Malaise.

The chiropractor came out on Sunday, again.  She's pretty thrilled with his progress and was actually pretty pleasant to be around this time.

His pain is consistently moving, though she thinks he'll forever be tender in his sacro-lumbar thoracis something or other.  His back.  His back is ouchie.  His withers were more ouchie than normal.  She thought it was great news that he was being a shit about the left lead, as it proves that he's dynamic and his body is changing.  So, another four weeks.  Oh, and his sit ups have improved - he's lifting more of his back/belly than he was previously.

She gave me a lot of compliments for the amount that I ride him, the fact that I'm actually trying to work him based on what she says (the downward transitions, the varying mounting side, the sit ups), and just my knowledge base.  She said that a lot of her clients lie to her and inflate what they're actually doing, but Archie's body is showing our hard work.

She said that he would either be excellent from all the adjusting, all the new and different adjusting, or he would be an absolute terror.  He was somewhere in between.

I curry his back and then brush his back, then set the Contender on his back.  The first time, the very first time, after about ten minutes his head dropped and he started chewing.  Haven't had as strong of a reaction since.  But I put it on and then I finish the rest of him - currying his neck and legs and belly, brushing all over and removing his fly boots and mask, scratching his face, cleaning his hooves and applying the apple cider vinegar.  And then I finish with the tack.  I go in a clockwise motion when I clean his hooves, right front, right hind, left hind and then left front.  I'm not sure when I started doing that, but it's distinctively me and he's used to it.  Last night, he snatched his left hind out of my grasp and kicked - which has never happened before!  Sure, that's the leg he nutted the farrier with.  But I'm special, dammit!

When I mounted, he didn't want to move forward.  He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the pasture that we ride in.  I pulled a stick off of a tree and gave him one smart little thwack with it and he moved on.  I didn't notice anything super amazing about his walk, except that he was looking at everything.  In the moment that I started to ask him to move forward and to pick up the trot, he wanted to spook at a squirrel.  I popped the little stick so hard on my thigh that it snapped and he immediately shot forward, forgetting el squirrelo.

In the trot, I felt his shoulders shifting more forward.  He felt like he was moving better tracking left but was tight and uncomfortable tracking right.  (I think part of my validity with the chiro is that I've always said his right shoulder feels tight.  After so many visits and having to adjust the damn thing so many times, I think she believes me now.)

CBL was coming to feed as I was finishing up our last few laps tracking right.  I was very old school with my  hands - low and wide and asking for the bend and for him to relax his neck.  Still felt amazing.

She started talking, again, about her damn skinny horse.  She said that she's started feeding him one and a half scoops twice a day and beet pulp three times a day.  She said that he finishes everything she gives him.  I asked why she didn't give him some grain with that third beet pulp feeding.  "You think that'll be okay?"  Well, I absolutely hate that she's giving him sweet feed, Karo syrup and beet pulp.  I think it's sugar overkill. If he were my horse, it would be senior, beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and rice bran oil (or some other fatty oil).  And an oral supplement.  And I'd stop riding him.  She talked about how much energy he has (she fell off last week) and all I could think was that he was cracked out on sugar.  Even geriatrics can have sugar buzzes.

Also, in some Tobacco Road world, her ex-husband accidentally ran over her son's fourteen year old springer.  It was bound to happen.  Both of her dogs wander the street between her properties.  But I couldn't get over her nonchalance about it: the e-vet said that splinting and confinement would repair the fracture.  It's not open, it's not a surgical fix; it's the front leg, below the elbow.  I've seen dogs recover from this fracture a dozen times.  You splint, you give pain medication and you confine.  The splint gets changed every two weeks.  Six weeks later, give or take, your dog is recovered.

I think they euthanized.

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