Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cold Weather and Arthritis

Arthritis flares and cold weather seem to run hand in hand, least when it comes to Gus. Last night, being a Wednesday night, meant lesson night again. It was a near disaster from the get go.

Gus started off very very stiff on the lunge line but for the most part seemed to work out of his issues. Definitely more noticeable going to the right then to the left - which is typical Gus. Once we began the undersaddle work, it became apparent that it was going to be one of those days.

To begin with, B had us doing 10m half-circles down the long sides. As the exercise progressed, it was almost a ribbon candy-like pattern down the arena's length. The goal in this exercise was to get Gus really bending around my inside leg and stretching through the outside. We then proceeded with our usual 3-loop serpentines, at the trot.

For whatever reason, yesterday we could not get Gus to move down and out. He was stuck in this goofy, uncomfortable jog-trot. It was even more apparent at the canter that he was just absolutely miserable. Gus definitely gets points for being a saint though.

We ended the lesson with some leg yield work on and off the rail at the trot. Basically a couple steps off the rail, then LY back on the rail, rinse & repeat. Then we worked on that down the quarter line. That seemed to be more difficult for Gus, for whatever reason. The last exercise we did was kinda like a saw-tooth pattern down the long side of the arena. To start with we took about three strides on the diagonal, then did a bit of a turn on the forehand before returning on the rail. Essentially, this exercise was supposed to work on the shoulders and loosening them up. Gus definitely felt the burn when performing this one. He was exceptionally good going the one direction (to the left, I think) but struggled to the right. End the end, he was a good boy about the whole situation.

After my lesson, while cooling out Gus (who was still undersaddle), B and I got to talking about why Gus was so miserable today. Not sure why he was... granted it was VERY cold and windy (like 20 something outside at the time), but she thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and get him injected with Legend again. It's been since August... so he's probably due for another round. FWIW, he was bute'd before my lesson, like I have been doing for the past few weeks, but the vet will be out on Wednesday for a Legend injection.

Funny thing was, immediately after dismounting, Gus dropped and pee'd up a storm. I can seriously count on one hand how many times he's "pee'd" in public, and I've owned Gus for nearly 12 years. He's very modest. I'm thinking that had something to do with his reluctance to move forward... we'll see how he goes the next time I ride. Wish he would've just pee'd if he had to go that bad... poor guy!

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