Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bumpy Road

We're still here! It's just been a bumpy road that's all these past two weeks. So that mystery lameness I was talking about last post? That showed up two weeks ago, and we thought it was just some stiffness due to mud. Well, it hasn't worsened, but it has not been better.

I'd been taking her out every day since that Thursday two weeks ago and letting her stretch her legs put, walk around, and graze. Then I would bring her in, hose her legs off, clean out her hooves, and hand walk her and trot her up and down the concrete barn aisle (yay concrete barn aisles!) which made it a lot easier to hear any oddities of the hoofbeats. There was some slight hesitation on the front left, which corresponded to what I saw. Monday I and my instructor took another look at Miss Greta, and confirmed that there was definitely something wrong with the front left. We believed it could be beginnings of an abcess. Had the farrier look at her hoof, and he said that there was definitely no abcess, no softness, nothing. She was not worsening nor was she three-legged lame, so we did not feel the need to call the vet yet.

So the same routine of taking her out continued up to today. She seemed much better these past two days, so I decided to do some walking under saddle. Today, I took her out, cleaned her off, and hand walked and trotted her, both on the concrete aisle and in the arena. She seemed stiff in the arena, but not lame. So we saddled up and started our walk work. Then she got significantly lamer, but not three legged, but I could feel a stiff jar beneath me and I could see it in the mirror. I got off and hand walked her several times around to see if I could work it off. When I got back on, she felt much better. We got a final opinion from a vet tech out there and the hunter trainer (you guys must be going "why don't you call a vet?" but like I said, she is not in any immediate pain, and just let me continue....)

Both immediately noticed something off on her back right, not just her front left. They felt her back right and it there was some swelling in the tendons below the hock. I felt both bac legs and there was definitely some swelling on the back right. As you can imagine, I felt bad, because I had been focusing on the front so much... then I remembered: I am no expert when it comes to lameness!

She has been compensatiing for the stressed tendon on the back right by applying more pressure on the diagonally opposite hoof, the front left, which left it sore. She will put a significant amount of pressure on her back right, but she tries to not put too much weight on.

It was not visible swelling, but you could feel it, so it was pretty minor. We believe we have it solved: the combination of the new trim (which was also corrective for the conformational fault in her front right where she walks on the outside of the hoof instead of putting even pressure upon it), hoof softness caused by the mud, and the stressed tendon on her back right all mounted up to create some wonky walking!

Wednesday we made arrangements for a stall this coming week, once another horse has moved. Greta will end up next to my friend's lease horse and one of Greta's many favorite geldings out there, a young barrel-racing Quarter horse (ooh, a cowboy!) She will probably be in there for the rest of the winter, until it finally dries up enough that we can put some gravel down in her paddock to hopefully eliminate the mud and keep this from happening again! We well have a few days of no rain, but clouds, and then some days-long drizzle. Mmm, winters in Texas.

Until then, her legs will be cleaned off (I was also complimented how clean I kept her legs, because she should have had scratches by this point!) and hooves cleaned out, and then Absorbine gel put all along the tendons from hock to hoof. And just to quell some of you guys, if things get worse, then out will come the vet! But for now, everything seems to have finally been solved!


  1. Rest, rest, and more rest for tendon injuries. Obviously I understand the situation. Tendon injuries are no joke and I HIGHLY suggest getting someone out to run an ultrasound over it. My last gelding never had any heat, swelling or ANYTHING in his leg to indicate the fact that he has a GIANT hole in his suspensory, and he's quite dead now because of it.

  2. Oh.... really............ well now you have me scared out of my pants. She seems completely sound under saddle, but a vet visit sounds quite probable in the near future. Thank you, really.


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