As of last weekend I had a long happy post in the works, brimming with details about Pokey and our newfound passion for jumping and flatwork, and our hopes and aspirations for the coming year. But then Monday happened.
On Monday afternoon I pulled up to the barn and noted that the top strand of electric rope was broken in the far corner of the pasture. ‘Well that’s weird’, I thought, but chalked it up to a coincidence since the electric rope is repaired in many places. One of the “knots” had probably just come undone.
I retrieved Pokey from the pasture with the intent of heading out on a long trail ride. My daughter was with her father, and I had the whole evening to myself.
We tacked up in record time. I mounted, and we headed down the road. We had barely traversed a quarter of a mile when Pokey tried to break into a trot…and suddenly there was dramatic head bobbing. He only attempted a few steps before coming back down to a walk, but I knew immediately that something was wrong.
I jumped off and asked him to walk around me. He appeared fine. I asked him for a baby trot. 3-legged lame.
I handwalked him home, with my heart feeling like lead in my stomach.
The next day he was slightly better but still off. After doing some research I believe he has a muscle tear in his biceps femoris muscle area, as there is some slight swelling and heat there – although I can also feel an abnormal indentation along his superficial gluteal muscle as well. He is currently very happy and comfortable in the pasture but short strides just a tad at the walk and is still off (though not dramatically) at the trot. I anticipate at least 8 weeks of healing time and will probably give him more to be on the safe side. I have been cold hosing his haunches and leg daily. IF for some reason he doesn’t show improvement in a couple of weeks I will call the vet, but I don’t feel it is necessary at this point as it is pretty clear to me what the problem is and the only real treatment is r&r (and cold hosing for inflammation, though there is very little of that at this point).
I still can’t figure out how he did it – my best guess is that he somehow hurt himself playing and possibly somehow kicked out and got his leg caught in the top strand of the fence. Horses. I mean seriously! I’m glad that it didn’t happen while riding, as I would definitely be beating myself up over it. I’m also mad at myself for not noticing him short striding as soon as I got him from the pasture (though to be fair you really can BARELY tell even when you’re looking for it). In the end, there is nothing I can do and I’m not going to waste time being upset over it. It is what it is and I’m grateful it isn’t more serious!
So instead of riding Pokey, I spent Thursday evening running errands before heading up to the pasture to ride Wings.
I got there right at dusk, but saddled up anyway. As we rode out, I looked up a bright moon with clouds skudding rapidly across its face. It felt surreal. Like I was twirling. Or flying.
We had a good ride. Uneventful, but that’s how I prefer it when riding at night lol. He did spook at the neighbor’a donkeys and at the white lawn chairs by the cabin but whatevs. I am looking forward to another ride on him on Monday.
Being that Wings to date is the most “healthy” of all my horses, I am considering actually moving him closer to me to CS just a 1/2 mile down the road from where I work at SStables. Because a) the board is $75 cheaper, and b) they have JUMPS! I am slightly apprehensive however because it is a fairly big and active barn and there are at least 3 people that board there that I’m not particularly keen on mingling with. However I am the quiet non-confrontational type and I am pretty certain that if I just stick to doing my own thing and avoid getting too chatty with folks, it’ll be ok. If I do move him, it would have to be about mid April so I have a little time. I’m going to call the barn manager tomorrow…we’ll see how it goes!