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I’m not sure what it is with Cally and her ability to injure herself.  And nearly always her legs.  It’s gotten to the point where unless there’s something seriously exposed that shouldn’t be, I’m pretty fine with just cleaning it out, putting some ointment and maybe a wrap on it, and seeing what happens.  So that’s pretty much what I did on Sunday, with the addition of a very light school just to see if she was sound (it was easier to ride than lunge in a busy ring).  I talked with the barn, and left ointment out for them to put on it, and went to work for the next two days.

Yesterday I got out just as they were bringing the horses in, and Sheri stopped me before I was halfway down the aisle to say that it wasn’t clearing up the way we’d hoped, and was getting a bit oozy.  Yaaaaay.  So I gave my vet a quick call, and dug out the emergency stash (read as: old) bottle of SMZs, and dissolved a dose of them in some warm water while I cleaned out the wound again.  Then, thankfully, til I cleaned it out and tossed a handful of grain in for her to eat them, my vet had called me back.  She was on her way to a nearby farm to do some passport paperwork and would stop by in a while to drop off fresh drugs.  Yay!  My vet is awesome.  Though she sounded kind of disappointed it wasn’t more dramatic; she does love fixing a wound, and Cally’s given her some really good practice at it.

So I got on and rode, under the thinking that a lot of the issue with the ooze and swelling is that they’re really not moving around much when they’re out, because it’s all slushy and icky, so nothing’s getting moved back up and out of the leg.  And because it’s at the hock, it’s not really at a spot you can wrap.  Cally looked a little put out that I was still going to get on her, but I hopped on and we walked, and walked, and chatted with the hunter trainer who’s just moved into the barn, and walked some more.  Then I got all crazy and decided to try trotting and see how she felt.  A little stiff, but not lame, if that makes sense.  A barnmate that saw us walking up the aisle came into the ring then, and said that it looked like the leg was almost back down to a normal size–if she hadn’t come in looking for something, she wouldn’t have noticed anything.  Good news!  Swelling was down quite a bit and it had oozed a bit more, so I cleaned up and waited for my vet.  She got there a bit later, dropped off some fresh SMZs, and took a quick look at it; not too concerned, as she said there’s be a LOT of ooze if something like the tendon sheath was affected, and the fact that the horse was happily weight bearing on it and not off pointed to it not being too serious, just ugly.

Today, after just a day on the SMZs, it was definitely carrying a lot less heat.  Of course, the snow’s melting and the field is a slippery mess that I nearly fell down in while trying to walk out to get her, so it’s not surprising she’s not moving much. I repeated the cleanout and tacked up to ride a bit.  I was just in jeans and my Dublin River Boots, so not planning on doing much.  We walked a lot, first on a long rein, then I picked her up a bit and asked for a little flexion each way, some circled and spirals, and changes of direction.  We picked up a trot and it felt solid, so we went a few times around each way at that, with even a smidge of lengthening across the diagonal, perfectly happily.  Then we walked some more, and I noticed her leg in the arena mirrors was looking good, and figured hey, the more her hock works, the more it pushes this stuff out.  So what the heck, she’s stiff in her body and needs a little loosening up, let’s canter.  Yep, got up in half seat and just let her canter a couple big circles both directions, and she felt much looser and more relaxed after that.  So we walked some more, and called it quits after about 20 minutes of riding time, which served as more than enough of a reminder why I don’t like riding in jeans.

Hopefully I can get a vet appointment for early in the week next week for a followup peek at the leg, and to take care of her Coggins and spring shots, so we’ll be good to go for spring.  In “real life” I’m working on setting myself a very tight budget for the year to make this finally be the year I Get Rid of Credit Card Debt, so I’m thinking we’re going to be doing a good bit less showing than last year, and what we do go to will be carefully planned out.  I’m still hoping that the weather clears up a bit, her leg clears up, and we can hit our first PVDA show at the end of March.  Two PVDA schooling shows in the spring should work well for my budget, and be good for us.