Cautiously optimistic about the horse

So things appear to be improving with Miss Mocha. The consensus is that she blew an abscess on the left fore, and that she messed up her right hind when she got startled while rolling. Or something. It’s hard to say.

Things really didn’t start turning around until Thursday, and by Friday, The Girl was making it pretty clear that she was beginning to feel better. She’s been on a light course of Bute and I’ve been keeping the abscess area medicated and clean with the diaper/Vetwrap/duct tape system. I’m going to keep her on that light Bute until the farrier comes, and try to get out to the barn to give her a second dose before the farrier gets to her. I think it’s helping and with the shape that heel area is in…she could use some anti-inflammatory relief.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday have all shown big improvements. I’ve been keeping her blanket on even though temps are in the 40s; we’ve been getting nights below freezing and she’s stalled. The one night she went without a blanket, she was clearly feeling more sore. So, blanket, better to minimize stress. She walks now without much of a hitch in the arena, and just a wee bit of a bobble in the alleyway.

The clearest indication of her feeling better, though, is just small, sneaky pushy behaviors and little attempts at being naughty. Aggressive mooching for treats. Little indications that she’s getting tired of being on stall rest and she’d like to do more, please. So far we don’t have the Butemonster rearing her ugly head, but…she’s gonna start getting stir crazy soon.

Counter to that, of course, is her own self-protective behavior. She’s been in wuss mode and I can count on her being more steady in that wussy mode. She hasn’t wanted to roll, even when I turned her loose. She followed me up to the gate, instead. Saturday, I just accepted that choice and led her out. Tonight, I just walked away to see what she would do. After a few moments, she started sniffling around, and went down to roll. I watched her get up from her left side and she didn’t flinch when putting pressure on that left fore, plus she was moving okay after that.

Sometime this week, though, we have to start doing more. I don’t want to lunge her with these particular achies, so out comes the surcingle and long reins. That will let me get her started in rebuilding her conditioning–start from the very bottom with fifteen minutes walk, build up to thirty, then do twenty-five walk, five jog, and up the times until we get to fifteen/fifteen, and then start extending time in each gait by five minutes until we’re at about forty-five minutes of walk/jog in the big circle, at which point canter comes back. At some point we switch from ground driving to under saddle. No lateral work until she can do forty-five minutes. That’s just a rough plan, the hard and fast part is the early stage where I’m legging her back up. Won’t know how that will progress until we start doing it.

Nonetheless, she will go back into some kind of light work this week, just because otherwise she is going to be Too Much Fun. Dear Lord, I hope I never have to manage this horse with an extended stall rest program.

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