Henry is a Bad Horse

Last week Henry got his feet done on Wednesday, so I rode him pretty lightly that evening. Thursday I decided we’d do a conditioning hack, so I tacked him up in his ghetto fab bridle with obnoxiously awesomely bright blue reins and walked him over to the big field next door.

As soon as I got on I thought he felt a little funny, but once we got out to the road he felt better, so I figured maybe he was just a touch footsore on the gravel driveway. We made our way through the cornfield, back into the grassy field behind it, took two steps of trot, and I immediately pulled him up. He was lame. Like – felt totally crippled kind of lame.

We walked back, I put him on the lunge line, and immediately thought OMG he’s broken every bone in his body. I had to call the barn owner out there to look because my brain was screaming in terror and could not see anything but CRIPPLED in flashing neon letters. She immediately spotted either left front or right hind, so we went poking around and eventually found this under his bell boot.

I don’t know what the hell he did, but he did it with gusto. Considering he wears big thick heavy duty bell boots 24/7, that’s a hell of a wound. We pushed on it a little and he threatened to kick both of our faces in, so we deduced that this was in fact why he looked so incredibly lame. I took him in, washed it out (which was really fun because those little dried mud balls don’t wash out, they have to be picked out with your nails), wrapped it up, and called the vet. I wanted him to come out to just make sure there were no signs of infection, and so he could give him the once over and make sure no other damage was done.

Undeterred by my attempt at shaming with a hot pink wrap

The vet didn’t have a spot in his schedule until Sunday, and since I’d calmed down the hysterics by that point, I said that was fine. I cancelled my dressage lesson for Saturday, and kept coming out daily to flush it out, medicate and wrap it… it was still a little muddy out in his pasture so I wanted to leave it wrapped for a few days.

Stewie supervised while Henry’s foot dried

By Sunday Henry was much less sensitive about it, but I would rather be safe than sorry so I kept the vet appointment. The vet poked around, we jogged him, hoof tested him, palpated the leg, and declared that Henry would in fact live and there was no other damage to be found. He already looked significantly less lame in 3 days time… it seems he’s just a drama queen. The vet cut off the flap of tissue, I slathered some ointment on it, coated it in AluShield, and that was that.

Fingers crossed he’s better in a few days. He’s looking awfully pleased with himself right now as I shove cookies into him, poke at his foot, and then don’t ride him. Just what he needed, another vacation! Turd.

And of course I did what any sane person with a lame horse would do – mailed in my deposit for the Buck Davidson clinic in December.

19 thoughts on “Henry is a Bad Horse

  1. I LOVE AluShield. Has worked wonders everytime I’m left scratching my head wondering ‘how the hell he did he do that?!’


    1. except xc schooling, and a dressage show, and a jumper show, and a “bonus” HT at the end of august, and then AEC. So ya know, NOTHING PLANNED…


  2. ahhh so excited that you decided to go for it with the clinic!! also bummer about the wound (Henry must play hard in the field, huh) – but glad it’s not worse!


  3. So, I once had a very limping Tucker and a vet setting up an x-ray machine when we noticed a tiny cut (requiring two little stitches) in the folds of skin where his leg meets his chest. He is a total princess, and completely understands why Henry could not even horse anymore with that injury. His hoof was basically falling off and he almost died. Tucker thinks Henry was actually quite brave about all this.


  4. Drama queen horses: the struggle is real. At his second show ever my OTTB crashed through a jump and hobbled off like a broken-down carthorse at an auction. The random instructor/dad/brother/person in the arena cried, “Your horse is lame!!” I said, “Oh, don’t worry, he’s just a drama queen,” to the absolute horror of all concerned, including the horse. I walked him in a circle and picked up the trot and he was as sound as a brass bell, proceeding to remain that way for the next class, the next day and in fact right up until his next freak accident a few months later. (It’s always a freak accident with him: he’s a freak and it was an accident).


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