From Endurance to Dressage
It has been a hot minute since I've had to deal with a wound, injury, or illness. I guess the universe thought I could handle one more thing. Thanks? Fortunately, this go-round doesn't seem bad.
After we got back from Nashville a week ago Tuesday, I headed out to the barn early Wednesday morning to check on my boys. I know them so well that it takes me seconds to spot anything amiss. Right away I noticed a dime sized patch of bare skin just above Izzy's coronary band. I gave it a gentle poked and was a bit concerned at how spongey it felt, but without any oozing, heat, or puffiness, there wasn't much to do other than wait and see.
Each day, I gave it a quick check and a feel. For five days, it did nothing. Then on Monday, the 4th of July to be exact, it burst open and drained. Rather than being upset, I was relieved. Doing nothing usually means a wound is doing something inside which is not usually a good thing. I scrubbed off the discharge and gauged the size of the wound. Happily the worrisome spot was no bigger than a nickel, and things looked pretty good.
As luck would have it, the vet was out that same day for one of the ranch mares who was a bit colicky after the neighbor's fireworks party the night before. He asked how my horses were, and I mentioned that I would be calling the next morning to ask about a small wound Izzy had on his foot. Before he left for the day, Dr. Gonzalez came over and gave the wound a quick glance. He didn't seem too worried about it but suggested I wrap it to keep a summer sore from developing. The Habronema fly has been causing some problems in our neck of the woods.
On Tuesday, the wound looked a little bigger, so I wrapped it. On Wednesday morning, it seemed a bit bigger still, so I put on a different kind of wrap. Yesterday, it had grown to the size of a quarter and was looking much like ground hamburger which is not a healthy look for a wound. Fair warning, the picture below is a teeny bit off putting.
I snapped the photo below and sent it to Dr. Tolley over at Bakersfield Large Animal Hospital. Within twenty minutes he was on the phone giving me his thoughts. He agreed that it was probably some type of abscess. He asked a few questions, but since he knows me so well, he already knew what my answers would be: No, there hadn't been any heat or swelling. No external signs of infection. No loss of appetite. And while I hadn't taken Izzy's temperature, I had considered it, but with zero indicators of a fever, I didn't do it. And finally, no, Izzy was 100% sound. Photo below ...
Dr. Tolley advised me to keep a close eye on it and to keep it clean and wrapped. Wrapping is something I know well. If you want to read about the many types of wraps I know how to do, read how I wrapped Izzy's leg every other day for a year. You'll have to start at the end and click previous to find the beginning of the series, but you might find something useful. I specialize in leg wraps.
Wrapping the coronary band isn't the easiest wrap to do since horses love to chew these off, but it can be done. Over the years, Dr. Tolley's bandaging preferences have changed. Now, instead of Telfa pads soaked in white lotion, he recommends using hydrophilic foam dressing pads soaked in saline. I applied one of those directly over the wound and held it in place with brown gauze. I covered that with vet wrap and topped the whole thing with a bell boot.
Since Izzy is not lame, and since the wound isn't in a place that experiences a lot of movement like a knee or fetlock, Dr. Tolley gave an okay for Izzy to be ridden while it heals. Again, since Dr. Tolley knows me well, he knows that being ridden hinges on how well the wound is healing. If it is not healing or shows signs of worsening, he knows I'll call back and/or take Izzy in to be seen.
Over the weekend, I'll rewrap it, but I'll take step-by-step photos to show how you can wrap a coronary band and get the bandage to stay. Speedy actually had a pretty nasty wound at his coronary band that took months and months to heal. Near the end, I kept it covered with a sock with the toe cut off. Izzy already ate the top of the bell boot above, but since he has done that so many times before, I have ten or more mismatched bell boots that are missing their mates. As he destroys one, I'll just drag out a "new" one. That's why I never toss a lone sock; you never know when you'll need just one!
Now what, indeed.
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%: