Friday, March 4, 2016

Another ride and a new chiropractor

Last weekend and this week have been crazy, and as a result I haven't been able to ride as much as I wanted.  V. ended up canceling on me last Friday, so we didn't ride as planned.  I didn't ride again until Monday evening, and then it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.  I'm glad I did, though, since I haven't had a chance to ride since.

I didn't ride hard Monday evening, knowing we had an appointment with a new chiropractor the next day.  I didn't want to make Panama sore for the chiropractor, but I did want to canter so that I could tell the new chiropractor whether he was having his usual trouble when an adjustment is needed.

The other reason I decided to ride was complete happenstance: When I got to the barn, one of my fellow boarders was getting ready to ride.  I decided to go ahead and ride with her while we had the opportunity.

Like our other three rides so far, I mostly just walked and trotted Panama.  He was super wired and spooky, though, as if he were making up for his good behavior during the previous three rides.  He spooked at the sand he himself kicked up against the arena walls, the mounting block he has seriously seen a thousand times, and the sound of the other horse spooking.  I don't know if he was feeding off of the other horse -- a rather nervous, reactive horse -- or if it had thrown him off that the four-wheeler was parked in the corner in preparation for grooming the arena.  Regardless, it has been a couple of years at least since Panama spooked at sand in the arena, not to mention the other silly things he spooked at.

I decided to do a little cantering, just so I knew what to tell the chiropractor the next day.  It was a delicate balance because I didn't want to ride him so much as to make him sore, but I also wanted to be able to give the chiropractor a clear picture of what was going on.

I cantered Panama first to the right, which isn't his favorite side.  He picked up the canter fine, although (as anticipated, given his muscle loss and hay belly from lack of exercise) he didn't carry himself very well.  But we picked up the canter twice and he was fine both times.

Then we cantered to the left.  This is Panama's favorite lead, but also the one he has more trouble with when he has his recurring problem (which our former chiropractor fixed every six months or so).  Sure enough, he crowhopped all over the place all three times I asked for it.  I knew it wasn't just that he was excited to be cantering, since he had picked up the right lead without any drama just minutes before.

That told me what I needed to know, so we called it a night.  All in all, I only rode him for about 20 minutes, and although we got a reasonable amount of work done, it also was not a hard ride.  I was intending to ride him again later in the week, once he'd been adjusted, but I just haven't had a chance.

This post has gotten a little long, so stay tuned for the next post, in which I'll tell the story of the new chiropractor!

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