So I avoided posting this, because I'm sure I'm just overreacting and I trust my coach implicitly. None the less here I am.
I bought my lovely mare back in August of 2010, and luckily for me (knock on wood) I have never had an issue since. Until now. We've been training dressage 5 to 6 times a week steadily since, with some breaks here and there. I train with an excellent coach, and the staff at the facility I'm in is fantastic.
On Thursday night I went out to ride. Anyone who rides 5 to 6 nights a week, I would say "knows" their horse, and how they feel on a normal basis. It felt to me as if her rear end was "giving out". Was very different and enough for me to call it quits after 15 minutes of light work/warm up. I had chalked it up to perhaps just a bad day.
I went out last night to see if the issue was still there and upon further investigation noticed that her back seemed extremely sore. I ran my hand down her back and she winced in obvious pain, this was with no pressure. It wasn't so horrible that she seemed super upset by it, but definitely noticeable. You could see there was some discomfort.
Automatically I took her to my coach as she is wonderful at diagnosing this stuff and giving us solid advice that works. She has a small scab on one side on her back, and there are some slight rub marks where the hair is shorter on both sides. My coach obviously noticed the issue and we have laid my mare off for a few days to see how recovery goes. We both agree there is an issue we have to address.
From what we talked about, it could be one of the following:
- Saddle pads
- Rolled over a rock
- General soreness from work
According to the saddle fitter who we use (who is wonderful), the saddle fits her perfectly. We re-stuffed it the last time she was out as it was wearing a bit, but other then that she said it looked great. When my coach and I talked, I took the saddle out with me and we looked at it again and it seemed to fit fine and look ok. That being said, it is a slightly harder saddle.
A few other notes, her blankets just came off and she's naked for the first time all year. I also started noticing her move away from the saddle when I put it on a couple of weeks ago - so my thought that she just rolled over a rock is probably not right unfortunately. It seems as if maybe this issue has been building over time.
As this is the first issue I've ever had with her, I am obviously nervous. Our first show was supposed to be next Sunday. I am more concerned about my mare then I am for the show, but just not sure what to expect over the next few days/during this season now that this issue has cropped up.
Has anybody had previous experience with this and if so, could you perhaps provide some insight? I appreciate all responses in advance.