I don't even know if I should call it that. I've come to expect them; they are part of the package with horses, and of course if you have a horse with any physical issues (or mental ones, as well) you have more bumps on that road than your average horse owner.
All in all, we've been coasting along pretty danged well. My farrier, Autumn, is friggin phenomenal and she pretty much single-handedly had stopped my horse from limping. ONE TIME, after pulling the PHW's (see this site for more info, if you want Applied Equine Podiatry and do some digging...very enlightening stuff), he was sore after she came out: The PHW's are wonderful, but can be difficult to remove (the glue is SUPER strong!) and I do believe his RF was torqued from poor little Autumn's attempts to get the PHW off. He was sore for less than a day, and that was the last time he had a head-bob. He has been out of the PHW's now for almost 2 months, and hadn't taken ONE lame step. Matter of fact, now that his "navicular shoes" are off and his hoof is well-balanced, he has also stopped dragging his toes in the back....the squareness he had on both hind toes is GONE. Trust me, you feel it when you ride him, too. A true spring in his stride...yay!
But, this past Saturday morning, I was at work when my cell phone vibrated. It was a text message from Jen (my best friend), telling me that CJ was off, and that I may have to cancel any lessons that I had scheduled for that afternoon. I called her immediately, and she said that one of my lessees was there to ride CJ, and Jen noticed him walking a bit gingerly, so she interrupted the lessee before she could ride, and checked him out. She said he had a distinctive head-bob, and it appeared to be his RF. I told her I planned to come out right after work, and to tell my lessee that she can't ride today. I picked up my daughters after work at around 12:30 and we made the drive (45 minutes, by the way) to the barn. I grabbed CJ and Dancer and put them both in the indoor to run. Yep, although he didn't want to admit it, running and bucking, nipping and squealing with his best girl, CJ was absolutely lame on the right front. Damnitall.
When they were done playing and rolling and being goofy, we groomed him up, crammed a bunch of pears down his throat and then tracked down the barn owner. Instructions were given for 1 gram of bute at dinner and 1 gram of bute at breakfast, and I would be back out Sunday morning to see how he was. I was bummed, as it had been almost a year since he had required any bute whatsoever. Navicular my a$$. I worked Toi and went home.
Sunday morning, my daughters and I pack up the van and prepare for a long lesson day, just in case CJ was all better. We arrive to the barn fully prepared to have just another grooming/loving/treat-giving session. Pull him out, throw him in the arena, and......no limp. Not even a little one. Free lunged him both directions, w/t/c and gallop. Nothing. I have Autumn clip the lead on him and trot him away from me and back a bunch of times. Nada. Nothing. WTH? Well, we take what we can get, so...on with the day! :) CJ went on to provide several wonderful lessons to several very grateful kids and adults, ate a bunch of apples and pears, got a good rub-down and a huge pile of hay, and we headed home.
I can't figure it out. I guess I'm not supposed to.
Popped out there last night after work, threw on his bareback pad and bosal, and in the arena we went. I hopped up, warmed him up, and then loped some circles. Solid as can be. Even his brakes were sharp! It was a fun ride, and we had Dancer and Kelli join us, which was a huge honor! My new barn friend, Marissa, came in to watch Dancer (she LOVES her) and chatted with us a while. We did a lot of sitting around on our horses and talking. I remember when I was younger, I would see the older folks doing that a lot, and I often wondered why they even had horses...couldn't they just get together at the coffee shop to talk? Why weren't they RIDING?! Now that I'm older, I totally understand.