My mare is the most accident prone animal on the face of the earth. I swear, we've had more health issues/injuries with her than we've ever had with all the other horses combined. Anyways...
I went out tonight to at least pick the horses' feet since I wasn't riding. I did all my mare's feet with no problem until I reached the hind right. I started to move to pick it up, and at first I thought she was just resting it, but then I saw that there was a trickle of blood on her leg, and then I realized that her entire leg was swollen
I'm getting nervous at this point, so I began to feel around on her leg. There was nothing of interest that I could feel, besides the swelling, several smallish gashes and a large, swollen bump just below her hock. She was a bit iffy as I felt it and didn't want to put weight on it, but she wasn't going insane or trying to kick me or anything from the pain.
I called dad, asked him to come home, and then had the mare hobble out to the tap where I ran the leg under water for 5-10 minutes, hoping that the cold water might take away some of the pain and swelling. She got a bit nervous as the water sprayed the gashes on the insides of her thighs, but otherwise put up no resistance. I took her into the barn and put some Blue-Kote on the little cuts and scrapes, and waited for dad to come home. When he did get here, there wasn't much else we could do. The (maybe?) good news is that it wasn't very old-she had been fine when dad was out there about an hour before.
What we think happened is she either hit her leg hard or got it caught briefly in the boards as she went to kick at another horse. Since there are a couple gashes above her hock, I'm willing to bet it was the latter, and though it's a pretty bad injury, I am extremely grateful that's all she got-I initially was worried about a break or dislocation, but I've seen and felt dislocated joints before, and her leg doesn't feel like that at all (plus she can put a bit of weight on it), and dad said it's not broken, so I'm willing to believe him.
I went out about an hour ago and she was laying down in her stall. She seemed a bit groggy, so maybe she was actually trying to sleep, or maybe she went down to get off the leg-I don't know.
Now, for my actual questions:
1. Did I do the right thing? What could/should I have done, and what can/should I do now (or, tomorrow, when I can get out again)?
2. Do you think she'll make a full recovery? I don't think it's incredibly serious; I mean, I've whacked my fingers/hands/toes really hard before, and they have swelled up for a few days, but it always healed in a week or so and never left any permanent damage.
3. What sorts of things should I be watching or looking out for in the recovery process? Is this sort of thing going to heal itself up fine?
4. Should we be keeping her inside, in the stall? For how long? Is any exercise at all good for this type of injury, or would it be better to keep it as still as possible?