I woke up this morning with a sudden realization...
I mean, sat straight up in bed and went, 'I'll be damned'.
The reason Moon is running better is because of the stifle injections!!!
I didn't magically become that much better of a rider and he didn't just magically decide he wasn't going to dive-bomb the 2nd barrel anymore....
That accounts for the slight hesitancy I'm feeling in him. He's waiting for whatever painful sensation he was having to deal with to hit and it's not coming, so he's just going ahead and gliding into the turn.
What a freaking relief, cause I was starting to think I was crazy all this time when I would try to explain to people his insistence and determination to get right up to that pocket and then just dive out from under me. No matter the training exercises we employed and no matter how much I tried to prepare for it, I pretty much knew it was going to happen during a competitive run.
Wow!!! I can't even tell you how bad I feel for being so resistant these last couple of years to go the injection route. My poor horse!!
I even feel a little bad for myself. All this time I have been beating myself up for not being a good enough rider to 'fix' the problem with any consistency during our runs. Well of course I couldn't fix it...You can't fix something that a horse does when he's doing it to defend himself.
The weird thing is, is Moon has been ultrasounded and flex tested and there is no actual problem with his stifles and it wasn't his hocks...until late last summer, when the hock that wasn't fusing started giving him trouble (and that was the opposite hock...but that makes sense too because he was so insistent about pushing that hip out when he turned left, that he over-worked that hock). He has changed dramatically. Too dramatically for it to be a training/riding issue that became resolved in just a couple of runs (after a couple of years of battling over it!!).
The only other thing that was done was the injections.