I'm a bit of a horse hypochondriac. I worry so much about 'reading' my horse that I tend to always think he's got something wrong.
Yesterday while I was brushing him, I noticed some bumps on his back. Could be bug bites or could be from the nibbling/grooming he's been getting from his pasture mate. She's currently in season and spends her time nibbling on Licorice and hoping he'll nibble her back. Mares. :)
Then, while I was riding his back legs gave out. This normally happens at least once while we're warming up and sometimes after we have cantered. He's still figuring out how to use his rear end and I'm still figuring out how to help him. However, this time it happened twice in a row at the trot and kind of freaked me out. And his contact was inconsistent, so I worried that he was lame. I cut my ride short since I didn't want to make things worse if he was off and I couldn't tell.
Then, while he's hanging out in the crossties he had one nostril flared and it was just stuck there. Like he had a horsey stroke. It stayed there for a good five minutes, completely flared and wrinkled. Then it went back to normal.
What I want to do is figure out how to get an education on these things. Sure, I can go ask my trainer if he looks okay. I will have her check him over on Wednesday. When I put him back in turn out, he drank some water and ate some hay and looked happy enough so I wasn't concerned about him right then. But what about my education?
I want to know how to tell if a horse is lame. I get it in theory, but I can't actually tell. How do you tell when a horse is sick? Can horses have strokes? How do you tell if it's bug bites or love bites?
Does anyone know where you can get an education on this? I know my trainers will answer my questions when they can, but I also know they don't have time to go over all of this with me and they're usually teaching lessons. I wonder if anyone has come up with an online course about this. Like an online Pony Club course.
I'm off to Google it now.
Also, though I was pondering what life would be like at this barn five minutes from my house, I'm not looking to make a change yet. I think instead I want to focus on my goals of 1. getting off the farm 2. getting outside 3. getting more confident and to do those I don't need to switch homes. And don't tell anyone because I don't want the pressure, but we've started practicing Training Level 2 and might consider showing next year... Streeeeetchy circle!