From Endurance to Dressage
Medical Kit & Abscesses
Speedy's abscess is still going. Over the weekend, he seemed a wee bit worse, so I used my hoof testers on the good hoof just for comparison. Fortunately, there was zero response no matter how hard I squeezed. And since that foot is standing on wet ground all day, it's pretty soft right now. It's so soft that his sole flexes easily when I squeeze with the hoof testers. He's lame, but it's not on his right foot.
I pulled the poultice off the left foot and put the hoof testers on; he gave a hard jerk and glared at me. The abscess on which I used the poultice is on the lateral bar, the side farthest from his body. Since his hoof was still warm to the touch, I decided to check the medial side, and he jerked back even harder. Hmmm ... that means he has more than one abscess, or the offending gravel is on the move. Even though I know it hurt, I poked around on the medial bar with my hoof knife until I found the track line. The problem with Numotizine is that it hardens the hoof making it harder to dig out the sole.
I dug out as much as I could, which wasn't much, but after rewrapping, Speedy seemed less lame than before. That suggests that I was able to relieve some of the pressure. The video below is after poking around and finding the second abscess.
Since several people have recently asked me about abscesses and other injuries, I decided to give my vet kit a quick once over. While I was doing that, I stopped to take some pictures in case anyone wanted to know what sort of veterinarian supplies are good to have on hand. A lot of my horse care items, things like shampoos, large canisters of goop, and other things that I use regularly live in open bins. The more technical or sensitive stuff lives in a two-drawer, plastic storage unit.
Next to the storage unit is my "backstock" - things that I stock up on and keep in reserve: clean towels, extra vet wrap, a spare tub of Numotizine, rolls of duct tape stored in a plastic bag, another bag containing extra catheter syringes, my stethoscope, and a cutting board for cutting apples or pills.
The top drawer contains loose items like scissors, hoof knife & hoof pick, Neomycin, saline, q-tips, and mini irrigation syringes. A second container with a lid holds very sensitive things like Banamine, Dormosedan gel, Bute, syringes and needles, eucalyptus oil, injectable ace, digital thermometer, and a few other prescription drugs.
The bottom drawer is reserved for bandaging materials. I always keep a good supply of Telfa pads, hydrophilic foam pads, cotton rolls, square gauze, brown gauze rolls, and of course vet wrap.
Over the past 40 years - how has it been that long?, my horses have had just about every horrible injury or illness you can imagine. During that time, I have learned from experience which items should be kept in my medical kit, but I only keep things that I am 100% confident in using or administering. I have no problem doing intramuscular (IM) injections, but I am not doing intravenous injections (IV). I also only keep and administer things that my vet recommends. There are some drugs that even though I have on hand, I will only use after a consultation with my vet. Banamine is one of those drugs.
Owning horses means that things are eventually going to go south. It's a lot less scary if you have a way to do some quick triage. It will also help your vet if you are able to relay your horse's vitals: heart rate, temperature, and gut sounds. Being able to stanch the flow of blood or wrap a wound after an injury without a frantic run to the vet for supplies will also keep you calmer in a crisis. I am always thinking of new things to add, and unfortunately, every time there's a new kind of injury, I find yet another tub or tube to add to my medical kit. Most of these things are fairly inexpensive, so when it comes to pharmaceuticals, I'd rather have them on hand and not need them than need them and not have them.
Better safe than sorry is my motto.
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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
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: