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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back from the vet

So I took Farley to the vet this morning and I have "OK" news.

The vet could see a very slight lameness on her left front. No head bobbing, very subtle but there. There was no pain on palapation. This all adds up to very good news! I will say that is very nice to have an endurance horse trot out for the vet. They are so used to trotting out and I'm always so proud of how well behaved they are.

Upon ultrasounding her, we discovered that she does have some slight pathology of her old bow. The area of the old bowed superficial digital flexor tendon is about the same as her last ultrasound, performed July 2008 (1.30cm sq versus 1.28 cm sq), and smaller than her original ultrasound when she first bowed (1.51 cm sq in December 2007). However, she had 2 tiny dark spots within the tendon. Ideally the tendon is less than 1.0cm sq (her normal, right leg is something like 0.71cm sq). I'm not sure if she will ever get there.

So what's the plan? In terms of severity, Dr. R* told me that most people would never have even noticed this lameness and wouldn't have brought them in. It's extremely minor. she gave me the option of using Surpass for a month, which I took her up on. I really felt it made a difference when she first bowed (versus Minx, whom we did Fereson wraps on and not surpass). Plus it's handy to have a tube of that stuff around! I'd rather give Surpass than Bute if I concerned about a particular area. I'm to keep riding her lightly for a month and then return to normal work. I'll re-ultrasound prior to doing our next ride. I'm going to forego the April Shine and Shine only 50 and do May Wild West 3 day ride as our next ride. I'll use the opportunity to get Minx up to speed again (9 months since her last endurance ride! The time flies!).

Yes, ultrasounds are expensive, however it was worth every penny for my peace of mind. This horse could be a 100 mile horse if that tendon heals. Ideally I would give her a year off and then restart her. That's totally not practical for me right now for a variety of reasons, so I'm willing to pay for the ultrasounds in order to ride her a little sooner and push a little harder than if I didn't know what was going on inside her leg.

So for her next ride it is imperative that I be able to control her speed. I will be doing lots of walking, jogging and experimentation with hackamores and bits in the next 3 months!

I wanted to let everyone know how much I enjoy you coming around and visiting. Endurance is a journey for me and I feel compelled to write about it. I would write even if no one read, but it's sure nice to have your encouragement. One of the realities about endurance (at least where my horse and I are right now) is that I can't get out and do this every weekend. By writing this blog and reading others, I feel like I can stay connected to the endurance community, even when I'm not at rides.

Happy trails everyone.


  1. I'm glad to hear that it's overall good news. It could be much, much worse, and in the grand scheme of things, light work for a month then back to normal conditioning is a pretty easy remedy.

    Oh, yeah - I've done the flat braid rope reins. They are now relegated to the "extra tack" pile. :) I've got a pair of round rope reins that I alternate with the beta flat reins, so I might have to start using those again for potential pulling moments.

  2. No kidding! When it initially bowed it was handwalking for months, daily icing, wrapping, medicating, worrying, stressing.....I got off easy!

    What's nice is it's what I would do anyways. My horses always get a light month after a hard ride.

    Do you like the rolled reins? I always thought they would rub my hands. I HATED my biothane reins. They were extras in my crew bag for a while and then I finally found some one that bought them for an excellent deal.

  3. I do like the round rope reins. They double nicely for a leadrope, too. I've yet to find the "perfect" pair of reins, but between the beta and the round rope, I do pretty well. The round rope aren't as grippy as the beta, but because they're thicker, they take less effort to hold when your hands are tired. I wasn't sure how I'd like them, since I came out of a show background and used flat leather reins for years and years, and figured these would be too bulky, but I was surprised at how they're really not.

  4. Do use the thinner or thicker. I see that sport tack has a 5/8" option or a 3/4". I guess the best thing to do would go to a tack shop that carried this, but I don't see that happening soon.


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