Student #3 decided, after two lessons on Lance, that she was ready to try taking a lesson on her own horse on Monday. Buffy, her Haflinger mare, turned out to a sweet and willing partner, reminding me in some ways of Lance, but with more energy. Since student #3 doesn't have an English saddle, I suggested she use her bareback pad so we could really work on her position and core strength. That went well, and I look forward to working with them together. The timing of the switch-over couldn't have been better, either.....
|Taking a loose-rein break.|
The next day Lance and I took a ride through the woods. The track is getting overgrown – we were even turned back by blackberry brambles before reaching the clearing I like to ride to – but a bigger obstacle to our future access was advertised.
Back home I took Lance out on the ballroom floor (arena) to briefly review some dance moves. I was cantering him to the left one last time, being careful to maintain uphill balance to help avoid tripping. He's been doing that quite a bit lately, although not quite as much since getting his pedicure. But he did trip, and not only did he not catch himself, he came crashing down in a kind of delayed sequence while my mind raced through the possible outcomes. I was mostly hoping that no part of Lance's 1300+ pounds landed on me, and then hit the ground with a pretty good smack to the back of my helmeted head. I scrambled up but Lance didn't, laying sternal where he'd fallen for some worrisome moments. When he finally did get up he kept shaking his head. Taking stock of both of us I noticed that he'd skinned one front knee and the opposite front fetlock, had a scrape and a lump on his forehead, and his bridle was all dusty. (I didn't notice until the next day that the noseband was badly scuffed, making me think he did a hard face-plant into the sand or possibly even into the kick board of the arena.) My head felt okay, but my left clavicle and sternum were uncomfortable and grew increasingly so as I carefully put away my subdued mustang.
Shaken emotionally every bit as much as physically, I called Rick. He had theorized from the number of suspensory injuries Lance has sustained that there might be underlying neck issues; the stumble and fall certainly supported that theory. I told him what happened and asked him to please (finally) check Lance's neck, which he did when he got home. Lance is so thick/fat that it was hard to see much with the ultrasound; there was some inflammation, though. (He also ultrasounded my left collarbone, which by now felt like I may have cracked it, but Rick didn't see anything.) Because Lance has gotten so fat, Rick felt that testing for Cushings Disease was warranted, and drew blood for that.
So here we are, reduced to walking around our little arena or increasingly developed hill. Going faster is just too risky; there's too much momentum to recover from
|Mt. Hood on the 4th of July|
|a doe and fawn in the distance|
and then again last night to stalk the sunset:
I might start lunging him to help control the weight gain. Mr. Porky-Pie needs to work off all those apples, cherries, and choice weeds!
|"Mmmm; green apples."|
|"What? The cherries are ripe!"|
|"I was bored with pasture grass."|