Today was rough. Sigh... I *know* that it is going to take a little while for everything to work, if it's going to work. I *know* that he has only had his new shoes on for less than 24 hours and has to adjust. I know that sore muscles and sore stifles will take awhile to relax and heal. I know that the front end lameness isn't going to resolve overnight just because the back end is better. But dangit... I was really hoping he would feel amazing today.
And... he didn't. He felt bad. He was happy to work, but I can still feel the front end lameness. Admittedly, the hind end felt better. I didn't feel any catching or hesitation. Cindy said he looked nice and even behind but just a little unsure of how to push off with his new shoes. But... we are still having right lead canter problems.
And.. perhaps it is me. When I first bought him, we couldn't get the right lead canter. We finally just gave up for a bit and eventually we got it. I'm wondering if it's because he just figured out (because he's smart) that I was attempting to ask for it and despite asking wrong, he just said "to heck with this silly human... I'll just give her the right lead because it's obvious we're going that way". But... why would that change now? Just because I am not asking properly now... I don't think I was before. But maybe I was. I could get him to pick up the right lead even on the rail tracking left. So... I'm worried that it's because he is hurting. Or unable. And he obviously gets upset about going that way. But Cindy says it's because I'm allowing him to throw himself to the left and not asking him properly. She said I'm riding him like Dan and just being happy that he is cantering instead of insisting that he pick up the proper lead. And she did note that my right hip isn't ahead of my left. So... maybe she's right. Maybe I'm just messing up. Or maybe now that he is (in theory) moving more correct, it's harder for him to pick it up because of us cheating all those years. Or maybe because of riding Dan, I've just really messed myself up.
Regardless... today, I started crying in my lesson. Not because I was frustrated at our inability to pick up the right lead, but because I am thinking he can't pick up the right lead because there is something wrong. And because the right lead felt icky. I tried very hard to keep it together. But then Christine asked me what was wrong and I broke down again.
I'm just not ready to be done with him. 11 years is NOT ENOUGH! He doesn't have to run prelim anymore. He doesn't have to jump. I just want to keep riding him and have him be comfy. Sigh... Christine was so sweet. She said that he looked great and full of spitfire. Then she told me that the Indians were such fierce angry warriers because they rode Appies. She said Appies are tough and that he didn't look done. She's so nice and it helped, but dang.... I wanted him to be sound and happy today.
So... patience. I know that I need to give him 30-45 days before I can make a decision. Or at least two weeks. And I know that even after that, there is still more we can do. I'm just wresting with it.