From Endurance to Dressage
Ha ha, I crack myself up; foot footage. That's as good as a movement movie. I wish I had thought to take a video clip when Speedy was really lame, because after watching this clip, you're going to wonder why all of the fuss. I am beginning to wonder myself.
The whole thing started four weeks ago with an overnight lameness. He was sound when he went to bed, and dead lame the next morning. After a chiropractic visit, he was again sound by Friday only to turn up dead lame again on the weekend. We went through that cycle for three weeks: he would get sound by Friday, only to be dead lame by Saturday. We took him to the vet last Monday where he presented quite lame. By Tuesday he looked nearly sound, and by this weekend, he looked like this.
I've already shared the vet's diagnosis: abscess, bone bruise, or damage to the collateral ligament. It has always felt like an abscess to me, but there is no tell-tale "blowout" to prove it. Until I know otherwise, I am treating it like a collateral ligament injury.
Since returning from the vet, he hasn't shown that horrible degree of lameness that the vet saw. To me, he looks a little bit sore on the right front, but nothing like it was. And so far, he hasn't returned to the pattern of repeated lameness by the weekend, which was such a baffling phenomenon. What would cause a horse to cycle through a lameness so predictably?
I've closed off his stall so that he can't access his "outside" paddock, which has limited how much he can move around. I've also been hand walking him daily, which I was doing even before the vet visit. He is also on a tablespoon of aspirin daily.
I can't imagine that those few changes are enough to help a collateral ligament settle down. If I am wrong please let me know! I just hate wasting 6 months of time if this really has nothing to do with a soft tissue injury. I am not in a rush if it is, but I sure wish I had a cheaper way to know for sure (the $2800 MRI was just too expensive for this girl).
Until something confirms an abscess, Speedy is on a diet of daily hand walking (5 weeks to go), aspirin (3 weeks to go), and lots of scratches in all the right places (no end date).
2/18/2014 07:50:45 am
It is. I promise. This is why they turn completely chronic- because they settle down quickly and people put them back to work. It only takes one wrong step to "tweak" and re-injure. Some people mess around with these for months or even years before laying the horse off. Don't be that guy ;-) Hang in there!
2/18/2014 09:54:08 am
THANK YOU! I have been DYING to talk this over with someone. I should have thought of you right away. :0)
2/18/2014 11:25:17 am
The ones that stand out to me are the on again/off again lamenesses that people usually mess around with for a season or so before realize it's something serious. My heart sank when you said that was the diagnosis because I've seen it be so chronic, but when I started thinking about it the chronic ones were the ones they didn't/wouldn't lay-off for longer than a couple months. I would say if you are seriously set against the lay up, pony up the cash for the MRI to confirm. Otherwise, stick with it, sister! Oh and I totally agree with keeping him shod for stability to that ligament. Stay positive, Sydney obviously needs the work, and maybe you can find a schoolmaster to ride every so often to keep up with the "real" dressage. Let me know if you need anything! xoxo
2/22/2014 02:51:13 am
Found you via Annette Mickelson's blog. Had a similar right front lameness pattern with my mare - if you can do the drive, Dr. Martinelli in San Marcos is $1750 for an MRI. Did that, a bone scan and found out not collateral ligament but inflammation in the coffin bone. Tilden injection and we are back to work, up to 3 min of cantering each direction! Well worth the $ - my total bill was $2850. I was looking at a nine month layup - worth the price to know EXACTLY what you are dealing with! Good luck!
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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 the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
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Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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