Yesterday, we went on a 15 mile ride. This was our 3rd time doing this particular trail, maybe 4th. We've always gone at a pretty steady pace and although he's been sore a day or two after, he does fine. Yesterday, I went with someone that has a horse that is in excellent condition. They do 25 mile endurance rides and are training for a 50 in June. We were at a steady, brisk pace for most of the ride, with some slow downs. We got off and walked for a little while and when the horses cooled down a bit, we continued on.
On the way back, the other horse was galloping over all the hills (pretty steep). Mine was keeping up with him, although he was starting to trip. Up one hill, he fell and I almost came off. He went down hard on one knee and frantically got up. I could tell he hit pretty hard. We took it really slow the final 3 miles or so and he was walking fine.
One of the ranch workers saw that he was lame last night and the ranch owner buted him. I went to see him today and he has difficulty walking. His left knee is swollen and you can tell he hurts. I feel horrible because I didn't realize that we were over doing it that much. My intuition told me that we needed to relax (which I kept trying to get him to do), but he was eager to keep up with the other horse. I just feel so bad that he's hurting like this. The ranch owner says that on a scale of pain 1-10, he's like a 10. :( She's going to continue buting and he'll be put on rest for quite some time. I'll be bringing carrots everyday and providing many grooming sessions. I just feel so darn bad about this.