SashaDuring the Pow Wow ride in February, I mentioned that Sasha had some trouble with her right hind during her 50 there. She completed and was fit to continue, but was progressing to the point that if we'd been on a 75 or 100, I don't think she would have completed that. I gave her some time off, conditioned her some more and then we went to Yellowhammer in mid-March to do the 55 there.
|Sasha before a recent training ride.|
At the 55, Sasha came up lame about 16 miles into the first loop. I walked her back into camp and sure enough, right hind again. We pulled, of course, and that was the end of my day.
I got an appointment with my local vet first thing Tuesday morning. He went over her with a fine tooth comb, but by then she was not showing anything specific to her right hind. She was, however, showing signs of hock soreness in both left and right. About the same level of soreness.
I took her home and rested her and lightly worked her, but she never was quite right. One thing I had noticed about Sasha and finally came to the forefront of my mind. She wasn't walking right. Not just short-striding on the trot, but she was short striding at the walk. She normally has a slight over-stride where her hind hoof lands just in front of the hoof print of the front hoof on the same side. As I thought about it, she hadn't been over-striding since before the Pow Wow ride in February.
At the next lameness checkup with my vet, Sasha was still showing hock soreness about the same level as before, so we chose to inject both hocks. After 3 more days of rest, I put her into light work. She was much better. Over-striding again at the walk and much more comfortable under saddle and looking well after each conditioning ride.
|Beautiful views at the Biltmore estate. I got to ride Sasha in a training ride the day before I rode Tanna in the 50.|
I'm going to try another 50 with Sasha soon, but this time, we are going to go very slow. Harkening back to my early days where I was always the last or in the last 3 to finish. Walk a lot, trot some, a bit of cantering. Enjoy the day and get my money's worth.
TannaTanna ended up having 2 abscesses back to back that kept him out of conditioning too late to get him into a 50 at Yellowhammer in mid-March. So after my pull with Sasha, I did the 25 mile ride on him the next day. Tanna was an absolute maniac. Very, very forward. He wanted to run the entire time. I managed to keep him to a 4 hour ride time, but after the completion exam, I saddled him back up and we went and ran another 4.5 mile loop until he was more pliable. He wasn't tired, but he was also more ready to pay attention and listen.
We continued conditioning and I took him to Biltmore in early May for a 50. Again, he was very very forward and would not pay much attention to me. It was worse because we rode with a horse that also had very forward energy and they fed off one another. Tanna and I have ridden many miles beside, behind or in front of that horse and this was by far the worst they've ever fed off one another. Finally, after 35 miles, we separated.
Tanna was still very forward, but more controllable on the last loop. Halfway through the loop, I felt him go off on the right front every now and again. I thought he was a little foot sore, so walked more and stayed on the softer ground. Unfortunately, by the time we finished that loop, he was fairly consistently lame on the right front. We got pulled at the finish.
|Tanna resting in his stall during his enforced downtime.|
I thought abscess, again! But when I took him to my vet, it was not an abscess. He was stalled for 10 days and then was much better. Still off a little, but much better. So my vet injected the coffin joint and now I'm waiting again. In the next few days, I'll put Tanna back into light work and see if he stays sound. If he does, I'll continue to increase his work load slowly. If he goes lame again, we may be looking at tendon damage and life may become more complicated. But first steps first.
|Tanna at the vet, about to get X-rays of his right front a few days after the pull.|
Because of all these challenges this spring, Lillie has not been able to ride much and hasn't gotten to an event at all. We're hoping things get better so she can get back to riding as well.