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Old Horse Woes

I mean, they’re the same as regular horse woes, really. Just with an extra tinge of desperation.

In our lesson a little over a week ago, Tristan took a funny step. I’ve always wondered about other people saying that. I know I’m not as sensitive or attentive as I could be in the saddle, and I know that Tristan trips A LOT, so I always figured I’d never be able to tell if he took a funny step.

Good news, I guess? I felt it and then his next few steps were just angry, and not in the “you’re making me work hard” way. With the barn manager’s eyes on us, I asked him for a little bit more trotting and we both agreed that he was definitely off, identified as left front.

I pulled him up and did a thorough examination; no heat, no swelling, nothing in his foot itself. He got liniment and Back on Track wraps, bute that night and the next morning, and 48 hours later was still clean, cool, and tight in both front legs but a touch off.

We’re now 10 days out, and he is definitely feeling a bit cooped up – yesterday I jogged him out and he took two steps and squealed and helicoptered up next to me. I snapped his halter a few times and growled at him, he put four feet back on the ground, and gave me side-eye while licking and chewing for a few seconds. I waited until he huffed in resignation, and then asked again and he gave me a lovely sound trot-out, nice big flowing strides and a very polite attentive head tilt. My horse in a nutshell!

When I brought him around a tight turn to the left, at the trot, he was still just a smidge off. Not lame, exactly – just a little funny about maneuvering with that leg. Fair enough. Back to his stall, more liniment, more Back on Track. We’ll keep rechecking.

If he weren’t showing improvement, I’d be more worried. Still, I don’t like that it’s been 10 days and he’s still a smidge hesitant. We’ll see what this week brings, I guess! One nice thing about older horses is that instead of fretting about lost time I can just shrug and really embrace the “long way from his heart” theory for things like this.

4 thoughts on “Old Horse Woes

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