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Monday, February 27, 2012


Saw Farley today for a "maintenance" day - meaning I do all this little errands and chores that come with keeping a horse and checked her legs as a matter of course.  There was a little filling in both front legs, a little worse in the left front.  She trotted out fine on a lunge line and looked sound in both directions. 

So far in our conditioning I haven't had any filling although based on her past it's "normal" for her to have filling after a significant ride.  My goal is to condition in such a way as to minimize any such filling - although I'm doubtful I can totally eliminate it.  Especially in a leg that's ever had an injury, it is more likely to fill. 

So, even though I don't assume that I'm dealing with an injury when the filling shows up, I'll take it as a sign that we need to either back off on the amount of work being done and/or stay at the level we are at (with appropriate rest) until her body adapts to the stress.

So with the filling today, what's the plan (assuming the filling is gone by tomorrow, which would be normal).  We've done 2.5 hours at a slower pace (no filling) and 1.5 hours at a faster pace (some filling). That means that I'll be sticking to rides somewhere in the 1-3 hour range at varying paces for the next 4 weeks.  If filling returns at any of those rides, I'll give her 2 weeks off, then start again at one hour and see how she does.

This is probably overkill- but I have the time and I think it's better to go too slowly than too fast at this point.  

I think I need to go and do a literature review on just how significant "filling" is....

after my test of course

Which I still haven't studied for.

It's spring and sunny and I would much rather take afternoon naps and write blog posts. 


  1. Replying over here as it's more a comment on your post than mine. :0)

    I read this post earlier and was glad that you shared the "filling." I try not to share every single ticky-tacky little foible that I encounter. I mean, really. All of our horses get cuts and scrapes from time to time, but we don't have to share all of them.

    But sometimes, the foible is a symptom of a larger problem. Those are the things I feel compelled to share. Of the 18 or so blogs that I read daily, the ones I enjoy most are the ones who look for their successes to share, but admit their defeats when they occur.

    Farley's filling isn't a defeat. It's an indicator of age, previous injury, and workload. I love your attitude about her conditioning program. It's when we are in a hurry that trouble rears it's ugly head.

    Thanks for the morale boost. While I don't comment very often, I do read every post and am enjoying your vet life crashes into and melds with horse life. :0)


    1. LOL - talking about every little off step or bump or cut would make for a very drama-queen-like blog. I see exactly your point about being a bit discrimitory about what to share - just based on reader interest. For example, about a month ago Farley was moving just a little "wrong". Not off, nothing I could put my finger on - and really, just something to keep in the back of mind in case it developed, but not something to lament here on the blog, or make a big deal of. I suspected it was a symptom of her hocks getting the year off and it being cold and rainy for that week or so. Sure enough - she worked out of it and I can't see it any more.

      I think one of the critera I use to decide whether or not to share something is whether it would help someone else who is trying to start out, or return to endurance. Or, if I'm really struggling with something and I think I need the support of my readers, or the release of "talking" it out. Otherwise, little bumps and scrapes are of no interest except in the number of grey hairs they cause :)

  2. Was Farley turned out night/day before you discovered the filling? I'm curious if she was more sedentary than normal and if this might have contributed?

    I had troubles with Dazzby having filling in her legs after our LD rides, never after training though. However, part of the problem appeared to be coming from her being on a hi-tie post ride. At her age, she seemed to stock up easily if she couldn't keep moving.

    I assumed that inflamation meant there was some problem, but it never escalated and I finally was able to alleviate a lot of it by walking her a lot post ride and using Icetight on all four legs.

    1. It was definitely a bigger problem in the smaller paddock where I used to board - I'm sure one thing that's contributed to me not seeing it as much now IS the larger turnout pasture space she has. When I left her after the ride, she was busy cantering and trotting around and throwing a hissy fit for some reason, but was napping when I came back today. It's entirely possible she moved less today because she was feeling less fresh. But, since I HAVE taken her on comparable rides without filling the next day, it's something to consider - even if she vegged out nappy all day - which is entirely possible!

      FYI - In addition to trotting her out, I also palpated the tendon and there's no tenderness.

  3. A filling-based conditioning plan! Or, I guess, a filling-avoidance conditioning plan. ;) That's novel and sounds perfect for your situation.

    When you palpate her tendon, are you just checking to see if she reacts or is there anything that you can feel?

    I wish it was springlike here. Snow everywhere, freezing fog on the roads, and it might warm up enough to rain today before turning back to snow tonight. :(

    1. I'm watching for her reaction to pain, becuase there is a lesion there - and has been since she first injuried it. When checking a horse with no prior injury, I look for changes in thickness to the tendon - however in my experience, the thickening often does not occur until several days post injury, so it is always prudent to watch for pain upon palpation, combined with noticeing any "changes" to the tendon - whether that's an exisiting lesion that gets bigger or thicker, or the presence of a lesion where there wasn't one before.

      Hope this made sense! My brain is in "vet mode" right now studying for my test.


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