I have a lesson scheduled with Julie Sunday morning. We got some rain; I've gotten to school Lance in the arena a few times. My son has even figured out a set-up for grooming the arena that seems to work pretty well, at least appearance-wise. (The little lawn tractor he got from his grandpa is getting used for all sorts of things!)
Our arena rides haven't been great; I accept most of the blame for that, riding without eyes on the ground as I have for so long. But last night made me wonder. We started out in the arena, and Lance did not want to move – I mean, even more than usual. :-/ Since the sand is drying out and felt shiftier than I like, I decided it wasn't worth risking a strain. We went back to the barn; I put his Renegade boots on (he was trimmed on Tuesday) and headed out for a ride through the woods. Lance still didn't want to move, and acted quite tenderfooted, even on his booted front feet. Odd. It did get a little better when we got to the dirt path, but not a lot. When we got back to the barn I went over him with a fine-toothed mental comb, looking for any sign of injury I may have missed during his pre-ride grooming. Nothing. I gave him a gram of bute, and decided to give him two days off before our lesson.
Yes, I'm worried. Has Lance strained something while working in the arena sand recently? Are his feet really that sore? Is it something else? He was telling me quite clearly under saddle yesterday that he didn't feel great; I don't want to take him to a lesson and demand that he put out if he's not up to snuff somewhere. And I don't want to work towards being ready for a November 8 show at the expense of my horse's soundness.