teachings of a bruise

Towards the end of a long sunny arena ride, more layers of understanding were revealed. The kind you wish you knew all along, but apparently weren't ready for in the learning process...I thought I felt it. Was Koda short striding? Nah. Just my imagination. 

Several days passed before we rode again. Early on in our ride I felt it, altho once again very subtle. I asked Brad if he could see that Koda was off. Nope. Then I asked our trainer to watch us before riding Cierra. After a hard look, she wasn't sure and asked to ride Koda. I watched them go intently, hmmm...you couldn't see it, but I know what I felt. Subtle or not. It wasn't long after I began riding again, it became obvious. Koda was short striding. I hopped off to untack. We would start by having the farrier check Koda's left front. 

To make a long story shorter, after some stretch testing etc it was determined that Koda has a bruise on the heel of his frog (more on the outer, then inner). The farrier didn't think it was an abscess, but suggested treating it similar for a couple days and continue light riding with no tight circles.

I am so glad I was able to be at the barn, to learn first hand from the farrier. You see, this is my first time dealing with lameness on my own horse. Koda has rock solid Appy feet, but even those can have problems too. Apparently this type of bruise is common. It can happen from their back foot kicking the front foot, while running across the field or simply from getting up from a roll.

Instead of soaking, we wrapped poultice. I learned to wrap Koda's foot. My husband and daughter have always done the foot care on our other horses. They know much more about horse care then I do. I've always been a bystander, guess I'm fortunate to be surrounded by knowledgeable people. Koda pulled the wrap off on more then one occasion, so I'm not sure how effective the treatment was. I was pretty proud of myself that the couple times I wrapped, they stayed on! 

Our rides were very short and consisted of walking, and a little trotting. With the added flexion he would begin short striding again, which ended our rides. I'm more inclined to give him time off, but all the powers that be suggest continued light riding. He is getting a mix of both. His foot certainly doesn't bother him when he's tearing across the field!

Four days passed, and the farrier checked Koda again. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be at the barn this time, so we discussed his findings on the phone. He still thinks it's a bruise, that will just take time to heal. No more wrapping. We talked about giving Koda complete time off. Instead he suggested even lighter riding with more frequency, and to try using a boot while riding. I borrowed one last night, and Koda seemed a little better. If needed, we will reevaluate in 10 days.  

Pretty bummed that I most likely will not be able to ride in the last Trail Competition. Oh well, I'm more concerned that Koda heals up in time for the trail riding season that is rapidly approaching. Hoping this is a minor setback...that among other things is teaching me patience. 

Trail Riding, 2014


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's good that you could feel it and start taking care of the bruise quickly. I'm sure he will be just fine for trail riding this season. Hope he's well enough to take to the competition.

I don't know if you've ever heard of the product called Animalintex but whenever we need to wrap something like this we use it. It's like a miracle and works on healing very fast. Just thought I'd throw it out there. The farrier and others may not agree since they said not to wrap anymore. They are more knowledgeable than I am and are there in person to evaluate. But for future wrapping I'd consider it. We love it for abscesses. Good luck.

aurora said...

Thanks Grey Horse! Yes, that's the name/brand of poultice pad we use too!! I have heard about not soaking, but nothing about not wrapping. Interesting. It's probably for similar reason, creates too much softness.

The Dancing Donkey said...

Look up Magic Cushion Extreme made by Absorbine. You can use it with the animallintex or without, but it works wonders on bruises/abscesses. If you use it along with a Elastikon wrap, you may be able to use use it instead of a boot. I wrote about how I use it a while ago:


aurora said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your link Kris, lotsa good info on it! Altho I've been following your blog for a while, I don't recall the Magic Cushion post. It's tough knowing which method might work best, so helpful to hear what's worked for others!!