This whole sore horse and Adequan thing is new to me. I'm not sure what course of action to take.
The vet was out today and give Harry another adjustment. He's getting much better but is still having left hip/right shoulder issues...in that they need adjusting. The Adequan has made a HUGE improvement not only in his riding, but in his general attitude. He's not cranky in pain and doesn't try to bite me when I put the saddle on...something he DID NOT do 5 years ago when I got him but started doing about 12 months ago.
Vet said go ahead and ride, have fun, enjoy him. And he said the his right canter would be his *problem* canter...harder for him. Last time I rode, his left lead canter (sorry I use that instead of the correct *lope*) was smooth as a glider.
We have gone from not being able to made the transition into the canter at all to perfect one way, not quite perfect the other way.
So... would you work him less on his right lead, assuming it's harder or a triffle painful? Like: work left lead, right lead, left lead and not do right lead again? I've never worked with this before and my thinking is that if his right lead is not as smooth because of these problems, then working him more that way won't improve the gait. Yes? No?
He's stepped down to 1 injection weekly for the next month, another chiro adjustment in early February. And we're probably looking at injecting his hocks again around the first of April.
I wouldn't want to put my training regimen into such a tight, constrained box, honestly. I try not to just work on the rail in one direction and then the other, but to change directions frequently and work on whatever it is that seems to need more work on the given day. So I couldn't tell you what percentage of time, for instance, I spent on left lead vs. right lead canter when I rode on Tuesday. I try to keep things interesting, balanced, and basically equal on both reins, but not to the point that I would mathematically think about it in terms of percentages or ratios. I would, however, focus MORE on a problem "side" if the vet told me to specifically work that way. If he said not to worry about it, I wouldn't.
I have a wonderful older TB whose two canter leads pretty much belong to different horses (as do his front feet, and hind feet...). My strategy is to work the walk and the trot very evenly and in whatever way will help him warm up for the canter work, then do the canter work and evaluate it each day. Some days he's great for a few laps in 2-point to the right, other days he feels like he needs my seat and a lot more deliberate leg to get him working and balanced. The left lead is his problem right now, because he picks it up readily but falls out of it. I just try to give him the best overall workout I can and if he's struggling with something that day I go with my gut about whether to work on it, or through it, or move on to something else. It really helps to know your horse well enough to differentiate "I can't today" from "I don't wanna."
Thank you both. I would say he's never a "don't wanna" horse. Even before I realized that he was in so much pain (thought my crappy riding was the problem) he still gave his best and never took it out on me.
That's why I'm not sure what to do. I guess he's not in too much pain or the vet wouldn't have given me the go ahead. I don't want to hurt him.