Between weekends away and Prairie's damned footiness, I've been missing my rides on the Big Mare. I've caught rides on a few other beasts in the meantime but it's not the same and she's looking so fabulous with a freshly pulled mane, sleek summer coat and all her muscly goodness that I've been just itching to get back to work.
As it turned out my vet saw my farrier in between me freaking out about Prairie being sore and having my farrier out to take a peek. They are both (thankfully) massive hoof nerds so I was pleased to hear they had an extended conversation about Prairie, how her body has developed, the history of her feet etc, prior to Mr Farrier showing up at 7:30 (cough, gasp) on Saturday morning.
We chatted a bit and I made the call to tack on shoes up front. I know that I could have made do without them and tested my mettle in terms of managing her bare hooves myself, but since my vet is 2 hours away and I don't have great local support (aside from emergency stuff) the paranoid "don't-break-your-horse" voice came out and I took the perceived safe road.
On a positive note, Mr. Farrier was super impressed with Prarie's feet and how I've been trimming. I'm always a little apprehensive to have professionals evaluate my work, (eager for the feedback, but nervous I've been doing something obviously moronic..) So I was particularly relieved to hear that I got a passing grade. In fact, Mr. Farrier didn't even touch her hinds saying "they looked great" and there was nothing to correct. (two gold stars for me, woo!).
I am feeling small pangs of guilt for shoeing her pretty front feet, but the fact that she immediately trotted of without any wincing or ouchy-faces made me feel better.
For a while.
I did throw polo wraps on the mare just in case she whacked her legs while she adjusted to her shoes in turnout while I made grain baggies and puttered around the barn. Then I brought Prair in to groom her and fuss a bit before turning her out for one last hour of freedom before coming in for dinner. But I forgot to re-boot/re-wrap when I put her out.
Cue text from S when she brought Prairie in for the night saying, "Prair has a small nick on the inside of her RF. Doesn't look bad but I cleaned it and put some goo on just to be safe."
I immediately scolded myself for forgetting to put some sort of leg protection back on but didn't think much else about it.
Until the next morning when I got a picture of said small cut and the extremely puffy leg to go along with it.
You'll note that you cannot see the nick. That is because the nick is very TINY. I asked S if it was possible the nick was really a puncture, but S was pretty sure it was not. She hand walked Prair for a few minutes, noted that Prairie wasn't off (yet) and that much of the fill dissipated pretty quickly. Both reassuring things.
The mare got a support wrap put on and was put in a small (dry) paddock until I got there a few hours later.
When I pulled the wrap, the leg was nearly back to normal. I jogged Prairie out and could barely see any favoring but I still cold hosed and scrubbed the leg. Just to be OCD I clipped the hair around the scrape and did a pretty thorough examination (complete with flashlights) to help rule out any puncture point or splinter/foreign matter that could be contributing to the swelling.
Good News: No sign of anything shoved up her leg. Also, scrape is in the middle of the inside of her leg, no where near her susepnsory (you might remember when P whacked her leg and managed to bruise said suspensory...leading to lots of ultrasounding and lots of time off).
I opted to tack up and go for a light hack vowing to get off immediately if I felt any increased pain on that leg. Prair felt even, so we had a nice W/T/C (outside no less!) until some asshole on a dirt bike started SCREAMING by back and forth on the road popping wheelies which sent all the horses into outer space. There's a special place in hell for morons who do such things on public roads, especially in FULL VIEW of an arena with multiple horses freaking out including lesson ponies and small kids. But I digress...
I shoved some bute (again) down her gullet and left a standing wrap on overnight. I'm hoping that when I get out there today the heat and swelling hasn't rebounded to full effect but we shall see.
If by some freak accident my horse managed to seriously damage herself with her new shoes I will be very upset with myself....
Also - to address a few of the suggestions/questions from the previous hoof posts, Prairie was still sore on the (super) soft arena footing. That's partially what drove me to put shoes on so quickly. If she was only ouchy on the rocks (or a hypothetical trail) I wouldn't have acted so quickly. But since her discomfort extended to very accommodating footing I was a bit more motivated to fix it as quickly as possible.
I also fully admit that as an owner I'm really bad at "waiting and seeing" for anything. If a vet (especially my favorite vet) says "I think you should do X" I pretty much already have my checkbook out. I definitely suffer from the delusion that changing course and spending cash is the path of least resistance. It's like if I can't know everything (which I can't) I won't let my lack of education get in the way of speedy treatment.
This defense mechanism definitely backfired on me with Pia and the initial Wobblers exploration, so clearly it's not a foolproof plan. I will never (ever ever) put any of my animals under anesthesia without further thought. Ever.
Fingers crossed that front shoes are less of a devil than the myleograms and anesthesia were for P.
Want. To. Ride. The. Pony.