Today was a much better than meh day.
Red and I had a nice ride. We did end up doing a bit of trot work, since his walk was very nice and forward. His trot started out a bit slow and stiff, but he quickly loosened up and there were some nice moments of forward, relaxed, stretching down trot. We only trotted about 4 minutes, to back off from the 8 minutes we did yesterday. Tomorrow, if all goes well, we'll do 6 minutes, and then 8 minutes again on Saturday, with a day off on Sunday with some hand walking or walking under saddle. It may be a coincidence, but I started him on aspirin (in the form of Aspirease) again this morning. If his hocks are a bit sore, this may have made a difference.
And speaking of differences, what a difference in Pie. When I went to get him in his stall, he actually came to the door, had his usual big drink, and came willingly out to be groomed. There were no sour looks or ear pinning. I tied him to groom, and he actually seemed OK with the whole thing - no complaints or signs of soreness - he was almost friendly and much more interactive (in a good way) than he's been. His stance was also much better - square behind instead of odd. I had no trouble picking his feet. We had a very nice short walk/trot ride. He trotted willingly. I wouldn't describe his trot as completely normal tracking right - not off so much as weird - I've felt it before and it's hard to describe. We're still waiting for the blood test results.
But he did give me a scare. To groom, I tied him on one side of the aisle. There are large fans in front of the stalls in our aisle. While I was grooming him, I stepped away for a moment, and came back to find Pie chewing. His chewing was a bit exaggerated, and I caught a glimpse of something white in his mouth. I thought maybe it was a piece of cloth from one of the rags hanging on the stall in front of him. I pried open his mouth and reached inside. No - it was the large knob on the end of the plastic beaded fan cord that I'd spotted. He'd pulled the cord off the fan in front of him, and was about to swallow it. I grabbed the knob and pulled - it took some effort to get it out of his mouth - it must have already been part way down his throat. It was about 5 inches of cord, with the knob on the end. Whew! That might have been quite a problem if he'd managed to swallow it.
Oh, Pie . . .