Well, Day 10 went great. I rode Clifford for an hour and he was just like his old self. I remembered why he earned the nickname “Zoom Zoom”. I was holding him back. A truck went by us up the hill, and he even wanted to chase it like he used to do. It was our best ride in a couple of years.
Yesterday I took him out again. He was a little slower than he was on day 10. He did stubborn tricks of trying to turn around. He was, quite frankly, a brat. He didn’t feel stiff. I think he needs to build up some strength in that leg, and I had read somewhere that the best way to do this is to trot over long distances. So I was asking him to trot a lot.
We had a bad fall while trotting a couple of years ago. It was when he first started having serious problems with the knee. That day, he stumbled, HARD, and I went somersaulting over his head. I hit the ground rolling, thinking for sure he was going to fall or step right on me. But when I looked up, he was standing off to the side. He had avoided me somehow. But I was sore for a few days after that. I have fallen off this horse A LOT over the years and normally I am not worried about it. But this was different. I’ve been really timid about going fast ever since.
But yesterday, I wasn’t worried about it. We trotted. I knew that if he was stiff, I would feel it. His trot has always been rough. He kept doing a little skip-hop type thing, trying to break into a canter. I think a canter might be easier on his knee. And he has always preferred to canter anyway. But I wanted him to stay in a trot.
We went for an hour, mostly at the walk. When we got back, he showed no signs of stiffness or wanting to limp. I have not seen him limp at all now in over ten days.
I am officially at the halfway point of my test run now. So far, so good.