From Endurance to Dressage
The scab is gone! The scab is gone! Oh, sweet Jesus, the scab is gone! And oddly enough, it fell off on the day of the last update. I think I inadvertently helped it off after all!
It was on Saturday, the day we went out to Summer Lane Farm for the trail ride. When we pulled back into the barn yard, Izzy celebrated our return with some wild cantering, bucking, and general mayhem. I hollered out a friendly hello to him, but I let him be as we unloaded the horses and tack.
I turned Speedy out for a good roll and drink like I always do, and then I puttered around returning all my tack to its rightful place. I set up the sprinklers, sat in the shade for a few minutes checking Facebook, and then went and brought Speedy back to his stall.
When I finally when to get Izzy, a good thirty of forty minutes had passed. Like I always do, I gave his body a visual scan to check for booboos or bites or anything that might need to be doctored. When my eyes landed on his leg, I saw a little blood seepage.
I took him over to the wash rack to hose it clean. After it had softened up a little, I was able to pick off the stuck on dirt and hay to reveal a very different looking wound than the one I had left that morning. While it still doesn't look as good as it did the day the bandages came off, I think this is an improvement.
Now the wound looks bumpy and rough, and it did fill the day after the scab fell off, but by the next day the filling was gone. My guess is that it has another month of healing.
I'll keep you posted.
I haven't done an update in a while because not much has changed. That darn scab is just sitting there stubbornly refusing to fall off!
My vet told me to just leave it alone, but do you know how hard it is not to pick at a scab? Ask a ten year old boy if he can leave a scab alone. That's about how I feel right now.
Since there isn't much that I can do, I've sprayed the wound once or twice with Scarlex, which did nothing but paint his hair red, and I've cold-hosed it trying to loosen the scab a little bit. Each afternoon, I sit and slowly scrape away the edges of the scab, woo-hooing if a bit crumbles off in my hand.
I lead a sad life, obviously.
The good thing is that he's sound, it's just ugly as all get out. And thick. It's got be a solid quarter inch. I tease the edges, but that's it. Here's where it's at lately. Click each photo if you want to study it up close. I do. I zoom that sucker to fill my entire screen looking for any signs of shrinkage.
Don't mistake my theatrics for panic; I am not worried about it all. It will heal. Considering that he tore his leg wide open so that all the inside parts were on the outside, it's not really surprising that it's taking several months to heal.
My plan is for the scab to fall off just about the time we're ready for our first show. I am an optimist after all!
One good thing about being sick was that I didn't agonize about the state of Izzy's leg. At this point, there is nothing more that I can do for the wound other than wait for it to clean itself up.
It's still swollen, although not to the degree it was last week. Dr. Tolley thought it might take three to four weeks for that to resolve. The wound is completely closed, but it does have an ugly scab that looks like it might take a while to fall off. And this is one scab that I don't want to pick at.
The day I took the bandage off, April 11, Izzy's leg looked great. Everything was tight, and the wound was hard and dry. There was a tiny (1/2" x 1/2") section that hadn't epethelialized, but it wasn't enough to have us concerned. Within hours of removing the bandage, the leg swelled up considerably, and the newly healed skin was forced open by the pressure. You can see the blood oozing through the tears in the April 12 photo.
By the next day, the tears had scabbed over, but the leg was still very swollen. Izzy wasn't lame on it exactly, but it was obvious that he was uncomfortable. I didn't get to see it again until the 19th.
By Sunday, more than half of the filling had subsided. The back of the leg is now clean and tight. The swelling is centered over the large scab. There is no more oozing and the scab is hard and thick. I brushed the wound throughly with a soft brush to remove any loose debris. There was no sensitivity at all.
I rode him on Sunday at a walk. He showed no sensitivity or tenderness. For so many months I waited for the wound to close. Now, I just need to wait for the scab to dry up and fall off. Dr. Tolley feels that the scarring should be minimal, but it will probably take the better part of a year to get to that point.
I'll keep you posted!
I took the bandage off and four hours later it was quite swollen and blood was oozing. I rinsed it clean and hand walked him for a few minutes, but there didn't appear to be any new scrapes or cuts. It was just bleeding from the very small part that had not yet closed. I rechecked it before bed - no change.
The next morning it was still quite swollen and seeping blood. I couldn't find any new trauma, and he wasn't lame, but it's definitely annoying him.
I am not a vet, but I imagine that this is what happens when you remove a pressure bandage after fourteen weeks. Rather than panic, I cold hosed the leg for ten minutes and hand walked him for fifteen. I rode him for less than ten minutes, at a walk, gave the wound another coat of Aluspray, and finished off his day with two grams of Bute.
I'll call the vet today, but I don't think there's much else to do other than re-wrap it which I'd rather not do. I think the swelling will just work itself out with light exercise, and the oozing blood will stop when there is less pressure from the swelling.
And this too shall pass ...
I might be exaggerating slightly; it would be better to say I have Good News! Izzy's bandage has been permanently removed!
I have started a video of still shots that shows the wound's progression, but I want to add more photos of the wound as it shrinks and tightens up. The video should be ready in a few weeks. For now, here's a first, next, and last sequence spaced about six weeks apart.
If you missed what happened, you can read the story here. Or, you can read all of the posts in my "By Topic" section by going over there on the right hand side (scroll down) and click "Izzy's Leg."
When the bandage came off, I brushed the area clean and applied an aerosol bandage with the Aluspray. This is weird stuff! Dr. Tolley said I'd probably only need one application, and frankly, I think he only had me do it to wean me off the bandage. It would have been hard to go from multiple bandage layers to just seeing a naked leg!
When I sprayed it on, it looked like molten metal adhering to Izzy's leg. It felt strange putting him away for the afternoon without a bandage on his leg. That's okay though, I'll take weird over bandaging any day!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
8/7-8 SCEC (***)
10/30-31 SCEC (***)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
6/26-27 SCEC (***)
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read