Ok, so I've gotten out to ride a few times now since the boots arrived last weekend.
After the boots got here and he went out galloping he was really calm so I just did a quick wtc test to see where he's at. Some stiffness through the shoulders, hip, and back. Boy friend got on and walked him around for fun.
I think that on that saturday, the first day with the boots, he bucked and threw his hip out. He won't left lead canter, and has some tender and soreness in the hip on both sides. He did this after the chiropractor came and I let him out too, bucked and out went the hip... It did go back on it's own with stretching and light exercises.
The other thing is that when he got adjusted I heard his hip popping while she adjusted it. I think there's some scar tissue and damage in his hips that's aiding the problem. It's not a huge deal, I think he will work out of it, especially if I start doing some hills and cavaletti. I don't think his adjustments will hold without me getting him some strength first. He's got it in his topline a bit better, but his rump needs it more now.
That aside, I've taken him out riding 3 times to see what I have.
I took him out once when a horse in the arena over bucked their rider off and galloped around and Diablo just watched and worked. He was a little concerned, but so was I. Nothing noteworthy though. Walking and trotting was fine, cantering was fine on the right, but again no left. I trotted him in and out a half cross rail twice, which he hoped over like a real jump.
Next time we went in the covered arena were there were 2 or 3 other people. They also store hay in there so there was a bit of hay moving going on too. He got startled a few times, but for him that's a sudden stop and neck jerk up, and that's it for his spook. Did a lot of walking and trotting. I did some circles and serpentine and sitting trot. He slows really well within his gaits and maintains them without constant or even intermittent asking. He was still stiff but I can feel more now where he is being stiff. Circling to the right he throws his left shoulder and hip out, circling to the right he is okay. Started going on the bit on his own with the kimberwick. The rein is on the top slot, so it's more of the chain action for slowing than the leverage, though there is a very mild amount of leverage there.
Next time I took him out there were 5-6 people in the covered arena and the olympic dressage lady had her court set up and was schooling horses and all her crew were out schooling too, so it was a bit too much juggling them and the other people just riding for leisure. Diablo did ok, but he was telling me it was a lot for him. He was shaking his head a bit by the gate and hay area, and when other horses got too close. He also got a little upset when someone came cantering up behind him, which will need to be addressed in the future. I just did walking and trotting and did leg yields on and off the rail since there wasn't much space for anything more.
After that he went out on pasture and just decided to play and stand by the gate rather than eat. He was on pasture before and didn't eat much grass and looked kinda thin but okay. We are trying to put him out on pasture again, now that his feet are doing better, and it's a bit of an affordability thing. At this facility though, if something's not right they can accommodate us, unlike the other barn where Dodge still is. Anyway, we want him to eat grass before he goes out, and he isn't doing that in the small paddocks, so I will likely have to hand graze him, or something else, cause I don't really have time to hand graze him for 4 hours a day after work...
Been giving him some massages and stretching him out which is improving the hip, and riding isn't hurting so were doing that. I want to let him out to turn out but I'm a bit worried that his bucking will undo the stretching, massaging, and targeted exercising. Right now when he's bucking its only with one leg out because of the hip thing. I think I will just focus on the balance between mental and physical health for him.
Lastly the plan I had originally hoped to follow will be adjusted a bit since there's so many people using the arenas all the time, I can't really train him how I imagined. I'd need an arena to myself to have focused and carefree training. Not gonna happen, but not bad either. Last time I rode him he was going down and on the bit too much. Great he wants to go on it on his own, but he's not flexing quite right so might need to back to the drawing board to look at bits and lateral softening, rather than vertical softening and stopping.
I have some pics I will try to post here too.