Consolation Mystery Update
I rode Consolation yesterday, 8 miles on easy and familiar terrain.
- Her attitude was positive.
- She wasn’t spooky, and her hypersensitivity during saddling was minimal.
- Although not fast, she was reasonably forward (this is pretty standard Consolation).
- Her trot felt free, even, relaxed, and normal until…
The last couple miles of our route feature a very long, very gradual uphill grade that Consolation normally charges up with ease. This time, though our ride had hardly been long or difficult, she petered out halfway up. Her back felt tight and she didn’t want to trot. I immediately dismounted and checked her back and hindquarters for cramping. Nothing. No trembling, no tight or flaccid muscles, no reaction to pressure. No unusual respiration or sweating.
I mounted up and asked again, but she still didn’t want to trot and her back still felt a little hunched. Hmm. No need to play with fire. I got off, loosened her cinch, and led her home slowly. As I walked, I pondered the fact that it was at a similar point on the same hill that Consolation “bonked” (to borrow a human endurance athlete’s term) a couple weeks ago. Could something be affecting her even on that small grade that doesn’t trouble her on flatter land? One friend suggested cramping due to the saddle fitting issues I’m working on, which is certainly a possiblity.
At the time, however, I was most worried about a tie-up. I watched carefully as we walked. Consolation’s gait seemed even and relaxed, though slow, which is not altogether atypical for her. On the other hand, I’d have expected a little more enthusiasm because we were headed homeward. When we arrived, she didn’t resist lifting her feet for hoof boot removal. She rolled and shook. She drank well and settled down to eat. Her urine color was normal both immediately and several hours later.
Come evening, she was slightly stocked up behind again, which made me wonder again about her feet. I took her for a handwalk along the irrigation canal. Her movement was very free, her strides long, her attitude bright, and her appetite enthusiastic.
This morning, she looks normal.