Here for your viewing enjoyment is an enlargement of his x-ray:
The cannon bone is the big bone down the center. The splint bone is the thin bone to the right of the cannon bone. There are two things to note about this picture - first, the small tip of the splint bone at the bottom (my vet refers to this as the "button") - that is snapped off and rotated to the outside leaving sharp, jagged, edges - ouch! It's amazing that Red's as sound as he is. The second thing to note is the "wiggle" in the splint bone above the fracture - the vet says the place where the gap between the cannon bone and splint bone is larger than elsewhere isn't normal. All of this is several inches below the injury site. The vet says that, either upon the impact of the kick, or as a result of twisting forces put on the leg as Red moved in response, torque resulted in pulling the splint bone slightly away from the cannon bone and fracturing the tip.
Sometimes these things heal up and calcify, but the location and sharpness of the fractured edges - adjacent to the suspensory ligament and several blood vessels - dictates that the fragment be removed surgically, and the remaining sharp end smoothed. Otherwise, his long-term soundness would be at risk. The safest way is with full anesthesia at the vet hospital - there's too much risk of the horse moving during standing surgery under sedation. So off to the vet hospital next week - their first available opening for surgery is a week from tomorrow. The surgeon says that recovery should be quick, and he should be completely sound afterwards. If all goes as planned, I should be back riding him at the walk three weeks after the surgery, and he can start back to real work after four weeks.
So, no clinic for Red. But I'll be taking Pie, and will also be riding another "mystery horse" for the three days as well, so I'll be busy, and should have lots of things I'm learning to report.
And then there was the second set of vets . . . Dawn had a visit from the dental surgery experts. Today, she had a full examination and x-rays - no copies of those to show, although I reviewed them with the vet. At least two, and perhaps three, molar fragments including roots will have to be removed, and since Dawn's only 16, the roots are still substantial. This apparently can be done under standing sedation with facial nerve blocks. The lead vet is out of state right now working but we'll be scheduling her molar extractions soon. They were also able to smooth off a molar fragment that was listing to the outside and poking her in the cheek. Poor girl - that must have been very uncomfortable. I spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon waiting for her to come out of sedation - she was really zonked.
After all that vet drama, my good Pie really helped me feel better. It was a very nice day, and Pie and I went on our first outing this year to the outdoor arena with a friend - this required a bit of navigation through muddy patches in the pasture we had to cross - and we had a wonderful ride. Pie was very relaxed and nicely forward, and the improvement in the quality of his gaits from last year is very striking. A most excellent Pie . . .