I have really bad news, everyone. We made it 10 miles into the ride before BG slipped on some gravel, slid into a hole, bent back her pastern. She took a couple steps on three legs before managing to place weight on her right front with difficulty. She acted like it was broken. Twenty more steps, and I knew we were done.
I led her up a little hill to the spot we were told to wait for the emergency trailer. The walk of shame. All the other open riders passed us and asked what was wrong. Lame horse. Lori jumped off her horse and trotted Baby Girl in hand for me. At this point, BG had walked it off a bit. She looked sound at a walk, but bobbed her head at a trot.
BG bowed a tendon two years ago. Same leg. I think/thought she re-bowed it and knew in my heart it was time to stop. But the decision was wrenching. It was right, but it hurt
When BG figured out we weren't going on, she was furious
. I have never seen a horse so legitimately angry. She baulked and tried to pull me down the trail. She didn't get why in the world we were walking in hand "the wrong way!" She was not
getting in the trailer. Like a spoiled child. I coaxed her in eventually.
Everyone knew I would beat myself to death if I had time, so Patrica told me she would take my horse to camp, hose her leg, and put on standing wraps. I was immediately made a vet secretary and wisked down to Stephanie, the vet judge. (Stephanie is my favorite vet judge, so life could be worse.) Stephanie only had one secretary before I dropped in. One of her secretaries didn't show up. Lucky for her a rider got pulled within 3 hours on Saturday. Just what she needed!
Secretarying is actually harder than riding, by the way. I spent all weekend hanging out with Stephanie and writing whatever she said. I was field secretary; I stood next to Stephanie while she checked horses on the trail or in camp. It was a great job; I actually learned a lot.
It was also an excellent job to keep me from worrying about my horse. There was nothing I could do except for what I was doing.
Excitement covered a lot of pain, I discovered when I returned to camp. BG was dead lame at a walk. Her leg was hot and swollen at the pastern/lower tendon area. I cold hosed and kept it wrapped.
Sunday (day after), she appeared to be getting better. She was almost sound at a trot in a straight line. A little head bobbing, but not much.
Well... Today was a turn for the worse. We drove home, and I turned BG out last night in a smaller paddock with a bunch of foundered ponies so she wouldn't run around. This morning she was dead lame again. Head bobbing at a walk, hurting, miserable lame.
I called Dr. Cook. Dr. Cook was pretty concerned. She told me to keep BG on stall rest, ice her leg, and keep it wrapped. It seemed to be healing when she was resting in her stall all weekend, but just couldn't handle walking around in a paddock.
Stall rest is the lesser of two evils. PSSM horses should never be stalled. Well, except for now.
I took BG off all grain and am hoping we won't have a compounded tie-up/major lameness problem.
I'm taking her to the vet for a sonagram and maybe an x-ray as soon as possible. We need to know the extent of the damage. The lameness and pain is worse this time around than last bowed tendon... If this is even a bowed tendon. It might be a problem in the fetlock/pastern joint.
Either way, it looks BG is out of NATRC for at least
the spring season. At worst... Well. I had a well respected women tell me horses with tendon problems shouldn't be open horses. (I've had people tell me horses with PSSM shouldn't be open horses either. The first time we bowed a tendon, people said we weren't going to come back. We came back kicking. But maybe third time's the charm...)
A lot depends on the next few days. I don't want to jump the gun and say life is over... But I don't want to say everything will be okay either. Truthfully, I don't know. I just don't know.