I had an … interesting … lesson on Saturday. The first course we jumped actually went really, really well. Eli jumped great, got all leads and I rode enough out of his way to let him do his thing. I was almost tempted to quit on that note.
But come on, Eli needs to be in shape enough physically and mentally that we can ride a few courses on the same day. So we made up another course and it very quickly became a train wreck. Winter/Psychotic Moose Eli started head flipping and shaking, couldn’t turn, even some how cleared one fence jumping from one leg (glad he’s athletic because that was legit terrifying) … what just happened to my horse?
My trainer and I talked it out. The weather was briskly chilly and dry, bright, and windy. We wondered if Eli’s sinus suddenly started bothering him, especially because he kept shaking his head even after I dismounted. We also wondered if perhaps he needs his teeth floated again already. We agreed that although he used to engage in this type of behavior frequently a few years ago, he rarely does it now, so something going on in his head had to be bothering him. We also agreed that his hind end probably felt fine, because even while head-shaking he was doing lead changes when I asked.
The vet is coming on Thursday anyway, so we added Eli to the call to ask about whether there is anything we can do for him on the days when his sinus seems to bug him a lot, and also to check his teeth, especially the one in the lower jaw that’s just below where he had the top tooth pulled.
I have already ordered a nose net and will try it out the next windy & sunny day, but I would like to do more for Eli to keep him comfortable if at all possible.
If his teeth check out okay, we will go ahead and show. If not, we will probably scratch–I don’t think the vet would have time to float his teeth on Thursday and I typically don’t ride the day after dental anyway, so the timing just won’t work out for showing. However, stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment from this weekend, because I am now 98% sure his teeth are still probably okay and it was truly his sinus bothering him.