Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lame Pony


So, vet visit. Interestingly, her hind leg is fine. Nothing big with it. The lameness is, oddly enough, in her right foreleg. I find it hard to imagine that it's a coincidence that it occurred at the same time as her injury, but she did have five days off after Lily Glen and since she was only walking during that time - she's still sound at the walk - I may not have noticed.


Diagnostics suck, basically. There's no really good way to know what it is. He did a nerve block on the foot and her head-bobbing went completely away, so that means it's somewhere in there. Could be any number of things. For now, the course of action is two weeks of anti-inflammatories (2g bute per day) plus antibiotics to help with the wound on the hind leg, then re-evaluate. Ideally, the lameness goes away over those two weeks and doesn't come back.

If it doesn't go away, then we get into x-rays and the like, which both I and my wallet are really hoping to avoid. Especially after today's vet bill. Still, if she needs it, she needs it.

Needless to say, I will no longer be riding Pandora in next weekend's eventing camp at Inavale or at my rating two weeks after that. Thankfully, I am lucky to have a quality backup horse with McKinna. She's a little out of shape now, but she's a sensible, tough, sane little mare and I know she won't have any problem with the curveball. I rode her last night, not suspecting she'd need to become my primary mount for a little while, and she was great.

So, meh. I'm bummed, and I just want my girl to feel better - though she still seems perfectly cheerful for the most part. I have no plans after my rating, so I'm comfortable giving her as much time off as she needs. I was planning to wind down in September and give her an easy schedule until January, but if the wind-down time needs to start now and we start back up again a little earlier, I'm okay with that. She is only 7 and we'll have a lot of good years together.

It is odd to think that just two weeks ago she and I were such a powerful, athletic team. We were galloping together, jumping fences almost 3', having a great time. I was so in touch with the power she had, the way she opened up her stride at bigger fences, the way she wanted to really let loose when galloping in the open. And now she's banned from any sort of exercise for the next few weeks.

So, she's banished from the big pasture to a paddock - too much of a risk of the other horses getting her riled up if she stays in the pasture. McKinna of course is coming with her, and as for me, as long as the words "stall rest" don't cross the vet's lips I'm okay with it. She'll stay mellow in the paddocks, the walking will probably be good, and she'll be happy. We've got peppermints and apple sauce and molasses to make sure she gets all the powdered antibiotics and bute, and I've got a great second horse so at least my next couple events aren't ruined.

I'm still disappointed, of course. She's so fun - we were making so much progress - but I just have to keep telling myself that it's a small setback, we'll work through it one day at a time, and it won't be long before I'm riding her again.

Sorry for such a downer post. Like I said, got plenty more in the works, but I just wanted to let you guys know how today went.

Hope everything is going a little better for you guys!


Leah Fry said...

Hope whatever it is isn't serious and heals quickly. Lucky you have McKinna.

Meghan said...

I just had a barefoot trimmer and an equine massage/physical therapist look at my little paint mare, Sofie, and it turns out that the soles of her feet are very, very thin, which explains a LOT (her being calm and moving relaxed and loose at the walk but getting tense at the trot, her tendency to rush, her sometimes iffy attitude, etc.). I was told not to ride her for at least a month, and no longeing, either, because circles are bad for her feet and body at this point. So I'm going out to the barn three times a week to massage her and handwalk her for an hour. On top of her foot issues, the last time I rode her she slipped on some manure at the canter, so now she has soreness in her hind end, too.

Fortunately I've got some knowledgeable experts working on her who care enough about Sofie to lower their prices so we can actually afford to do the right thing for our horse. I feel really bad about riding her for three months while her feet were so screwed up, but I didn't thought her issues were due to rough handling in the past, or trouble adjusting to dressage training after just being a trail horse, and the farrier who was trimming her feet never mentioned that she had a problem (I'm NEVER using a conventional farrier again...ugh). But considering all her issues, she's a really sweet horse, and she HAS managed to learn some basic dressage-type stuff (and that's without the help of a trainer). So I'm looking forward to having a really nice little mare once she feels better and I get the "go ahead" to start riding again.

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