Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mystery Lameness Post Alert


Today's horse-time started like any other. Bringing Oscar in and exhausting myself before even getting on because he is the dustiest dust-mite ever and no matter how clean he is when I put him away, I bring him in with a dusty grey bum and a mud mask. Grooming is a marathon and never a sprint.

I wrapped him up in his teal Le Mieux polos, which is our equivalent to business socks, and planned to revisit some of the stuff we had worked on with C last year. He even had a hay net today because I needed him to have some sustenance because it was game face schooling. 8m canter circles kinda game face.

We had a super long walk warmup because he was feeling a little tense, before popping into trot.

He just felt a little off.  Not head bobbing lame, but definitely not even. I wondered if he was still a bit muscle sore from hunting despite having a course of bute, numerous back on track therapy sessions, a few days off and liniment washes. So I thought the best thing to do is to keep trotting and see if he warms up out of it. Whilst he never got any better, he didn't get any worse.

I set up my phone on a jump stand and videoed us trotting a circle on both reins. I rewatched the video and he barely looked lame at all unless I squinted my left eye, bit my tongue, tilted my head on a 40 degree angle and had the phone in a specific position. Basically it was near impossible to see any lameness.

So I went out and asked for canter. No response, which in itself is unusual as he's picture perfect upwards transitions. So I jammed on my leg pony clubber style and kept it on for a few canter strides. He felt pretty normal so I took my leg off a little, at which point he just slumped forward into halt. It was so abrupt I almost went over the pommel. From canter to halt in 0.3 seconds. Can your Audi do that?!

That wasn't right. I hopped off, removed the wraps and lunged him. As with the video, I couldn't see anything, but a reluctance to go forward and the tiniest smidge short in the right foreleg. I'm usually pretty spot on with seeing where the soreness is coming from, two years of a farrier apprenticeship and 300 lame horse call outs you get better-than-average at spotting causes of lameness. Whether it's in the shoulder, knee, fetlock or hoof or a tendon. But Oscar had me baffled.



With nothing to go off, except a 99.9% positivity that it's not in the hoof, I just wrapped a polo loosely up past his knee, stuck the hose in the wrap and left him with a hay net for fifteen minutes. I know I said it's not in the hoof, but a bit of a soak never hurt anyone, right? I towel dried it and clay poulticed from fetlock to elbow before turning out. I decided against bute because I didn't want it to mask any improvement or lack thereof. I trotted him up for my BM (we don't actually have barn managers in New Zealand, but it's easier to type than "the lady who owns the stables") and she confirmed he was definitely a little off. Not just imagining things then. 

There is nothing obvious - no heat, no swelling, no cuts or abrasions. The plan is two more days off with a hand walk on each day. If still no improvement then we'll look at professional help. Whether that's a vet, massage therapist, chiro or what I don't know until I have more of an idea what's wrong.

Currently taking suggestions!

Whilst unable to ride the favourite, I had a little play around on PicMonkey making horse memes.



Variations on this one were floating around makeup and fitness pages for ages, so I was surprised nobody had snapped it up for a horse meme already! It's so damn accurate. 

8 comments:

  1. Oh no! :( I'm so sorry, mystery lameness is the worst! Do any muscles feel stiff/sore? Vallu currently looking 'lame' behind because his back and hamstrings are rock solid from 3+ month box rest/no work. Walking in hand is the best idea though. Hope you find it out what it is <3

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    1. Walking in hand is our thing at the moment. Hope Vallu comes sound soon; good that you know what caused it!! Will he go out in turnout now or is it still a bit icky in England? Not exactly the most blessed country in the weather department ;). I'd say the hunt was a bit too much for Oscar - I'm usually a bit precious about how long I ride for so he's probably just paying the price for it. #worstmother.

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  2. Hmm, maybe he just tweaked a muscle? Hopefully nothing too serious! That meme seriously kills me.

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    1. Hahahaha me too it's so accurate, I want all of the tack.
      I so hope it's a tweaked muscle which will heal up tomorrow so we can carry on as normal. Maybe a few days after tomorrow lol.

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  3. Aw boo :( clever idea about the polo wrap for hosing tho! I would have never thought of that....

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    1. Awesome trick! Disperses the cold water all around the leg instead of just where the hose is, also holds the hose in place if your horse is a good tubber and leaves you free to do other things. Like have anxiety over your horse being lame hahaha.

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  4. From everything I've read, if the horse is fine at the walk but weird at the trot/canter, chances are it is medically related and not chiropractic. I would think he just tweaked something and needs a few days off. I hope that is the case anyways!

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    1. I hope so too, your knowledge gives me great hope! Fingers crossed a good massage gets it on the road to recovery!

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