Society6
Mae was the tiniest bit off when I rode her on Tuesday.  She was steady as a rock at the walk, but at the trot, she was a half beat behind - barely notable but I’ve been able to tell when she’s been off before (see swollen front left leg, 4x normal size).  She has/had gotten to the place where her trot was more balanced and consistent, but her trot on Tuesday was wobbly and punctuated with the occasional small head bob.  Her feet felt fine and looked, and there was no swelling or heat emanating from her legs or feet.  I was concerned but not overly so and resolved to keep an eye on it.

On Wednesday evening, I trotted her by hand on concrete, and there was noticeable head bobbing at every step, even though she was more or less still steady at the walk.  She was very off kilter when I rode her at the trot, and I didn’t even attempt to pick up a canter.  My trainer has been in Florida and was getting back in town that night, so I texted her what I had noticed.  She had ridden Mae on Monday and she was completely sound then.  Mae also had the farrier come last week, and he mentioned that her hocks and stifles were sore but none of those things would cause a limp.

I’m sure some of you are familiar with the frustration and anxiety of a health problem that has no visible cause.  This week, I finally received her latest vet bill from her last ulcer / abscess treatment, and she’s only barely been on the rebound from that.  An anxious mind like mine is running wildly - maybe it’s nothing serious and she only pulled something while messing about in the turnout.  Maybe it’s a stone bruise.  Or maybe she has navicular.  The only thing I can do at this point is sit and wait and also anxiously glance at my phone.  Is the vet going to get called out today?  Is she feeling better and perfectly sound?  Has her leg just fallen off at this point?  The anticipation is always a killer.

Horse ownership is a bumpy ride.  Having Ryon sidelined by a degenerative condition after a year of treatment was my first step into realization that things oftentimes swerve despite the best care and planning.  In 2017 I was introduced to a whole new set of horse-related health issues with Mae.  I’m quite ready for the upswing on the health pendulum (who isn’t?).  Like I’ve said too many times to count, fingers crossed.

**UPDATE** She's not lame.  She's been tricking me this whole time.  My trainer rode her today, and she was FINE.  GRRR but also phew!