I didn't realize how often Sydney forced me to walk on eggshells until I was riding a different horse. I had to be so careful with every request while riding him for fear that he would have a melt down and try to kill to me. I don't feel that fear at all with Speedy, but I continue to have moments where I worry that Izzy is moving to the dark side. Last Monday was one of those days.
Izzy has now twice shown me that when he is a real jerk, something is hurting. Izzy's pain tolerance is probably pretty low, especially when it comes to his back and neck. Even the chiropractor called him a baby. That's okay. Now that I know what to look for, I won't panic and worry that he's turning into another Sydney. As soon as he gets cranky, I'll know to call the chiropractor.
Izzy got some body work done on Friday afternoon, and Saturday was spent resting and recovering. I saddled him up on Sunday morning hoping and praying that my it's too much work to be a total jerk horse was back under my saddle. To my delight, Izzy was his regular old self. His expression was again playful and curious, and he happily canoodled the back of my neck, elbows, and hair while I was dropping my stirrups.
I didn't ask much of him for his first time under saddle since the adjustment. We spent nearly ten minutes walking while I asked him to flex his neck and poll and move his shoulders from side to side.
Once I knew I had my horse back, I asked him to pick up an easy trot. I didn't ask for any type of real connection, but I did ask him to keep his head out of the clouds. We spent 15 minutes trotting the long sides and crossing the diagonal.
My only goal for the day was to establish a rhythmic trot so that I could evaluate his comfort level. While he wasn't lame anywhere, it did feel as though he needed to re-establish his sea legs. He wanted to carry his head to the right, but when I worked the left rein, he could give me some inside flexion. He might still be a bit sore in the poll.
After working him at the trot long enough to really get him warmed up, I decided that he felt sound enough to return to a regular workload this week. He's still on some Bute, but I'll probably eliminate even that over the next few days if he looks comfortable.
It feels as though he's lost a bit of ground in his training over the past two weeks, but I think he'll get back up to speed in no time. I am just glad his personality is back to normal!