The first sign that something is amiss in Henryland is when the quality of his canter goes down the tubes. Normally his canter is his best gait, but as I’ve now learned, as soon as it starts to feel stiff and/or it starts wanting to have 4 beats instead of 3, we have a problem. Typically an SI problem.
This was exactly the issue that prompted me to have his SI done a couple weeks ago. Over the past month or so his canter had gone from stiff to occasionally losing the rhythm to pretty consistently four-beat. No bueno. Looked gross, felt even worse. It makes perfect sense when you think about it… sore SI, no longer wants to sit and push. But mostly I know that his canter is not naturally like that, so as soon as we lose that 3-beat purity, it’s a big red flag. Granted, on a naturally tense horse, it’s sometimes hard to tell which is “sore” stiffness and which is “tense” stiffness.
This week I’ve finally bumped his workload back up to normal, which means adding the canter back in. The difference is night and day; Henry magically has 3 beats again. When I get my new jump saddle (oh hey btw, I did a thing yesterday) I can’t wait to jump him again and see how he feels.
Although on one particularly wild day this past weekend we did jump over a natural ditch in the field a few times and then go for a quick gallop, because you can put the eventer in a dressage saddle for a month, but you can’t really take the eventer spirit away. The lady bits were mostly unscathed, so #noregrets.
Henry still has a couple more weeks of his “lighter” summer schedule before we start ramping back up again to prepare for the fall. Conditioning rides will get longer, lessons will start happening again with some regular frequency, and we have a ride-a-test/jumper rounds weekend on the calendar before I go to Germany. We’re only 2 weeks away from opening date for the first fall show. Finally! Hopefully now he’s back to feeling 100% and ready to cart my butt around some fancy Training courses.