On Monday I rode by myself and after we cantered, I actually got what I’ve only been able to get previously in lessons: that magic feeling.
On Tuesday I had a lesson. From the first walk around the ring, I could tell PJ felt different. Usually, he leans against the left leg but instead he was leaning against my right leg. He was pretty willing to go forward though, so I continued with my lesson. Barbara thought that he looked like he lacked some of the pizzaz that he normally has and that I was having to do a lot more work to get him to go forward. Actually, he seemed to me to be more forward than normal but if I stopped driving, he did slow down; it was the actual going that was better than it’s been – my efforts to get him going actually paid off instead of feeling like I had a slug.
After my lesson I thought about how PJ was feeling. I did ride later in the day than normal, and maybe he was tired from turnout. Maybe he just woke on the wrong side of the stall. People have off days without anything really wrong with them, and why not horses? I’m still thinking ulcers – the weather has been crazy and maybe it’s affecting him. So the question is should I have continued to ride him even though he felt a little not right (he was perfectly sound)? The work wasn’t half bad, it was just that his reactions to my aids were different than normal. Should Bridget ride him today as she’s scheduled? Should I have the vet out to see it if it ulcers, which are very hard to diagnose? Should I just wait and see as the weather stabilizes how he acts? I sure wish they could talk to us and tell us if something is wrong.