First, thanks for all your love and congratulations on our exciting news! Kenny went and bought me a brand new beautiful SUV last weekend so I guess we are well and truly on our way to being in family mode! ;)
Lucy had her first ride on Monday, with Maddy in the saddle. It was fairly chilly, and we had to walk through to the indoor in the pitch black. I am already missing the long summer days! Lucy plodded quietly along the path to the indoor and then lunged without any fuss. The vet wanted her to warm up on a lunge line for at least the first week or so before a rider got on. I don't think I will limit the lunging to just the first week; it is a good way to get her mind in the game, and after a few months of just lunging, she probably equates that to work more than anything else at this point.
After she had gone in both directions at the walk and trot, Maddy got on. Lucy just stood there, half asleep. Maddy started off letting her go in whatever direction she wanted to, as long as she was walking forward. Lucy went to her favourite corner of the ring, where she likes to roll, and I warned Maddy about that once I saw Lu sniffing the ground a bit. I don't think we needed to deal with a rolling incident, especially with her big bulky Western saddle on!
Lucy looked very calm to me, almost weirdly so. But I am happy that she wasn't a freak about going back to work. I didn't expect that out of her but I guess you never know, after the horse hasn't been ridden for six months. The goal for the ride was simply to meander around, long and low, and keep things very very simple. Maddy and Lucy just walked, and only for about ten minutes. Lucy looked a teenie bit short on her right hind leg but did not look distressed at all. I suspect this is a weakness issue, possibly a stifle issue from standing around so much. It didn't get any worse during the ride; in fact she seemed better on it at the end, so I am not worried about that. We called it a night, Maddy hopped off and loosened the cinch, and Lucy got lots of pats and kisses.
Once back at the barn, I put Sore no More on her back and gave her a Stud Muffin. She loves Stud Muffins ;)
Yesterday, Kenny got on her for me and we pretty much had a repeat of Monday's ride. I lunged her first and let her canter once warmed up, too. Her canter looked the best it has to date; absolutely no hesitation behind or swapping off in either direction. Kenny did decide to try a little trot with her but it got tense quickly. Lucy wasn't bad at all, no theatrics or nonsense, but it just was not what I really wanted to see at the trot. The vet stressed that it's very important she remain loose through her topline and keep her head low, and this was not that kind of trot. Kenny gets a bit worried sometimes and tends to pull on Lucy instead of half-halt and release, which quickly becomes a tug-of-war match between him and Lu...not good. I encouraged him to just keep it at the walk for now and we would work up to the trot eventually. He hasn't ridden since last fall, I believe, so I appreciated him being willing to get on her at all.
The good news is that the right hind leg looked almost perfect during Kenny's ride.
I also started casually looking for someone to start riding Lucy a few times a week and help get her going again. It's nervewracking to be opening myself up to a new rider, especially with Lucy coming back from a long break/injury, but I can't expect Maddy to do everything for me ;) she's only got so many hours in a day and she is very busy with work and her own horse, who's doing fabulously under saddle.
Today the weather is making me nervous. We went from high 50's, misty, overcast, etc, to high 80's with oppressive humidity and lots of sun. Lucy has the majority of her winter coat already so I am worried she is going to be hot today, and I'll probably soak her dinner extra well tonight. Horses are an endless source of worries.
I am off to the barn now for her farrier appointment and then she has an acupuncture appointment, too. Tough life!