Sadly, my great riding streak ended in October. I rode on the 1st and 3rd of November but not since. I sorely miss riding but I need to wait a while before I can hop back on Lim.
You see, she had the Perfect Hoof Wear removed on November 4. Later that same day, she developed an abscess in her right fore hoof (possibly caused by running herself silly in turnout after the removal of the PHW--too much, too soon!). Fortunately it was minor and disappeared fairly quick. But that aside, I also get the impression that she is protecting her feet somewhat. I have only seen her trot a couple times--once to free-lunge her after the abscess resolved in order to see how well she moved, and again on Thanksgiving when she was turned out in the outdoor arena while I cleaned her stall. I caught her trotting around and putting on a little show for the pasture horses that were watching her from the fence line, silly girl!
She moved fine, but not with her usual lengthened stride and flair. At her best, her trots are not unlike that of a Standarbred's, or perhaps even a dressage horse in full extended trot. Lim is something to see then, particularly if her tail is flagged.
However, a ride will tell me so much more, and I was debating riding her over this past (Thanksgiving) weekend. But after noticing how tense she was on her left side during a grooming session last week, I decided to put the ride off. Instead, I gave her a massage that very day after grooming, and a second one over the weekend. I will massage her yet again either tonight or tomorrow, and also free-lunge her again tomorrow.
If she isn't tense/sore and she moves okay then a ride will be the definite next step. If she is still tense then I will likely make another chiropractor appointment for her; I can only do so much with massaging. Since she was sore in her right fore hoof, it is not a huge surprise to me that she is now sore on her left side.
It seems like a lot of waiting for a ride, but I have learned that this is the best way--if you want a happy, willing horse then you must not force him or her to ride when they aren't up to it. Your horse is your partner, not your slave.