Nakai had a couple days off from Green Lane (I like to give him a day off for every 10-15 miles we do) and I tacked him up last night for a light school in the ring.
Warm up was going great, and I paused to chat with Mechele for a few minutes. After maybe 5-10 minutes I asked Nakai to walk off and trot again. His first couple strides felt fine, but the next few were a series of head-bobbing lameness! I pulled him up quickly and popped off, thoroughly checking his legs. I couldn’t find any swelling, heat, or any other indication of an issue… so I move higher.
His stifles are fine, hamstrings fine… glutes fine… Upon my initial inspection, everything feels relaxed. I can’t find any tightness, knots, or anything that indicated an ouchie. Nakai was weight bearing on all legs. Mechele commented that she thought it was coming from his hind right, so I lunge.
He did not want to move out willingly and was not tracking up on that side. I trotted him down and back and was alerted that he was dropping his right hip noticeably. Mechele trotted him down for me so I could watch – and man, was it obvious! Stripping him of tack found no issues, and I free lunged him for a few more minutes to see if I could ascertain anything else. He started to work out of it after a few minutes of free lunge at the trot, and he willingly cantered, but it didn’t look quite right.
Sigh. What happened, Kai?
He didn’t trip or take a bad step… and now I’m wondering if something is pinched or tweaked. I’m leaning toward this being a muscle issue as he was working out of it after lunging.
I suppose I should be thankful this is actually my first lameness issue with Nakai. He is notoriously sound – he’s the type that will blow an abscess through the hoof wall and never take a lame step. He’ll get a few days off with monitoring to see if it clears up. If it’s not gone by the weekend he’ll get another massage from Maria and a vet call.