... to say the least. Cadence has been in heat this past week, and while she's not overly mare-ish, she still exhibits heightened levels of -erm- tenacity. In addition her back (right loin area primarily, but also some left) has been a little sore, and while I think this has been exacerbated by her heat cycle, it proves that the issue's still there. For example, I can prod her back and not get a reaction, but if I run my fingers (exerting a fair amount of pressure) down her back, the muscle will spasm or in other words it will appear to 'ripple' up her back.
We've also had a decreased desire to stretch under saddle, and the very odd behaviour of her being resistant to transition into the canter, which is extremely abnormal for her. Even when her back was REALLY sore last March, she'd canter off fine. She'd then try to dump you, but the transition itself was never an issue. So for a horse that regularly canters off of outside rein + weight shift (seriously... I can do absolutely nothing with my legs and still successfully aid her) this was a little worrisome. She'll pop nicely into the canter after that first transition, but the first one's been good and awkward for the past few rides. However, tonight she was a lot better and even offered a nice serpentine with simple changes and no crazy grabbiness, so hopefully we're moving past this!
For the past few days, I've been applying an electrical heat pad (that I keep at the barn and use for her back relatively regularly since she's a spoiled pony-face) to her back after our rides. We also do carrot stretches every ride, and on Wednesday or Thursday I added lineament to the mix. I noticed an improvement today, but she still wasn't 100% so I've added Traumeel to the mix and if she's still sore tomorrow, I'll give her a wee bit of bute.
Generally, I'd have the EMT (Equine Massage Therapist) out to 'treat' her, but since she works away from home (like lives in a different city) during the week, she's only available on weekends & we're leaving at 9 tomorrow morning. So that's a no-go.