I feel like this is the story of my entire summer.
So, we're back to the drawing board again. I called a different vet and was able to talk to him for a while, get his opinion, etc. I am planning on having him come do another physical exam of Loki and then we'll go from there. Unfortunately right now things are all on hold. Money is tight, tight, tight. Things will get much better once I get Loki moved to my sister's and we'll begin treatment then but it isn't going to be as quick as I'd like. I'll be keeping a good eye on Loki's condition in case things look or feel like they are getting worse but for now he seems really good. We've actually had some really good rides as of late and isn't that the way of things?
I think in some ways the possibility of him having EPM has really changed my approach and thoughts while riding. Now I find myself thinking maybe he is being resistant because he really can't do whatever it is I'm asking. I find myself being ten times more patient than I ever have before and it is amazing what kind of results patience is giving me. We've just done some work on the flat, nothing super exciting but I've just been approaching things differently. For instance we'll spend a much longer time at the walk than we ever have before. I'll just ask him to walk forward and into my hand and then maybe ask for a little shoulder-in or out and we'll just walk and walk until he relaxes and then all the sudden I've got a much more responsive and fluid horse on my hands. Same thing with the trot. I'm continuing to work on NOT using my hands as much as possible and it is really making a difference. But what I'm realizing is it really does take some time for him to warm-up and move forward into my hands. Having patience is making me realize how little patience I had before, if that even makes sense.
Things might not be going according to what I had in mind for this summer but I'm going to continue working on the things we can. I will continue to ride as long as it remains safe and comfortable to do so. The way he feels right now I don't imagine we'll have to stop but if it comes to that then we'll find something else to do. And we'll just adjust the plan. I won't be able to do much jumping when I move him so my new plan is to get our flatwork really, really sorted out. The next time we go to a show, even if it isn't until next spring/summer I don't want to just make it through dressage I want to win the dressage. We'll see how that goes. :)