Bear is trotting out perfectly sound even without Bute this morning. So we'll try the next two days without it and see if he's still good. I am highly suspicious of the vet's diagnosis now. His leg was never locked back like it would be with a locked stifle, and he wasn't taking high kicking steps like if it were catching. He was walking on that toe like couldn't fully step down so it was like something was catching, but I have no idea what. Also he never had any swelling or heat in the stifle area, but he had some swelling across the front of his hock. Who knows… if it happens again, I’ll have the equine sports therapy/chiropractic vet out instead. I should have called him in the first place but I wasn’t thinking straight and just called the general practice vet since that’s the number we have stuck to the fridge.
Anyway, now I’m just thinking about rehab time. He’s been doing about 15 minutes of walking a day, so that’s now bumped up to 20 minutes of walking, and tomorrow we’ll do 25 minutes which will include the big hill. The vet suggested not getting back on until he’s been worked up to 20 minutes of jogging. The trick is going to finding creative ways of slowly bringing him back at the jog when the pasture is too wet, and jogging down the road is just stupid. There a few straight level spots in the pasture where I can trot him out, but they only last about 60 ft! But I guess it’s a start; trot the length walk around and start again. Then I guess I’ll be hauling out to the arena to start some real trot work Saturday and Sunday. It would probably be good for him (and me) if we did some more long-line work, and I never really got to the point where I could drive him at the trot, so that will be the plan. Good for the training, good for the slow conditioning.
Class is still up in the air. It starts in a week, and we’ll at least go to the first one and see what they’ll be doing and how much he’s capable of. I doubt we’ll do any work the first night since we’ll be spending quite a bit of time talking about what the class will cover. So I’m hoping to go a little early and use the arena to get some trot work in. Which would give me a two-week goal to get back on him for the second class. If things are still going well and Bear is sound still after two weeks of conditioning, I think we’ll probably be safe to start back into slow training. Obviously we won't be loping circles anytime soon! I’ll be taking things cautiously, and we might not be keeping up with the class, but I’ve got a feeling that the class will be starting off really slow as well. So far so good! I just have to be really consistent for the next two weeks, let’s hope for no rain!