Thursday, September 6, 2012


She's off.

The mare is off.

She's been off since Tuesday.

I was sort of hoping that things would magically resolve themselves if I just closed my eyes really tight, but so far that strategy hasn't worked.  (dammit)

Here's the rundown of recent events and mystery lameness:

Saturday we had a great ride (post pending) and I trimmed Prairie's front toes right after. I did take off more medial toe than I normally do but that means I swiped my rasp 18 times instead of 10. Still not a radical trim (I don't think).

Regardless, Prair got Sunday off and I had a *great* dressage school on Monday. Nothing weird or tense or injury inducing that I can recall.  There was one weird step when we were walking the property, but she didn't scoot, or scurry, or even really trip.  I just felt one weird step. 

Tuesday when I pulled the mare out- all looked well, but as soon as I started trotting I could feel a hitch in her step.I hopped off and rechecked her legs (since nothing screamed OUCH when I was grooming/tacking up).

No swelling. No heat. No sensitivity.

Hopped back on and did some figure eights...

Definitely her left front and more pronounced tracking right, but still not head bobbling lame (small blessings).

I (obviously) gave up on a lesson and hopped off to job her out on the hard gravel where her unevenness  was a bit more obvious.

Lacking any other inspiration, I cold hosed both fronts, shoved some bite down her face and called it a day.technically she spat some bute in my face, but ultimately I won that battle.

Yesterday I didn't want to jinx things so I didn't put my breeches on when I went to the barn. I lunged the mare briefly each direction and she looked sound. But then I jogged her on the gravel again and I thought I saw the slight favoring of her left fore.(stomach sink)

Curious how the less obvious lameness would feel compared to the day before I tacked up to see what I felt under saddle. Normally I wouldn't ride a horse that I suspected of being off, but she's still so new to me I felt like I could get a better sense if things were better/worse if I could feel the motion rather than just looking at it.  Her big trot makes it that much easier to feel something not quite right...

Turns out she was still off.

Still very off in fact. But still nothing obviously sensitive, bleeding or swollen.

I'm terrified that I did something with the trim, but if I took too much hoof off I would have expected Prairie to be sore on Monday... Which she wasn't... (Unless I screwed up her angles so much I strained a tendon???)

My vet is on this side of the world tomorrow so we'll have some diagnostics then, but it looks like we're missing our big hunter show (sad). Not brutally important - but I was really looking forward to all the fun trips we had planned for September. That's horses for you.

I've started mentally preparing for the worst. But still really (really) hoping for something stupid like a stone bruise.

Sad mare.

Here's a quick video of my (brief) ride yesterday to feel her out... Always good to have a baseline, right?

Also, went out this morning - and again, she looked sound on the lunge inside, but ouchy on the gravel outside.  


  1. Sounds like a stone bruise from what you describe - or maybe an absess brewing? Sending good healing thoughts Prairie's way!

  2. Hopefully just a stone bruise or abscess! At least those should resolve themselves relatively quickly. Fingers crossed!

  3. Thanks guys :) Those would be *welcome* diagnoses in my world!!

  4. Preparing to blog about our case of mysterious off-ness. I was hoping for too much fly stomping or pulled something while bolting away from a B-52 in the soft footing... cause it hasn't been working too hard - that's for sure!

    Hoping big P has the minor bruise/abscess brewing condition!!

  5. Here's to it being nothing big. :( Nothing like an overachieving obsessive and a slightly off horse. The first time Izzy was off at all, I decided that she had absolutely fractured her coffin bone.

    She had a stone bruise.

    Good luck!

  6. Sorry about missing the show, hopefully it's "nothing".

  7. I've been hearing about a lot of abscesses lately... it seems to be the season! Here's hoping that's all she has going on!

  8. I seriously doubt 8 extra swipes of the rasp at the toe wall would cause her to be off.

    Sound like what the others said - bruise or abscess.

  9. Does she have a pulse in that foot/leg? We have had a ton of abscesses at our barn this year. I feel like there is always a horse that is getting magic cushioned or soaked for some reason or another this summer. You might try putting some magic cushion on her foot and see if that helps at all.

    Hoping it is nothing!

  10. I'm guessing abscess! My mare is currently brewing a hoof abscess and I have been soaking since last Friday. Frustrating, but I am sure it will pop soon! I would start soaking and poulticing 2x day??

  11. Abscess vote here, don't panic yet!

  12. Crossing my fingers for you! I also agree that it's been quite the abscessy summer! I know three horses that blew abscesses in the last three months, all coronary. Hm.

  13. I highly doubt it has anything to do with your trimming. It would be VERY difficult to do enough damage with a rasp to cause lameness. Just not likely at all. I'm with the others that it's probably just an abscess or bruise. Do you have any hoof testers? You could check for sensitivity in her sole. I'll keep her in my thoughts. Keep us updated!


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