The vet was out today to do our second set of vaccinations - flu/rhino for all three horses and West Nile for Dawn and Red - Pie will get his West Nile in two weeks when Dawn and Red get their rabies - Pie gets his rabies in the fall and the flu/rhino tends to be the most problematic for him in terms of his having a fever in reaction (he's extra sensitive due to his two bouts of EPM as well as Lyme).
This was good timing, since I was able to have her look at Red's leg. He's got some pitting edema and cellulitis going on, and the wound is exuding some yellowish fluid that is likely pus. And this morning, for the first time since the injury, he's had some heat in the leg. So it's likely he's got a bit of an infection going on, probably with anaerobic bacteria that entered through the wound site. So, in addition to washing his leg once a day with soap and water, I'll continue to use topical Neosporin and give him his Uniprim antibiotic by mouth for another 10 to 14 days (he's been on this for 5 days already), and we're adding a DMSO/metronidazole liquid to be rubbed on his leg (not the wound itself), three days on one day off, repeat if needed, before wrapping for the night. Metronidazole is an antibiotic which is apparently especially useful against anaerobic bacteria, and the DMSO will help carry it to the tissues. He can continue to go out to turnout without a wrap, and I continue to ride him at the walk. Once the swelling goes down and the wound is scabbing up, we can resume our regular riding.
So we do our into-the-wash-stall (with no more problems) wash-the-leg-with-soap-and-water, dab-the-wound-dry-with-sterile-gauze, put-on-Neosporin, wrap-the-wound-with-sterile-gauze-and-vetwrap, put-on-DMSO/antibiotic-solution-with-nitrile-gloves, standing-wrap-over-all, give-grain-Uniprim-hot-water-mix, together with a nice bareback ride thrown in between Neosporin and wrapping him up like a package. Then, in the early a.m., I have him turned out in a pen so I can give him his morning Uniprim, unwrap him and turn him out. Red is marvelously cooperative for every bit of this, and really seems to appreciate what I'm doing. Whew . . .
Despite all this, we had an outstanding ride today - bareback at the walk. Now, how can a bareback ride be outstanding? Here's how . . . I requested softness from the first step, and we did that. Nice walk work followed by walk/halt, making sure the softness came through into the halt - then backing was no problem at all - not a bit of bracing. Lovely walk work, with lots of figures (we had cones) and also some spiral out work, some leg yielding and then a bit of work on changing leg yield into half pass - this involves changing the bend and really getting the hind end engaged, and Red was up for it and caught on very quickly. We only rode for about 15 minutes but it was pure pleasure. Solving the wash stall seems to have improved his trust and relaxation - the scary corners and door are no longer a problem and he just seems more relaxed overall.
Pie and I also had a very nice ride with a lot of excellent softness, and I think I may have finally solved the pad/shimming problem. Using shims to raise the front of the saddle with his Diamond Wool pad didn't work, as the thickness of the pad caused it to pinch in the shoulders (cue unhappy Pie). This time I tried a double Cashell pad with the shims - two Mattes pad shims (I don't use the pad itself but do use the shims, which I can fan or place as I wish) per side. Worked like a charm - Pie didn't object and it put me in a much better place in the saddle.
A very nice day (Dawn and I also had a great ride this morning), despite the cold (30s - high tomorrow is supposed to be 26 with "blustery") and Red's infection.