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Wizard Ride 339: Grounded

March 5, 2012

Happy Wizard

Unhappy Wizard

Wednesday, 2/29/12

The photos really say it all. I asked my trusted friend to ride Wizard so I could watch his reactions from the ground. My friend is a tactful and smart rider, so she was a perfect candidate. She also weighs less than I do, and I was curious if rider weight had anything to do with Wizard’s issues. Turns out, weight has nothing to do with it.

She mounted up, and Wizard stood quietly as usual, and then did his stomping and ear pinning routine as soon as they started walking. He then stopped and they did some walking to warm up and began trot work. When she first asked for the trot, he bounced into a canter and then came back to a trot. For almost every upward transition, he returned to the ear pinning and tail swishing. If she kept him at the same speed, he was fine for the most part. She rode him on big circles and did some serpentine work. A few times, she got him nice and relaxed and I saw his stride lengthen and he sought contact with the reins. They make a nice pair.

Once she had a good feel for him, she asked for a canter. She sat up and was very soft on the reins, and I got a good look at his reaction to the canter. To the left, he was swishing and kicking and bouncing, but was additionally hauling on her hands to the right. She had to take him in on a smaller circle to get him to slow down for her, and he was bounding and hopping the whole time. It’s nice to have brave friends like her :^)

The more I saw his reactions, the more I’m thinking he has SI joint issues. This was the first thing I thought he had in the very beginning, but never wanted to do injections. Wizard will be done with his Lyme Disease treatment at the end of March/early April. In the meantime, I’ll keep him fit with longeing and maybe occasional rides. Since he’s comfortable at the same pace, I think we can do some really steady and long and low trot work while we wait. He’s perfectly sound and he’s the picture of health at the moment, so I want to keep him fit and happy. And then it sounds like we’ll be making another call to the vet. $$$$$

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