumped the hedge in the shade okay, cantered through the water fine. Came up the hill to the saws and he trotted but we did that on purpose and then he cantered over. Then on to the trakenher... Maybe I didn't ride hard enough because of the squiggly line to the squid, but he sorta crawled that one.. then landed icky and we made it to the squid but he had to heave over it. Luckily it's tiny and he could.. then we plopped into and through the water. I told Beth we "Flantered" it.... It was a tranter (trot and canter at the same time) but it was a flailing version. So there was a big table out of the water and I knew it was going to be tough so I was trying to get him energized and impulsed (is that a word?) so we could get out. He took a flyer. There's a cute pic of him all tucked up and taking the long spot with me way behind. Then I was able to comprehend... hey, he's been behind my leg this whole time... so I kicked him on and we jumped the barrels fairly nice and the white cabin fairly nice. I told him he was going to fly that corner regardless of whether you're supossed to fly corners or not! And he did... (in my defense it was a faux corner... a cheesecake wedge if you will). Then he jumped quite nicely up the bank and over the coop. Then we turned and did our roll back to the coop to the drop bank. And this is where I was worried about us having an issue. I figured it was the classic "I can see that there is something up on the backside of this jump but can't see what it is" fence combo. And even worse was that the coop was solid with two trees on either side, so really... you couldn't see. I lost his shoulder a little and wasn't "In" the tack as well as I could have been. But I tried my damndest to sit my butt down and dig my spurs in and get him over it. He didn't really back off necessarily, but he stopped... It wasn't a surprise stop... I kinda knew it was coming, but it wasn't like he stopped four strides back. ARGH!!!! Really Fleck? So we circled and he jumped it fine and got a good boy. Then he crawled over the half-coffin so I got him over that and then gave him three solid good whacks. YOU WILL GET IN FRONT OF MY LEG!!! GOOOOOO!!! And he did...He galloped on. We jumped the mushrooms beautifully and came flying down to the chevron. At this point I really didn't care about much. It was a fairly decent sized chevron and fairly skinny... and coming downhill. I probably could have and should have collected him a bit more but I did make sure he was balanced. I do remember telling him "well, you probably ought to be prepared to pick your feet up here cause I"m not helping you anymore than this". And he did. It wasn't real pretty but it wasn't horrid. And I don't feel like it was unsafe... and he didn't pitter in to the deep spot. So then on to the upright fence which was fine. And then.... wonders of wonders... my old Flecky that I love and miss came back!!! He turned and took me to the canoe!!! He jumped it great and then launched into the water and then we flew up the hill and over the little stone wall. So for the last three fences I had my Fleck back. The Fleck that I know and love and know how to ride on XC. The one that if I had had all along... would have been okay tackling the prelim course on. But up until that point... nope.... That was not the horse I had. So the question is why? Was he thinking the same thing? Where the heck is the Mom I know and Love and like riding XC with? Or is he hurting? Or is he scared? Bored? Just mad at me? Or am I giving him too much credit and it's just that it's hard work and it was hot and he just really didn't want to and I didn't make him? Argh.... so we came home and... I admit it. I'm ashamed of it, but I was mad at him again. Well, maybe not mad, but disheartened. And mad at myself too. I hosed him off and gave him some carrots and some love but then went and had a cry fest with Peri and Marianna. They made me feel better but.. what was wrong with us? What happened to "us"? We used to be such an amazing team... on fire.... We'd come off XC and it made up for dressage. I was always so proud of him and ready to brag on him... And now... I felt horrible because I wasn't so proud of him. And I don't want to be that person. I want to love my horse and think he's the most wonderful thing on the planet. And I know it doesn't come down to competition and XC. But... I'm competitive. I LIKE competiting... I LOVE XC... Fleck used to too. What happened to us? Where did I go wrong? And why was I crying with my friends instead of loving on my horse and telling him how great he was. Because the truth is... he got me home safely and he did what I asked. And maybe he even did it despite some pain or issues.... I don't know! So how could I be upset with him?? But I was... So I had a good cry with them and they made me feel better. At least I felt quilty of my feelings... So I went back and loved on him and told him I was proud of him and he was still awesome and we would figure it out. Then it was a whirlwind of a day getting everyone else taken care of and watched and cheered on.

