Although I knew by the end of the day (ie. now!) I'd be in agony with my sciatica, I plumped for long-reining Quadi around the woods. It was a perfect sunny afternoon and offered a good chance to see how he is moving.
I didn't put boots on him so that I could observe his gait and footfalls without them. The ground in the forest is forgiving and he wasn't wearing me so he wouldn't have been too encumbered even over stony patches.
And he was a Very Good Boy. A stop or two at some tarpaulin writhing in the breeze but that's allowed :) We tried a couple of trots but he was rather onward bound and I found it hard to walk to his trot speed, and he didn't seem to want to alter the pace any, so mostly we walked briskly.
Jean asked me in the comments yesterday about ulcers.
I am 90% certain he has ulcers. I discussed them with the vet last time he was out. In order to have Quadi scoped he'd have to travel to either Edinburgh or Glasgow (respectively 130 and 150 miles away). Not the end of the world, but my poor pony has had his fill of vet and vet centres and needles and fuss recently, and he's not been bad behaviour-wise, so we haven't travelled him. Whilst scoping is vital to diagnose, we all feel it's too much at the moment for Quadi.
Since we moved yards, his distended tummy has radically subsided. He's on a high-fibre, low calorie and low sugar diet, and I supplement this with Yea-sacc every day. So although I haven't done anything to heal his ulcers (I hope at least) I'm managing the situation.
I had a grand plan to buy a 2-month supply of Gastrogard or other generic ulcer medication this summer to treat him, and then everything we're doing to maintain him at the moment would be good to maintain his hopefully-healed tummy. Sadly this hasn't happened because I've worked 24 days offshore in an eight month period (I expect to work about 180 days in a 12 month period!), so finances won't allow this.
It's another stick I'm beating myself with at the moment. I think about it every time I tack him up. I hope that he's not in pain when I ride him unless he acts up, and when he does I try to avoid a confrontation and diffuse the situation (apart from yesterday, that one got away from me). I'm not 100% convinced he's fully able to engage his abs but he goes so well in the school these days, even better when my friend rides him. I really want to film him working in the school but trying to co-ordinate everyone is tricky.