For the last few days I have felt like a bad horse mom. I remedied that today, somewhat.
I rode Tuesday and Thursday, but both days I decided to skip the tack cleaning so I could run home and have dinner with my husband and the girls. I know, I know... I didn't clean my tack! *GASP!* I know most people don't clean their tack after every ride, and I didn't used to either. But now that I've been doing it every day it seems wrong somehow not to clean it. My trainer says it feels to her like putting on dirty underwear. I don't think it's that gross, but it's so much nicer to grab clean tack out of the locker than to see reins with dirty sweat marks or bits with nasty grime on them.
So today after my ride I scrubbed my tack clean while I thought about what I was going to do with my horse. You see, his leg had some filling in it today. It went down after the ride like it usually does, but this is exactly what happened last time I started cantering him again after time off. I've only cantered him twice before today, and only two laps in each direction.
Despite the swelling I decided to ride today, but I decreased the number of trot laps from 6 to 4 in each direction and cantered 2 laps each direction. We're still not doing any circles, lateral work, or anything hard. Just lots of straight lines and no tight turns. You wouldn't think that cantering would put that much more stress on the knee, but apparently it does. It must or I wouldn't get swelling every time I try and canter.
Maybe it's the way he's landing on it. I'm thinking maybe if I do canter I should just canter to the right for awhile. That way he won't ever be putting all his weight on the left front, because in the canter to the right the left front and right hind share the weight much like they do in the trot. However in the turns cantering to the right will increase the pressure on the inside of the left knee where the injury is, and I don't really want to do that. What to do, what to do.
I put some anti-inflammatory cream on his knee and called the vet, who hasn't called me back. So, while I might have clean tack, but I also might have broken my horse again by cantering him too soon. Or the wrong direction. Or, something else.