So Sunday dawned another early but not too early day. I was a little rushed because I didn't quite give myself enough time and Fleck had poopy left side. And oh... he had a tick on the lateral side his cannon bone yesterday that I pulled off before XC. And Fleck is super sensitive to ticks so he was a little swollen. Well despite pulling the tick off, ichthamoling it, and wrapping him... he was much poofier this morning. Not uncomfy or anything and since I knew it was tick related, I didn't panic. But I did try to cold hose him a bit and that also put me behind schedule. So anyways, we got tacked up and got there in time and had enough time to warm up, but I mentally felt a little rushed. But he warmed up fine. Jumped well. Again, nothing spectacular, but... no need to really. I told Beth I was actually kinda sad he didn't have a stop or something so I could be mad and really ride. She said I should still be mad from yesterday and that kinda hit home. I was still mad from yesterday... and then more mad because I knew I sorta shouldn't have been... So anyways... I went in and gave him a smack as we started our circle. That worked :) He woke up and realized I meant business, and boy did I! I rode!!! Like, really rode.... And yes... we had some turns that weren't beautiful and I lost his shoulder a bit, but I was able to get him back and back in line and... He was great! We went clean and had a lovely round. He listened, he never once thought about saying no... and I was pretty good about keeping my hands low. And it turns out... we were only one of two or three in my division with clean rounds. The top two people had 12 faults or something, so... it was a truly lovely round. :) So yay... redemption. Beth said that she thought more about me asking her earlier if putting someone else on Fleck to get him around XC would be a good idea. She said that she really thinks he has my number. She said that if I had ridden XC the way I rode stadium... we would have been clean. (which also means we would have been in 2nd place out of 18 in area champs. Argh...). So... now I feel even worse. Here I am thinking there's something wrong with Fleck... and perhaps it's just me not riding properly. I mean... I blamed my earlier stops on me.... but really kinda thought the sunken road and pine top bank complex and even the water trough at the lucinda clinic stops were not me related. People said "even boyd martin couldn't have gotten him over that"....  But... perhaps that is true, but had I ridden like a big girl prior to everything, we wouldn't have gotten to that point.  So.. what is it? Is it that there is something going on? Or just that it got a little harder for him and I stopped riding (or never started riding) like a prelim rider and made it easy for him to say no. And so he started saying no. ????

This is what is going through my brain... the relentless circles. And all the people who mean well, but really don't know the whole situation... are making it worse. The comments about how maybe he's just not a prelim horse or how maybe he's hurting because it's not like him to say no..... they just are destructive to me. I KNOW that he could be hurting. Trust me.. he's 15. I'm freaking out about him getting old... I know he doesn't have pretty knees or hocks. I know he gets back sore. But that is also why he gets chiro'd, saddle fitted, hocks injected, knees injected, glucosamine, adequan, legends, pentosan, oral HA daily, etc. Whatever he could possibly want.. he gets. And then I go into the viscious cycle of... am I doing all this to make him sound? I don't want to do things like this just so that I can break him down. But if it's just that he's an older horse with poor conformation for eventing and an athlete and the stuff helps him feel better.. that's a different story. But where does the line get crossed? Do I know? Does anyone know? Does the line move? And I realize I have nothing else to ride yet, so am I pushing him to do something he's not capable of doing because I don't have any other options? Or am I just making him feel better? Or does it even matter? Does he care even? And as far as him being a prelim horse... sure, I realize it's hard and he may not be able to do it, but he sure rocked the courses earlier on. And even schooling after at Chatt Hills, once I got him over the sunken road and he understood it (or understood that he was going regardless of whether he wanted to or not) he rocked the entire course. So.. how is it that he can jump around and soar around and appear to be having fun one moment and then saying no the next? That makes me think that either he doesn't understand the particular questions.. and it does appear to be related to jumps that he can't see ahead of... or he just is being a pill. If it's pain.. why isn't it over more jumps. Sure, the sunken road and down banks...downhill jumps. But he's refusing the jump before the downhill part. And if it's downhill pain, why is he soaring into the water and off the other drops happily? I just don't get it. But then I say.. well, I've always said that he does anything I ask... so maybe I've taken advantage of that and he's doing it because he knows I want him to, but he really is struggling. He just does it for me. Then I feel horrible all over again. And then some people say that he's just being nappy and it's getting a little bit harder for him so he's stopping because you've let him stop. So what do I do? Beat him over it and tell him that is not acceptable because I've allowed it before and now he needs to realize stopping isn't an option? But how can I determine if it's training vs trauma? What is the right answer? Does he need time off to make himself feel better? Does he need to train through this and realize that I mean business and then he can have some time off? You know... I just don't know. And it's killing me that I can't determine which it is. We're trained to always go to the pain answer, but I can't figure out where he's hurting.

