The Boy abandoned me for the weekend to squeeze in one last guy's trip before baby arrives so I was left to my own devices. Per usual, that meant I filled up my time with barn trips, random errands and eating my body weight in cherries (I love cherry season).
After Prair's lovely week o' relaxation, I was eager to see her hack out on Saturday so I arranged a time with HLL to meet at the barn and watch the big mare take a low key spin.
Woke up, ate some cherries, drove to the barn, groomed the mare up to a shine and discovered a big, patch of fungus on her belly in her girth area. Grrrrrr-osssss. Not horrid, and she didn't seem bothered by it, but flaky and dry and most definitely a new feature. So I picked at it obsessively for a bit before the mare finished getting tacked up and headed to the ring.
Even with 5 days fully off, Prair was relaxed, chill and happy. Her neck was loose and she was happily looking around at the world beyond the arena doors without straining her eyeballs or seeming spooky or annoyed AT ALL.
|Cute Relaxo Mare|
Of course then she moved up to the trot and I thought "hmmm"
After a lap or two I asked HLL how she felt and she replied with a tentative "um, not great??"
I don't know what I was hoping she would say, because from my spot (on a chair, spinning around watching them go) I thought exactly the same thing.
She wasn't lame
per se, but she sorta looked like crap. Happy, relaxed, chill crap. But crap nonetheless.
Her trot was... dull. Heavier to the ground than normal, a bit short and seemingly stiffer through the shoulder than I'm used to. No flicky-flicky toe action and zero loft. but not lame!
I frowned and asked her to do some lengthenings down the long side to see if we could shake her loose, but alas, the lengthenings looked like running-ings, not lofty, fluid extensions... argh.
No change in going from left to right... and no obvious soreness in a particular limb. If anything I was on red alert for some soreness in her right stifle at the injection site.. but no. Nothing.
Usually when Prair's a tad uncomfortable or off, she gets tight in her neck - which she also wasn't. If anything, she was lighter in the bridle and more relaxed in the neck than normal.
Nothing was getting better or worse with work, so after about 15 minutes of trot/canter we called it a day and figured we'd wait to see how she looked on Sunday before totally freaking out.
Sunday, she ended up not getting worked, but Monday I got a text from the assistant saying she felt heavier on her forehand than normal, but nothing else of note, and certainly not lame.
That was still enough of a red flag to get my very pregnant, cherry-eating-butt down to the barn this morning in order to watch N put a ride on her.
The fungus (thankfully) was already clearing up, and the mare was looking particularly fat, and happy and... well, fat.
I filled N in on the weirdness over the weekend and was rambling on, and on and on about all the possible considerations when she interrupted me and just said "I think she feels great, how does she look?"
So that's that. The mare looks great. She worked WONDERFULLY on the flat, beautiful shape, lots of loft, self carriage and relaxation. More collection than I'm used to seeing at the canter, and all in all - exactly what I would hope to see after some rest and injections.
Also very nice to hear N say that Prair's RH felt better. Nothing overly dramatic, but just a bit quicker, and like she didn't have to work quite so hard to keep it gathered up under the mare.
Once again, lots of stress for nothing - Thanks mare!!!
I suppose it was a good excuse to sneak in a random morning trip to the barn. I got to untack, groom, and snuggle with the lady and even got some tack cleaning in. Can't be too certain when Miss Baby will decide to show up, so might as well log the barn visits now!