There’s no crying in…horseback riding?

This post has taken me a few days to figure out how to write. Friday was one of those startling horrible days for O and I. I went out with high hopes…it was the day before our first little show together, and while she had only been sore and bit off on Wednesday so I wasn’t too worried. I even took the day off (birthday present to myself) to relax, ride, lay by the pool, shop whatever. I tacked up, hopped on, walked around-everything seemed fine. O and I spent some time examining the scary horse eating red tent by the ring, and then we were off for schooling. Both trainers were in the ring discussing random show details when we started trotting. I maybe made it 10 feet before they were both yelling for me to stop her. Not that I wasn’t trying to already-I could feel it…she was so, so incredibly lame. I stop, trainers hurry over looking over all my equipment, at her feet, legs, body. There was nothing, no heat, no swelling, no apparent injury. We tried again with no bump pad (hoping for a ouchie back) and got nothing, then I hopped on bareback, got nothing. So not a back issue most likely. Both trainers thought it was actually a back right hind lameness. Which is where, I believe, that my heart fell through my stomach.

I didn’t have this blog going at the time, but after my honeymoon in March, O went for about 7 weeks (maybe a bit more?) off work with a mystery lameness. We tried everything, including nerve blocking to find out what was wrong with her. All we knew is that it was in her lower right hind. And we couldn’t seem to fix it. My new husband was about beside himself with all these lovely vet bills rolling in. I went to battle constantly to keep O, and that we would find a way to make her better again. Eventually we took an educated guess and injected her pastern. 4 days later she was sound in back. Shortly after that she came up lame in front. It sucked. But we had fixed the right hind issue for the time being. And now I feel like it’s rearing it’s ugly, nasty head again.

The vet is coming, actually a new vet is coming, out Tuesday to do a full eval on her. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, if it wasn’t how my trainer acted after seeing her trot today. She actually sat down on a jump and told me that we need to start thinking about a plan here, and asking the hard questions. She openly admitting she doesn’t know why O is constantly off, and is out of ideas to fix her for me. My trainer, who just loves O, has been a huge advocate of her through everything. To hear her so doubtful of what is going on was pretty much horrifying. Even my secondary trainer looked depressed, especially after we talked through O’s recent history. I’ve had her for 9 months, and she’s been sound for roughly 4 (I’m being generous). Not to mention the 3 abscesses since this winter. To the people who are reading this and are mentally saying “Oh my god, what does this lady to do her horse!?” Please just realize that O gets wonderful care where she lives, and of course, I just love her. It breaks my heart that we can’t find a way to keep her sound.

So now that I’ve just written this insanely long post about my personal pony pity party…I don’t know what to do with myself until Tuesday. If anyone has any ideas I’d welcome them. I’m guessing I’ll be obsessively researching, guessing, and hoping its something small and silly. But after months of battling these supposed silly issues, I feel as I’d I’m all out of luck.

10 thoughts on “There’s no crying in…horseback riding?

  1. I feel for you. Can you contact the previous owner and ask if there was ever anything. Ie maybe an old injury from when she was younger that is now flaring up? … I have no doubt that you are doing all you can to make O comfortable. Good luck and give her a hug … Be well, Dorothy 🙂

  2. I had this same kind of issue several years ago. My horse was on-and-off lame all summer and we couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, we took him to a hoof specialist and discovered it was white line disease. My heart goes out to you and I hope you find out what the trouble is with O. It’s so tough when they’re in pain and we can’t seem to fix it. Hang in there.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that 😦 Have you had a chiro see her at all? And I’d still at least mention EPM/lyme etc. (depending on what part of the country you are in?) to the vet just to rule it out- did he take any blood work? I feel like it’s really easy to say ‘oh it’s their feet it’s their bone’ etc. and sometimes that’s really not it. And horses are really tricky, because where their pain shows up isn’t always where they are actually hurting. Sigh, big frustration, really wish you luck in figuring it all out 😦

    • I brought up all kinds of stuff to the vet, EPM, white line disease, etc. When the vet came out again after the initial exam/x-rays pony did show some positivity in her flexion of her lower pastern in the front right. So off we go to fix the joint! Fingers crossed that’s the right path!

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