Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Back in the Side Pen

On Sunday when we put Bear back in the pasture, I noticed Steen was favoring his wounded leg for the first time since the day of the injury. This didn't make me happy, but I told myself he could have just tweaked the scab or something. In the last two days, however, things have gone from looking like they are healing fine to looking not so good. There is a lot of granulated tissue growing over the one deep spot, and every time I wash it lately it seems this area is larger.

Today I rode Bear (more about that in a minute) and after my ride I brought Steen in. His favoring of the leg was considerably more pronounced, and the inside of his leg was very hot to the touch. He was flinching away from my hand in a way he never has before. Needless to say this had me pretty worried.

In an utterly wonderful coincidence of timing, it just so happened our vet arrived for another horse about the time I would have been calling him. His immediate reaction upon seeing Steen was, "That does not look good."

So, Steen got all the hair trimmed off his leg around the wound, the last staple pulled, a very, very thorough cleaning, a shot of antibiotics and bute, and now he's back in the pen next to the barn for another five days of Uniprim and Bute paste. Jim thinks a minor infection is causing the heat and sensitivity of the skin, and that the limp is being caused by underlying damage to the extensor tendon that happened during the tangle with the fence. His theory is that as the cut has healed, Steen has been using the leg more, which has caused the injured tendon to become more painful.

Not an ideal turn of events, but Jim doesn't seem overly alarmed, so I'm trying not to be either.

But, in better news, I had another great ride on Bear today. We flip-flopped roles, and Brian gave me a lesson. It was quite fun. It's really different to ride with someone else calling all the shots. We worked on all sorts of things, mostly at the walk and trot. These last couple of rides on Bear I've been focused on  being positive and encouraging, and as a result he seems a lot less inclined to be stiff and distracted when I ride him. Brian has been having some trouble getting him started with leg yields, so I worked on that a fair bit. We got some really good ones at the walk pretty easily, and then I worked on getting one at the trot. It took quite a few laps around, building it up piece by piece, but I did finally get a quality movement with both the front and the hind, so we called it good and moved on to other things.

The only thing that didn't feel great was loping to the right, but that's Bear's bad direction and though he didn't seem sore today, he also wasn't inclined to bend that way at faster paces. But we got some good loping to the left, as well as quite a few other good moments.

Brian brought Laredo out of the pasture after his several days off, and we were pleased to see he's no longer off on his leg/shoulder. Still, we see no reason to push him back into work too fast, so Brian mostly used him as a mobile vantage point to sit on while he gave me my lesson.

Ride Time: 1:10
Horseback hours YTD: 123:45

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