|Tacky, but accurate...|
Prair seemed quiet and normal to me when I pulled her out of pasture (if anything her relaxation and attention when being led has improved significantly in the last 4-6 months). I jogged her out behind the barn on my way back and she *seemed* to be significantly more comfortable than on Sunday.
On Sunday her walk was a little short over gravel and her trot was reluctant at best. In fact after I jogged her once, she gave me a "really lady??" look when I asked her to trot off again. (she politely declined)
Yesterday she moved up to the trot willingly several times. Definitely a bit sore, but decidedly less so, and certainly more eager.
Of course, if she was a loon bucket all day and needed a chain to get her to pasture it's possible that her "willingness" is really just excess energy building up from 10 days functionally off work. I've seen Gus mask his lameness like a champ when he puffs up and gets excited. He trots off like big fancy Dressage horse, but hen returns to his usual limp when he calms down... With that in mind I tried not to get too excited about the potential improvement, but still.
I threw Prairie on the lunge for a few minutes and while she did look a bit short, she didn't look uncomfy. She's still swinging her head around, willing to stretch down, look around, etc. When she's been super ouchy in the past she doesn't get distracted by what's around her and tends to just wear a face that says "ow, ow, ow, ow."
So, that info gives me hope that maybe I can get things under control more easily. That hope prompted a text to the barn manager to move Prair to a dry lot for the time being and a text to the Farrier to not kill me if I haven't made up my mind yet. He responded politely that he could easily push our possible appointment to Friday to give me one more day of observation... (I really like him).
To speak to some of the comments on the last few posts, I appreciate the support. I think my problem is that I don't know what my threshold is for allowing Prair to be sore. I know successful transitions can take months (and months, and months), so I think my (unrealistic) expectations for a quick turnaround are predicated on the previous success we've seen. I am honestly dismayed at how quickly Prair's feet got out of shape. Rationally I know I shouldn't be surprised, I've seen feet transform in a week... so a couple months of shoes should have a huge impact on her feet, and specifically her soles.
I would prefer to not miss the rest of the show season, but as I continue down this path, I'm not sure how mission critical that is, or how much I would enjoy it all the while thinking that the transition will just keep getting harder and harder if/when I ever try it again.