It was a beautiful weekend, and on my way to the barn on Saturday, I got a text from Christy suggesting a trail ride.  Awesome!  But as they say, “Man plans, and God laughs.”  Because Derby came up lame.   It was pretty strange – he led in from turnout OK (though I will admit that I wasn’t watching him closely.)  I stuck him in his stall to have a private moment and relieve himself before I tacked up.  However, when I opened the stall door, clipped the shank to his halter and invited Derby to come out, he refused, which was really strange.  I cajoled him a bit and he came out, at which point I backed him three steps into the cross ties nearest his stall.

That’s when things started to go South.  As I was currying Derby, he started to stumble (for lack of a better word) and shift uncomfortably.  I unclipped him and walked him around, and he off on his left hind – and it got progressively worse.  He was striding with that leg as though he had stringhalt, snapping it up toward his belly and then forward, and when standing, he would lift and flex the leg upward.  We walked through the barn into the arena, and there, on the soft footing, things got really bad.  He looked like he was going to fall down.

Without further ado, I took him back to his stall.  His strides steadied a bit in the aisle but he certainly didn’t look sound.  He had a little heat in his gaskin, but he would bear weight on the leg (I could actually pick up both hind feet without a problem.   I called the vet, who said it wasn’t an emergency (because he would bear weight on the left leg) and she instructed me to give him 2 g of bute and see how he was on Sunday.

Derby was a bit better yesterday, walking more comfortably, though he still looks awful on soft footing.  He wasn’t doing the strange lift-and-flex routine with his left leg, though that leg will occasionally hover a bit.

His temperature and respiration were normal, and he was bright and interested in his food, until I gave him some bute paste via a syringe in the mouth.  At that point he turned tail and sulked in his stall for a good half hour.

Worryingly, there is now a digital pulse in the pastern on the left hind, and the hoof felt a little warm this morning.   The vet is coming tomorrow.  I hope it proves to be something simple, like an abscess, though the symptoms have been strange.  Fingers crossed.

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

2 Responses to Hand-wringing

  1. Net (former Annette, name changed to reduce confusion w/ the other Annette!) says:

    Poor guy! I hope it’s something which quickly goes away like a simpler abscess. That was my first thought… as someone who has never had a horse get one.

    My horse has been suffering from soreness in his right quads/hamstring which didn’t leave him lame, but left him unwilling to break out of a walk under saddle. He pulled those muscles in early August, and was doing better until he had two days off in a row and probably played too hard. These guys are frustrating, and just REALLY need to learn English!

  2. Yikes. 😦 Hope all is well. Lameness scares me.

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