At least not in ice skating.
This past week was interesting. It's been snowing on and off all week, so I (foolishly) hoped that the snow would provide a nice cover for the glare ice and give us a nice space to ride. And I was sort of right. Tuesday we rode in the front, and Royal was full of beans. He held it together pretty well at the walk as we steadily tramped out a "trail/rail" about the size of a small dressage arena, but as soon as we started to trot, I could feel his life come up and I just let him canter. He was light on his feet and balanced as we scooted around, and still held on to his brain pretty well. We cantered for a while before he dropped back down to the trot, snorting and sighing. Same thing the other way, only he didn't canter as long. He seemed pretty happy for the opportunity to boogie.
Thursday was a different story. I decided to try riding down to the Demonic Barn again, and at first he did very well. There was a truck that seemed very lost as it went up and down the road veeeeeeeeeery ssssssllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwllllllllyyyyyyyyy. Royal is fine with vehicles as long as they behave like normal vehicles, either going normal speed or stopped. The truck creeping past us 3 or 4 times was not normal, and he started to get a bit worried. He snorted a bit at the Demonic Barn and the Sheep of Death, but otherwise behaved himself. However, it was very cold and windy and by the time we got home, Royal was both very cold and cranky and spooky. There was something going on in the neighbor's yard that he did NOT approve of, and he wasn't very interested in eating. I wondered he still had some ticklish feet.
Friday I resolved help him get all his excess energy out. I played with him OnLine, and he was a bit more cautious than usual. I tried playing with him out in the back, but there was still too much ice, so we moved up to the front. The Bloks I had set up in a Weave pattern were still frozen into place, so I ask Royal to do a figure-8 around two of them. It was going fine, until both of Royal hind legs slid out the right in a spectacular fashion and he landed on his butt. He popped right back up and didn't seem any worse for wear, but the session pretty much ended there, apart from asking him to trot around so I could see if he was limping. He wasn't, but I gave him a couple of grams of bute just to be sure.
Yesterday, I rode again and he seemed okay, if stiff. I let him walk for a long time until I could feel him loosen up and start swinging through his back. Trotting also helped quite a bit, but when I asked him to stretch, he was crooked to the left when we went either direction. I just played the Game of Contact and slowly took the contact on the left until he took it. It took some repetition, but by the end, he stretched down evenly on both reins. But this confirms my suspicion that he's due for a chiropractic adjustment. It'll probably have to wait until March or April after he gets his teeth done, but I figured his hips were troubling him this winter when he started resting his right hind a lot. I'll have to get some names from the vet, but we'll get Royal all fixed up.