Where have we been!?!?!
Well, as per usual, I took a little vacation in June/July to visit family and friends in Minne-sconsin. It was a wonderful time of recharge and refresh as well as just getting to spend time with some of my favorite humans.
When we last left you, Huck had just had his SI joints injected. He then spent three days in a stall (which he did NOT appreciate) but then was able to go back to 24/7 turnout. We then spent about 10 days doing only light walk/jog rides every other day.
Our first "real" ride was choppy but fine and he'd had his last dose of muscle relaxers that morning. Two days later I had what I think was the best ride we've ever had. He was fluid and smooth and happy to work. He licked and chewed after the few stops and loped circles with his head down. I was thrilled....
And then the next day his lumbars were very sore. Not as bad as they had been but after ONE RIDE?!?!?! Swearwords. Did this mean we needed to inject MORE?!?!
The vet was scheduled to come out in about a week to see a barn mate, so we took it easy for the week. A miracle occurred and I was able to get BOTH the vet and chiropractor out at the same time. I wanted both of their opinions and for them to agree on the next steps.
Much to my surprise and relief, they both agreed that what he needed was more time and physical therapy and they were both confident that the injections helped a lot. They suggested a few weeks of walk, long trot, pole work, back-up, hill work, etc. to build up his back/butt muscles. Now that he wasn't in pain he needed to remember how to work correctly. They also suggested a massage therapist.
Of course that timing coincided exactly with my 5-day work trip and my 2.5 week planned vacation in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I solicited the help of B and our recent friend K to ride him a few times a week while I was gone. I was able to schedule the massage therapist for the weekend between trips. He also managed to lose a shoe, so I pulled the other shoe, too. I figured it'd be better for him to not have sliders on for a while.
I returned home on the 13th. I've ridden half a dozen times since then. Each ride seems better than the last. There was one day he was a little reactive to my fingers on his back, but I've been massaging him and trying to be really careful. We started out pretty inconsistent and choppy, which doesn't surprise me considering he hasn't been working properly (without pain) for three months. But as I said, each ride seems to get a little better.
Yesterday he had his shoes (slide plates) put back on. I asked for three stops, none of them with any sort of build up, just a stop. He licked and chewed afterwards. I was not able to get a bad reaction to his back test!
Hopefully this means we are on the right track. I'm scheduling the massage therapist again soon.
We are also trying a different bit (correction) and it seems to be going fine.
We have a possible schooling show on the 31st and our next Ranch show is August 6th.
Fingers crossed we get to show!