If you read my post telling about the Spring Fling last weekend then you will remember that Comrade was off at the show. After he gave me all he had in the class, he was visibly lame.
Except for a few pony rides, for kids and elderly city ladies, he had the week off. On Saturday, I came with just the thought of putting him through his paces to see where he was at. We tacked up and walked to the arena. As we walked down the small hill, I noticed he was short on the left hind. I put that information in my head to keep in mind as I rode. Walking, he felt good. But into trot was a different situation. Going to the left, I could hear him dragging the left hind. Sure enough in the sand, I could see where he stepped and then dragged. Only one set of drag marks though. Going to the right, he moved much better. He softened in his neck and moved on. This pony is so great.
Now for the really big test: Canter. At the show I could not get a Left lead that did not immediately turn into bucking and stopping. Right lead was not much better. So I set him up going to the left, and asked. He gave me left lead canter, no bucking. It was flat and probably close to 4 beating, but so much more than he gave me at the show. After a long side, I brought him back to trot and changed direction. Again I set him up and asked. Right lead is normally his bad lead, but this direction he gave me a true canter with some lift. Since it was warm, I finished there. His walk while cooling out was a bit looser and he did stretch down. Something good coming out of this lameness.
Now the question is this a lameness that needs rest or light work. Since we believe the lameness stems from being kicked in the butt muscles, I went with the thought of working the muscles to keep them from getting too tense. So today, I tacked up and hopped on. I did a lot of walk warm up. Focusing on moving the shoulders and haunches to loosen up his individual parts. He did some really good corners. Then I moved onto the trot. He wanted to putz around, but I would not let him. I could still hear the drag, but when I saw the marks they were about half the length from yesterday. No cantering today. I just wanted him moving. He had improved, but he was still sore. I asked Peggy to give him some Bute. Maybe if we manage the pain and keep him in light work he will feel better soon.
At least I did not sign up for the Dressage show I was going to take him to, since that was today.
I will have to see how the day goes tomorrow, whether or not I will work him. Keep your fingers crossed that he gets better.