Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North central Iowa
My Horse is Supposed to Be Lame But Isn't -- What To Do?!
Weirdest situation ever.
My horse shattered the top part of his tibia a year ago. The vets told me he'd be unsound the rest of his life and wouldn't be suitable for light riding even.
Six months later, my horse presents soundness. No lameness after he recovered whatsoever. My local vet told me I could try to find his limit, which would probably be light riding once or twice a week with a little trot and mostly walk. Flat trails only.
My horse ended up trail riding every weekend with some rocky and hilly parts to the trail. He also did some cantering. Never came up lame. We even rode him back to back days in one weekend. No lameness.
My vet then told me that my horse could be used for light work and occasional moderate work. So my horse went on an overnight trail ride...
...and rode over 40 miles in a forest. It wasn't supposed to be that way, but it happened. He wanted to go up hills at a trot and canter, he jumped everything in sight, even from a walk, and went up and down a ravine. The next day, he wasn't lame and was actually raring to go. He then rode into town and back (one mile) and ran a barrel pattern, raced a friend galloping as fast as he's ever galloped, and nearly got me off my leaping off a stair step instead of stepping down. When we stopped to drop my friend's horse off, I turned this horse out into the arena where he ran around it, popped over a small grid of jumps, and then trotted some more. He leapt out of the trailer at home that night and ran around with his buddies. This morning and tonight, he showed up completely sound.
I did Bute him morning and night on the ride, but I'm not sure that he got the 2 grams like he was supposed to (as ordered by vet) because he is bad at taking Bute and it was hard to squeeze out. The morning after the 40 mile ride, he barely got any because the Bute froze the night before. That was the last time he got Bute.
The only thing this horse ever presents is a swollen hock at times. It never seems to bother him, and the swelling comes and goes, and it seems unrelated to exercise. There are bone chips still in there, and I would guess that would cause the swelling. Some days, I can't even tell which leg was busted.
I'm so baffled because this horse has failed to comply by any prognosis he is given, although this last one has not been put to test, really. My show horse with DJD in his right front that is supposed to be managed by injections has shown a lot more problems than this horse that was supposed to never be ridden again.
This horse loves to jump, and I would love nothing more than to see him do a little jumping again, especially since he decided to jump over tons of things on the trails instead of walk over them. But I spend most of my time worrying that my horse will come up lame, and I would feel awful if he did.
What do you think of all this? I want to get another xray of his leg and see what the university vets think now. Is there anything else I should do? I am a little dubious, but I've had multiple horse people tell me that Rusty could have very well made a full recovery. Of course, they're not vets, but at the same time, the vets haven't exactly been right, either.
I'm just so baffled.