I went out yesterday afternoon and curried Tristan, and fussed over him, and reinforced the toe of his duct tape boot with some more tape.
Then I jumped on bareback, intent on repeating Sunday’s ride: 30 minutes of walking, plus some loosening up.
Within a few minutes I got That Feeling. You know the one.
The barn manager was teaching at the same time, and I asked her to watch him. “Is he sound?”
Long, long pause. Too long, as we walked on.
We agreed between us that he wasn’t in tons of pain – he wasn’t head-bobbing, or obviously favoring that leg.
He just wasn’t landing right on it. He wasn’t using the leg the way he should’ve. Guarding it, maybe, just a bit.
I jumped off, led him back to his stall, put away his tack, went back to my car, and cried. A lot.
Then I called the vet, who will be out today or tomorrow.