I guess today is just a scary day. After running into aggressive loose dogs while walking Bombay this morning, I went outside this afternoon to do my homework. My horse trainer wanted me to ride Lostine before our next lesson and let her know how it goes. I've told her about the arthritis in Lostine's joints and her pedal ostitis, but Lostine moves so well from the ground without any lameness that the trainer felt I could still ride her.
So, I caught Lostine, tied her to the trailer, groomed her, and tacked her up. The saddle that fits her best is the heaviest of all my saddles. She was fine until I tried to lead her away from the trailer to the arena. She took a couple of steps forward, got a funny look on her face, took some steps backward, and then all four knees buckled and she started to collapse.
I quickly pulled her head up, but her hind end dropped and she was sitting with her butt on the ground like a dog. She struggled and got her hind end up, but then her front end started to go down again. I pushed her this way and that to get all four legs underneath her, because they were in some unnatural positions. Once she was precariously balanced, I quickly removed the saddle, and then she could stand and walk just fine.
I felt horrible. I don't think there is anything wrong with the saddle fit, so she must have been in pain either from arthritis in her spine or maybe ulcers. The horse trainer tested her out last week because I told her that Lostine was cinchy, but she found no evidence of Lostine being sensitive to having a rope tightened around her girth. She was fine today when I cinched her up, so there was something about the weight of the saddle on her back that caused her enough pain to drop to her knees. I checked the saddle pad and verified that there were no thorns or burrs stuck in it.
I've never seen a horse behave that way. I know she wasn't trying to roll, because the ground was very hard and rocky there. She's such a prima donna that she always has to roll in the perfect spot and prepare it by pawing the sand around. I took her for a short walk after that, and she was droopy, hanging her head low as if someone had just beat her up and she was exhausted. She's not colicking. When I palpitate and pinch her spine, she doesn't react. I almost wonder if something might be going on with her kidneys, so I'm going to watch her more closely to see if she is showing symptoms of something beyond that incident.