So.... ultimately... this weekend was frustrating in that we didn't "fix" our issues. But it was also positive because after stadium, I was so proud of him and myself. And I was able to reward him and tell him how lovely he was and how proud of him I was, and I really was! I was no longer mad at him. By blaming me (which honestly, is always the answer)... Beth has given me some freedom and fixed us in a way. I can stop blaming Fleck and being mad at him. (again, not that I was entirely blaming him, and also not that Beth isn't saying that Fleck isn't taking advantage of the situation)... But somehow.. .my sick twisted brain of mine... has morphed this into a good thing. I feel like we can fix this and we can get him back and while we may not ever be awesome and amazing... I feel like he can be a good prelim horse. It's in there... and it may not be in there for multiple seasons.. or at championship level... but I feel like we can figure it out and get back to blazing around XC and having fun again... at prelim. So.... the next step in the plan to accomplish that.... don't laugh... is to call an animal communicator. I just want to see what she says..  I'm hoping that it's not something like Fleck hates me.. or hates eventing.... or even that he's hurting and can't do this anymore. But I feel like this may help me determine a pain vs training issue. At the very least, I can say I've tried everything... Right now I feel like I'm at a cross roads of giving him the summer off and starting over vs trying to fix it while the goings hot. And I also know I'm stubborn enough (imagine that...) to try to keep fixing things when the best choice may be to back off. So I'm hoping she'll give me some clarification on that. And of course, we'll do more veterinary seeking. Trying to find out if he hurts and where.

So... we'll see. More to the saga to come I'm sure...
But Flecky seems happy today and his swollen tick bite looks better. He's enjoying the day off and getting to be free and graze rather than be stuck in his stall all day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fun Jump Lesson

So... after Sunday, Fleck got Monday and Tuesday off because of work. Then Wednesday I had a jump lesson with Beth. It was at Robin's farm just down the road so I emailed her to see if I could bring Dan along for the adventure. She said Sure thing! So we loaded up and hauled there. Both boys stood tied to the trailer while I groomed both and tacked up Fleck. Then I put Danny in the paddock right next to the pasture I was riding Fleck in. I told Robin I didn't quite trust Danny to leave him away alone just yet. She understood and said the paddock was fine. Then I jokingly said "But I bet Fleck will be worse about it than Dan". Boy was I right!!!

So, we got Dan turned out and then hopped on Fleck. Jeesh! He spent the first ten minutes in giraffe mode screaming his fool head off. Even though Danny was.... RIGHT... THERE...!!!! And answering him. Oh well. ;) Silly spotties! Eventually Fleck settled down to business and we had a good ride. We worked on bending lines. Beth had me jump a log, then do a dog ear to a vertical than an opposite dog ear to an oxer. They were some tough lines, but we managed. I turned him in the air some and then also really rode his shoulder instead of just using the inside rein to turn. More outside rein and inide leg :) It was kinda funny cause I kept telling Beth what I did wrong instead of having to ask. It was a nice feeling :)

Then she had me come the opposite direction. Then she added a coop then wanted me to overshoot my turn and come back and angle the oxer. Yeah... Now I needed her help for sure. ha! I don't know why I can't do basic geometry. I basically way overshot my turn and then expected Fleck to spin 118 degrees and jump from two strides away. He did.. but it was ugly and he grunted nicely. So then Beth fixed us and had me start my turn way earlier. It worked! I was still able to angle it the way she wanted but Fleck stood a chance.

So then to finish she built them up a bit higher and just had me come at them normally, do a roll back and come to the other one. Wow.. funny how a few holes up and a long approach make them look big! Robin joked that she was going to have to go buy bigger standards since the 4' standards weren't high enough for us. Hee hee... I really don't think they were that high though! They were big, but not that big! So, we sorta bobbled the first one, but when we came back the second time I rode properly and Fleck jumped it great. Yay!! And no sluggishness or anything, despite it being super hot. So.. who knows?!?

