I was expecting her to be somewhat cautious on her feet with the extra weight of a rider and tack, but she went far beyond my expectations. I asked her to walk, and she jigged. I asked her to trot, and she quickly bored of that and wanted to canter. I (reluctantly) asked her to canter, expecting the worst, and she was perfect. If anything, after two laps around the arena she decided it would be fun to try to grab the bit and run (which I didn't allow, of course, although it pleased me). She was wary of the Scary Arena Door moving in the wind, and she was ever-attentive and alert to environmental stimuli.
I was so focused on trying to sense how comfortable she was that I ignored all of her shenanigans, which struck me as ironic later (an uncomfortable Limerick wouldn't spook). In short, Lim was her old self.
After a half hour I jumped off and removed her tack, allowing her to roll in the arena dirt. What a wonderful return to riding! I am hoping to do it again tomorrow night.
Getting up from her roll
"I'm ready to go in and eat dinner now!"
"Why are you standing around the corner?"
I love that nose!
Also, my vet emailed me the radiographs of Lim's fore hooves and here they are. I've included the one taken of her left fore in January 2011 for easy comparison. Overall things look better--the rotation of her coffin bone, P3, (in my opinion) has reduced slightly, and her toe looks much better. It was far too long last year!
The bone remodeling at the tip of P3 looks no different than before, and if you ask me it appears the bone has reinforced itself somewhat there, because if you compare it to the old radiograph, it appears more solid now. But then again, I am not a vet so I am just theorizing here. I know that is still a sensitive part of Lim's foot and we need to be careful to not remove any of the hard-earned sole underneath that bone when her feet are trimmed.
If you look at the radiograph of Lim's right fore, that is how your average, ideal, healthy horse hoof and coffin bone should look. So clearly her left fore has gone through a lot in its lifetime, but those hard years are well behind us. Nevertheless, that will always be an area to pay special attention to.
January 2011, left fore
January 2012, left fore
January 2012, right fore