I know many people, including myself, were expecting to see a complete show recap today.
Surprise! I didn’t go to the show. Or rather, I did, but Foster did not.
Saturday I went out to the barn to prepare, and before giving him a bath I hopped on him. Since the horses had been stuck inside due to rain all day, I gave him a long (10-15 min) walk warmup before asking to trot. Normal trot seemed an impossibility to Foster- instead his options were short choppy pony trot, short choppy up-and-down canter, or walk.
I did what I could to coax him through it, offering stretchy trot and canter, and staying in two-point to get off his back (as much as you can two-point in a dressage saddle, that is).
I gave him a walk break before deciding to try one last thing- sitting. Making my seat as quiet as possible, we trotted around the arena in relative peace. I ended it on a good note and put him up.
All night I wondered what to do, if I should scratch or continue on with the show as planned. As I was giving a ride to the show to a friend as well, I went ahead the next morning and hooked up the trailer.
Sometimes talking through your issues is the best way to bring clarity to the situation. As I consoled the few people there about where or not I should take my (potentially/probably?) ulcery horse to the show, it became obvious- Foster should stay home.
So, my ultra clean, beautifully trimmed horse spent Sunday in the sunshine instead of the dressage court. My friend had an excellent day, scoring a blue ribbon in her second ever dressage test and giving her horse a positive showing experience. I immediately made peace with my decision to leave Foster home and have contacted the vet to get him scoped. My desperate hope is that we will find ulcers and can begin treatment as quickly as possible.