I clipped the lunge line on and took her into the indoor, where I had her walk in both directions for a good 10 minutes. I then asked her to do lots of walk-trot transitions on the lunge, just to get her blood pumping. If it was just a little inflammation from the sore, it should go down with movement.
After 20 minutes, there was no change in the leg. She had a slight head bob that was barely noticeable-mostly when she was doing a down transition if she rushed into it. I asked her to canter a half circle in each direction, then more walk-trot. No change in her lameness, but after another 10 minutes of mostly trotting, the swelling had not decreased. It had not gotten worse, but I still couldn't see the tendons on the outside of that leg, and honestly, if it had been swelling from her sore, I would have expected her pastern to be swollen too-it wasn't. The leg was really hot. She flinched a little initially when I palpated the tendons on the leg, but of course with all that swelling, palpation would be uncomfortable regardless.
Telling the alarm bells in my head to shut up, I took Lily out of the arena. Sally had arrived and just finished soaking Jezebel's foot when I was done in the indoor, so we took the mares out and hand grazed them for over an hour while we talked. The girls enjoyed the socializing. Afterwards we put them together in the indoor, since everyone had pretty much left for the day, and let them wander around.
|Jez has the pink halter with pink fuzzies, Lily is the one on the right.|
|"Do you have treats for us?" If Lily didn't have the white on her face, they would totally look like twins. They are probably related through Lily's TB bloodlines. Same white coronet and white pastern in front, opposite white socks in the back.|
I eventually brought Lily back in to soak her hoof in the wash stall, and for good measure, decided to ice the leg as well while we were at it. Just because I didn't like all of that swelling. I wanted to see what would happen.
|Being a fidgety brat! I had to re-fill the soaking boot twice...|
After about 5 more minutes, I took Lily to the cross ties in front of her stall, and removed the ice boot. It revealed a nice tight leg, with two 1" diameter bumps right above her fetlock, on the outside of her leg, right over her tendons. I almost sat down and cried. This wasn't just the bruise bothering her.
|You can clearly see the bumps-the light was shining on them!|
I called BQ and told them what I'd discovered. She immediately came down the stairs with John, her significant other and the barn owner (he is also a very knowledgeable horseman). I showed them what was going on with Lily's leg, and they both felt the lumps. Both of them thought this was a windpuff, but given the acute presentation and the fact that it was only on the outside of a front leg, they both agreed that it would have been caused by a strain. We decided to keep her on stall rest, ice the leg twice more tonight (BQ would take care of this), and apply Surpass and wrap the leg later that night (BQ would also do this).
Today when I arrived at the barn, Lily was pacing and fidgeting in her stall. Her legs were still wrapped. I removed the bandages, and discovered a nice smooth, tight leg. We walked in the outdoor arena for about 15 minutes, and I was happy to see that the leg didn't re-fill.
|You can barely see the bump.|
After that, I put her in the wash stall to soak her hoof, and removed the ice boot. Sally arrived as I was finishing soaking, and we let the girls wander around together in the indoor again. This time, however, they were more about getting in trouble and trotting around, so we ended up taking them out. With BQ's permission, I temporarily put Lily in one of the giant stalls by the indoor, next to Murmur, one of the horses who's been laid up for the past 6 months due to double soft tissue injuries on the same leg. In the presence of another horse, Lily remained calm in the stall, and dug into the hay. I put the ice boot back on and went to find Sally and Heather.
They were in the outdoor, and Heather was talking about setting up a jump course. When the arena was dragged on Friday, all of the jumps had been removed, so we had a clean canvas to work with. Heather had some really cool ideas, and I added more to her ideas. We then got to work setting up jumps. We had a really good time, and this was the end result:
The same jump combination set up for the last 6 months in the outdoor. A bounce, and 2 single fences. We decided to change it up.
We used most of the standards and most of the poles available. It took the 3 of us an hour or so to get it finished. We deliberately used the wing standards, and made some interesting combinations (like the cross rail with the log underneath and the oxer with the hanging tires) that would be a good desensitizing experience for the horses, and also difficult to re-arrange by yourself!
|The oxer was one of my favorites. About 2'3" at the most, but set about 2' wide, and made wider by the hanging tires. Heather set the inflatable snake up on the standard on purpose, to make it even scarier.|
|Trot poles, set up as cavaletti. This was what I was talking about at the clinic.|
We had fun setting up those jumps. I hadn't done that in a long time! The striding and organization of the jumps was made to be challenging. This is a classical, challenging jumper course that demands a good amount of athleticism from both horse and rider. It almost made me want to get back into a jumping.
I let Lily's leg rest while we put up the course, and then iced it again while Sally and I sat down to watch Heather jump. Nate made the course look easy as pie. Heather trotted him in to most of the fences, but cantered between lines, then brought Nate back to a trot after the combinations. He used to be a monumental fence rusher. Not anymore!
Afterwards, I wrapped Lily's front legs again, applying Surpass once more to the spot above her fetlock where the bumps were yesterday. We'll see how it looks tomorrow.