Over the weekend, my friend L came out to the barn with me to do the nightly check and have fun with the barn dogs while I worked Koda. We went out after a day of rain, and the ground was VERY soft so I decided to work in the yard area where the old road used to be (best drainage). I had Koda essentially ready to go, was just running to my truck to grab my bridle when it hit me. No bridle. I had taken my bridle in to clean it after our last ride and completely forgot it by the door at the house! So Koda was put on the lunge line again. I dislike lunging so often during the week, but it was better than nothing, and this time it was eye opening!
We set up a couple low jumps to change the routine up a bit and to have Koda jumping more before the clinic this weekend. Small jumps, nothing over 2' (well, whatever 2 milkcrates stacked together are), just to get him into the groove. I love watching this horse jump. He's so efficient and has a lovely jump, doesn't rush them, doesn't chip, will generally keep himself nice and soft at approach, over, and landing. After a few fences to the right, we switched to the left. At this point I took him off the jumps and just had him on a circle when I noticed it. Koda had a slight shorten of stride on his left front. He wasn't as willing to step up and out in this direction, nor was he happy when I asked/told him too either. I wasn't sure what I was seeing as it was very slight, so I asked L and she saw it as well (yay for fresh eyes!). It was only noticeable when I had him on the circle, when he was on the straight (I lunge him straight over fences so am jogging/running with him) it wasn't noticeable, but when he had to have more weight born on that inside leg, he wouldn't send it as forward.
We stopped the lunge session and went for a cool-out walk along the short back loop trail on the property (also doing fence check as I saw a bear back there the other night). Once we got back, L assisted me in doing some equine massage on Koda. I was lucky enough to find what I think the culprit is quite quickly. A large knot had formed along his left scapula (I think, not as up on my anatomy!) that needed to be massaged out. I did some massage on it, and Koda stood stock still and let me work whereas usually he's trying to graze, look around, fidget, or rub his head on something/someone. After I was done, I put him on the circle again and both L and I saw a positive difference in that he seemed more comfortable reaching out more with that left front.
For this week, Koda is getting plenty of long straight works on the roads or in the field, with massages and stretches after each ride with some liniment on that shoulder. Once he was put away, he went to play with his buddy Cain, so I don't think it's bothering him that badly, thank goodness!
In other news, I checked on the progress of the trailer, and I should have it back in my possession by TOMORROW! HAPPY DAY! I haven't had my trailer since May, so it's about darn time, plus it's another bill to pay that will be taking away from savings for the wedding, but what can you do? Roll with it and keep going :)