April 6, 2015

What I Didn't Do On Sunday


I don't like this new trend one bit.

Sunday was my day to hit the trails for the first time in 2 months. I was prepared. I was excited. I was, like always, on a time line, but that didn't matter. The sun was shining, the trails were dry and I had a new route planned on a brand new (to me) trail system and was ready. The Universe smiled down on me and put Wyatt in a horrendous mood where he honestly didn't even blink an eye when I changed into riding clothes and said goodbye. Everything was aligning and we were finally going to lay down some tracks.

I pulled into the barnyard and hooked the trailer up on the first go. In fact it was so easy that I became nervous that it wasn't correct and pulled the trailer forward and back a few times then got out and unhitched it and did it again to make sure.

Gem was waiting for me in the far back corner of her 35 acres, but I didn't mind. It was absolutely gorgeous out. I walked her back to the trailer and began my ritual of fully grooming her from head to tail.

That's when I noticed this:

A small but firm lump right near the girth area

It was firm, but had no heat or drainage and all the pushing and prodding I did created no response from Gem. It was at the very edge of where her girth would hit. Maybe I could still go?

I moved to her left side and continued to ignore the lump that was rising in my throat telling me that my day was shot. I picked out her hooves and then went back to the right.

And saw this:
Not one but two rather large firm swellings right smack in the girth area

Crap. Absolutely no trails for us.

I poked and prodded both areas, but she wasn't reactive and there was no heat or drainage so I am chalking it down to unfortunate placement of bug bite reactions. I took some other views to track them:

I then slathered them with Belly Balm and the rest of her with bug spray and pouted. I texted Dusty a picture and told him bring Wyatt out to play. I wasn't going riding. At the last minute I thought to ask him to bring over a tape measure as well. I might as well use this day to get a measurement of her hooves.

Once he came he helped me measure and I was about to turn her back out when I realized that I needn't sulk and waste the entire morning. I could in fact still get something done.

Let's back track:

I had planend a 1 hour 6.5 mile hilly trail ride. The morning was brisk, so I wore my black thicker riding tights with adidas pants over top, a long sleeve shirt and fleece vest. I always wear my running shoes to ride in these days. What I didn't think to wear was my sports bra. Bad idea any day, but at this time of my month it is particularly unpleasant but ok if I am just riding.

Back to the story:

I thought that running with her for 2 miles would be a great idea. Why not? I ditched the fleece vest, but kept my double pants on and headed down the hill. 100 yards later I recalled why it was a bad idea. The girls were most certainly not happy with me. I was committed to do at least the first half of it and so Gem and I made our way along the trail. Once I hit the trailer again at the 1 mile mark I was done.

After that I sulked some more and once again made my way to just put her back out when my dressage whip caught my eye. Hmmm...she hasn't been in a round pen in ages. Might be good for her.

Away to the round pen she went and we put in a good 25 minutes of effort in there. She w/t/c in both directions and I worked on a lot of transitions and whoas and changes in direction. By the end she was sweaty and breathing pretty good so at least she got some work in. I was very pleased with her and loved watching her move out. She was really extending those legs and landing heel first on all 4 with a beautiful little flick of the foot on her fronts. It was only afterward that I thought to grab some movie footage of her. Next time.

I put her back out with lots of pats and will keep and eye on those areas to make sure they are not getting any bigger of the next few days. Here is hoping that by next week she is rideable again!

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