Monday, August 23, 2010

Chutes and Ladders

Do you remember that childhood game Chutes and Ladders? (I think it may be called Snakes and Ladders in the U.K.) The game where you could be close to the finish line, and suddenly you are sent back to a point near the beginning? That's a little like rehabbing a horse with a suspensory injury, major or minor. Yesterday, Maisie and I had a nice little trot, just for a couple of minutes. This morning we had a nice 10-minute walk on the trail, and I took her up on the field behind the barn to do a few minutes of trotting. Although she was willing to go, after a few steps at the trot I could feel that she was off behind - the left hind that's the problem. Jill of Buckskin and Bay was turning out horses and I called to her to check what I was seeing - yup, Maisie was off - 1 or 2 on a scale of 1 to 5. We only trotted for a few steps, and I walked and immediately got off and iced her hind legs. She's still completely sound at the walk, and the leg looked pretty good this evening when I iced again.

When Maisie had a much more serious suspensory injury in 2002 - the right hind that time and it was probably a tear - it took almost 9 months to get her back to work, with a lot of false starts. It's been a couple of months since she tweaked her left hind suspensory, and she just came off about a month of no riding, not even at the walk. I'm going to give her another 3 weeks or so with no riding, until the middle of September, and then we'll see how the leg looks - I want most of the swelling to not only be hard and cold, but gone - if not I'll take her to the vet clinic to have her hinds ultrasounded to see what we've got going on. I'm hoping for some trail riding in September and October, but we'll have to see how she does. I'm in no hurry - we've no deadlines to be concerned about.

In other news, she's coping well with the grazing muzzle - she's figured out how to graze with it, and gently sweeps her muzzle over the grass until a strand or two makes it into the hole. She's not looking bloated when she comes in, her feet are cool, and she's very hungry for her hay. Here she is this morning doing her best Darth Vader impersonation - when she snorts in the muzzle she sounds like Darth Vader breathing (and you can see the neck crest that we're working on eliminating):

14 comments:

  1. So sorry for the back-tracking, but you're so careful, I'm sure you caught it and have backed off plenty quickly enough. I do like the visual Darth Vadar impersonation...Wish I could hear the audio, but it makes me chuckle just thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hate these kinds of injuries, they do take long to heal. With a few more weeks off she'll probably be good to go and svelte too.

    I know the Darth Vader sound well, I always feels sorry for them, it sounds to me like they are having trouble breathing. But I know they're not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Snakes and Ladders in Canada too, Kate. I'm sorry to hear about anything involving the words "rehab" and "suspensory" as I know first hand how difficult and mentally draining it can be to deal with this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Soft tissue injuries can be so frustrating.

    I must say I think she looks smashing in her navy blue fly mask!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sorry to hear about her being off again. I wonder if they ever truly "recover" from these types of injuries. Even after the ultrasound of my mare's leg I'm not sure her recent swelling is benign. Tendons and ligaments are so frustrating.

    Hopefully the time off will allow her to get back on track.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kate, She looks great in her new "gear!" Love the color on her. Sorry it is taking so long, but patience is a horsewoman's middle name, isn't it? And thank you for sharing about her recovery. Others, like myself, can learn from your and Maisie's experiences and expertise.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One step forward... Hope its is just a small setback, the weight reduction should help as well

    ReplyDelete
  8. I always hated that game. It doesn't seem that you've fallen too far off track, though. She's still sound at the walk. You're doing a great job of listening to her and letting her tell you how much work she's ready for. She'll be ready back to trotting in no time!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought long and hard about posting this, as I didnt want to add to worries re the suspensory issues. However, I will.

    Two years ago, I was asked to take on a horse, her owner no longer wanted it. The reason was that the horse had been injured, and was unsound, and wasnt likely to recover at all. I do take on the odd rescue horse, and the odd basket case!
    Kizzy came to the farm, and to all intents and purposes looked fine.
    A Warmblood cross, she had a good attitude and temperament. Things stated well.
    I had her checked by the vet, who gave her a fifty fifty chance of recovery, (I could have done that!) as she hadnt been on real rest for some time, as the previous owner had been overly desperate to get her back to competition.
    I gave her a year off, no work, no shoes, just trims, regular check ups, and she had company, an older quieter horse.
    Kizzy, is now fine! Her rear left leg has healed. She cant do competition, but she is with an older lady, on loan. I see her regularly, and is very well looked after, Kizzy has become a really good general riding horse. But she was lucky, it could have gone the other way? It is never simple, so good luck, and I will be watching her progress.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Injuries like that a so frustrating, but at least you have Dawn to keep you amused while Maisie heals to it helps the waiting.

    That blue plaid fly mask looks really nice on her. The muzzle??? Well, pretty is as pretty does.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Cheyenne - thanks, I always appreciate your comments. I think with these things the trick is not to rush it, and it's also hard to judge sometimes how well things are healing. I already know that if all Maisie can consistently do is walk on the trails, that's OK - she enjoys that and so do I. I think she can come back and be able to do regular work, but only time will tell.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry to hear about the relapse Kate. I'm so worried about that for my own mare. Panache is a little more than 60 days post-diagnosis for her left front suspensory strain and I'm still paranoid about her doing anything to tweak the suspensory. Sending jingles your way for a speedy recovery for Maisie!

    ReplyDelete
  13. How frustrating. I hope she's all better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know the feeling!!!! Love her face in that muzzle. Too cute. What a sport to put up with it! I just put Jimmy in Limestone so he's a little bitter to be grass-less 100% now.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting - we appreciate it. No spam or marketing comments will be published.