So... I basically prayed that God would give me a clear sign (And not like... a feeling... like a dream where he basically shouted down... DO NOT SHOW.... or GO, SHOW FORTH! because clearly I don't listen and can't hear). I prayed that I would know and would feel peace about my decision.
Friday I was gone from 7 am to 8 pm as I had continuing education all day and then went and worked on Liz's dog. I had talked myself through a few decisions and had talked to some friends, and had basically landed on.... IF he doesn't move the sticks at all, I would take him and try to show. And yes... I know... why risk it? It's just a schooling show... And some of my friends said that. And there were those voices in the back of my head the entire time. Including mine. But then.. you know me.. I kept arguing... But he wasn't lame. But he didn't move the sticks. But everything else looked good. But it might just be a hematoma. Argh...
So when I got home Friday, he didn't move the sticks. At all. And was maybe a smidge sore, maybe not. It wasn't blatant and wasn't consistent and seemed to resolve with manipulation. So... Saturday morning, he didn't move the sticks. So I loaded him up and picked up Peri and Sunny. We had to go to Jade's first and work on a horse for her, so we did that. Dan and Sunny sat in the trailer and talked smack. :) We got to Chatt about 2 hours before our ride times so we let the boys in their stalls for some water and a pee and got checked in. Then I groomed Dan. Luckily, despite not having a bath he wasn't filthy. Only his feet were, so I spot bathed his feet with green spot remover and a sponge with water. We tacked up and headed down.
Once we hit the busy area.... past the barns and in the area with the office, the bathrooms, the concessions, the vendors, etc... Dan got electrified. He was popping up, dancing, jigging, fishtailing, and basically bouncing!! Peri was a bit ahead of us and I'm not sure if that was it but she either didn't hear me or chose to ignore me and kept walking calmly and politely ahead. I managed to get Dan to the arena and luckily it was just Peri and I in there. I tried to walk him but he was on edge and vibrating so I finally gave in and let him trot. After a few circles of trot he got oxygen to his brain and started cooperating. :) ha! So then I did a bit more walking and then started to warm up. He actually felt really good at first. He was a little bit heavy on the right rein but typically that's the case. We did a good bit of warm up... walking, trotting, leg yielding, lengthenings, canter, canter lengthenings... And then took a little break. I asked Kelli and Katherine and neither said they saw anything. However, the longer I rode, the heavier he got on the right rein. I felt the occasional rein lameness but nothing more. Katherine said she saw the rein lameness on occasion but didn't see anything in the hind end. Great! I'll show. So I warmed up a bit more... and then suddenly.. he got worse and worse. VERY heavy on the right rein and I almost started to feel an actual lameness. It was subtle, but I felt it. Kelli was way off on the hill and chatting so I saw that Diane had stopped warming up for a few minutes. I asked her to watch him go and she said that she saw a very subtle lameness. She said they wouldn't ring me out and she had to look for it, but she did see it. I asked which leg and she said Right. I asked front or back, and she said back. Sigh... So I scratched. I figured that the adrenaline had worn off and now he was sore, whereas in the beginning, it was just an adrenaline rush covering it up.
So... I scratched. I walked around the hills and watched some riders go, let him graze a bit, and did some hill work and our walk work while we waited for Peri's second ride. Then we walked back to the barn. And of course... he still was NOT turning the sticks. Ugh... So frustrating. Maybe I should have ridden. Maybe it is just a hematoma and he was just a little sore. Which... maybe not the fairest of things, but... it wouldn't make him worse. But I am so afraid of having to start all over again....
I don't know. Now I don't know what to do... I really cannot fathom how I'm going to handle walking for 4 more weeks. I'm not sure I can do. I'm not sure Dan can do it. Not when I was expecting to get to start jumping tomorrow. Not when I've been (sort of) patient for 7 months... not when Gibbes is in April and I was so looking forward to it.
So yeah... I just want to go cry