After a 22 mile ride, my horse trotted up lame front left. ( He trotted up sound immediately prior to ride.). I am disappointed that neither I nor my accompanying rider picked up signs of lameness en route. At times when on a smooth tarmac surface when horse and rider were set up with intention to track straight ahead, the horse would track right. When he reached right hand edge of road, he would move straight ahead as rider intended.
This 'tracking right' was accompanied by some neck bend and sort of 'looking back' so I thought it signified......'birdie somewhere behind us'.
Now, I'm wondering if this 'tracking right' was provoked by injury (lameness) at front left. Any ideas anyone?
Dr Deb thanks for directing me to a revision of article Woody. As a result I do not need meantime, to further discuss on the public forum, the tracking and lameness issues to which I referred. Your help is much appreciated, best regards from Patrick.
Good, Patrick -- you've seen why the horse got lame, had a tendency to drift, etc. This pattern is EXCEEDINGLY common among enduro horses. Now if you will, please start using the suggestions in 'True Collection' and in 'Woody' to teach the horse to carry himself, and you, straight. This will be a great time for you to focus on the feel that the horse is sending up to you from below.
If I had my way, I would prevent every enduro rider from riding 'out' more than two days per week, spending three days a week in an arena, primarily at a walk, practicing straightening, suppling, and precision. From this, and only from this, comes the easy ability to cause the horse to go round, a postural habit that will protect his soundness and increase his willingness as well as his stamina.
Write back when you've thought on some of these things -- be sure to read 'True Collection' -- and let us know how things are going. -- Dr. Deb