But anyways, he finally settled and then when I took him for his bath, the bellowing started again. Jeeesh! So I got Danny out and sponged him off and took the boys home.
Then... at dinner time... Fleck was all grumpy and nasty to him again. Silly boys! It cracked me up though cause Dan was in his stall and I wouldn't let Fleck go in and beat him up so he just stood there staring at him. But every time Danny tried to come out, Fleck snaked his head towards him. So after two minutes, Fleck just slammed his foot into the ground, like "Dammit.. I'm hungry" and Danny bolted out past Fleck. hee hee.. Such silly ponies....

So tomorrow we'll try the bigger perfection and see if it makes me as happy as it makes Fleck (in a way I hope it doesn't, cause it's more expensive!) and then finish/start packing for Poplar... Area Champs!!! Whoo hooo. Though it is a little bittersweet. I should be riding him prelim.. not training, but... at least it's training champs. Then we can hopefully find another prelim to get back out at. Unfortunately I'd LOVE to do Windridge but it's the weekend after and I'm working. But that would have been a great one to do. Then there's not much I can do until Chatt Hills I think. Unless I tried to do June Poplar but I'll have been working or out of town the two weeks prior, so that's probably not ideal. Sigh.... Doesn't look like my chances of qualifiying for AECs are good either. I only need one clean round at prelim to qualify for the Horse division, but I'm not sure I want to go to the AECs with just squeaking in with two clean rounds. But in order to go at training, I'll have to run at least two more events to get my three clean runs. (Assuming I go clean at Area champs). And I also have to either place 1-5 at Areas or get a first or second. So.. yeah, it's not looking good for Team Awesome this year. Oh well.... I suppose I can always think about driving to Texas next year. :(

Happy Birthday Flecky!

So... bad me... I've been negligent on my writing!

So... let's see... Fleck had Monday off after Lucinda and then Tuesday we had our dressage lesson. We're still trying out saddles so luckily I was able to borrow a friends. We had a pretty good lesson. Nothing mind blowing. At least that I'm remembering now. ;) Then Wed I took him and Dan on a trail ride. It was fun! Read about it in Danny's blog ;)
Then Thursday he had off cause I worked and Friday... Friday was his birthday!!!

                                           HAPPY 15th BIRTDHAY BUDDY!!!!

So, I went and tried more saddles. We found out that Fleck LOVES the perfection. Of course.. as it's the most expensive one. Sigh.. but my big butt did not. At least not the 17". So we're getting a 17.5" shipped to see if I like it too. Otherwise, he'll have to deal with the Connection. Which he likes.. just not as much. But I just melted into it. :) So then Saturday I decided to jump. I set up two upright barrels, the muck bucket half filled with water, and the water trough, upside down. Wow..the upside down water trough was SCARY!!! We had to sniff it and investigate before I even got on. So he jumped around the normal stuff fine and then jumped the muck bucket fine and the barrels fine. Then we trotted to the upside down water trough and he was brave and went. :) Good boy! Then we did it a few more times, then cantered it and he was fine. Then I flipped it right side up and trotted it again. He was fine. And we cantered it fine. Yay!! So... why can he do that but not the sunken water trough??! Oh well. We'll eventually figure it out. So yep. A good jump day.

Then Sunday was fitness day. Unfortunately it hasn't rained in a long time and the ground was pretty hard. And I slept in and napped because I had to work that night so it was 3:30 when I rode. We did a 45 minute trail with hills. We mostly walked but did some trotting and teeny bit of cantering. Fleck was hot and sweaty. So then we went for our gallop. We started off and Fleck just seemed sluggish. We managed four minutes, had a two minute breather and then did another set. I let him stop at 3 minutes, and then our last set, I let him stop at 2.5 minutes. And he stopped quick! He was breathing hard but didn't seem distressed... just not wanting to gallop. Although when I picked on him and told him to GO, he did... and held it... it was just obvious he wanted to stop. So I let him. Untacked him and he was already grazing. I hosed him off and he seemed fine. But now I'm panicking... is he getting too old, do his feet hurt, do his knees hurt? What's going on??!!! Of course I call Christina and she says perhaps it's just the combination of hard ground and heat and humidity. It was one of the first few really hot days and it was 3:30 in the afternoon. True, but..... Then Beth said perhaps he needs more fitness work and to remember that he's not even half TB, so he may just need more. SIgh...I just worry about the beasty. But no lameness or issues any other time.. he was perfectly fine in his dressage lessons and jumping at home. So... fingers crossed and we'll see.