Not Quite Right

You may have noticed there hasn’t really been any riding content happening here in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there’s a reason for that.

When Henry came back from boot camp he felt awesome for a few rides, then I galloped him, then gave him a day off, got back on, and he felt… not right. He’d been starting to feel a little “stabby” behind, just like he did last fall, and it had been 10 months since he got his ankle injected. I thought that was it, so I scheduled the appointment, he got his ankle juiced, and I figured it was over and done with.

But it didn’t get any better. In fact, it didn’t really feel any different at all. The problem is that the NQR is so very very slight, really hard to see, and not super consistent. I could feel it though – just the little odd thing here and there that threw up a lot of red flags. A slightly wonky step with the hind end when changing direction, a toe drag on a circle, a really 4-beaty right lead canter. Something is ouchy somewhere.

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I gave him more time off, had the vet back out, and all signs pointed to hocks. This made sense, so I opted to just go ahead and do the hocks rather than do the more drastic (and more $$$) full diagnostic work-up. The vet was reasonably optimistic that doing the hocks would fix it, so I hoped we were right.

It doesn’t look like we were right. It’s maybe slightly better, but I still feel something. So… crap. I already scratched our first Training, which was a big womp-womp moment. The vet is coming again today, and we’ll start at the bottom and work our way up, trying to find the source. Hopefully we can. I’m trying not to get myself all worked up about it being a Major Thing Wrong, because it is so very slight, but I’ve had a knot of anxiety in my stomach for a couple weeks now. I’m terrible at dealing with not knowing what’s wrong. And when there are problems in my horse life, I’m one depressed walking lump of doom and gloom.

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I live here now

I just want my horse to feel like himself again. He’s wild and bored, and I’m not doing much better. Just when you think you’re finally making some real progress. Ugh.




But… if there’s anything you’ve been wanting me to write about or review, now is the time to put in a request. There might not be much riding-related content in the near future.

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56 thoughts on “Not Quite Right

  1. Ain’t that always the way? My mare, who has been sound as a bell for ever (it’s actually been her one good thing, because in most other things she’s a total bitch-whore-wench) did something to her tendon schooling for our last horse show. The one where were we going to really prove that we were confirmed at the 1.0m and actually start going for it a bit! Now we’re on week 4 of ice 6 times a day. She is SO BORED and I’m SO DEPRESSED.

    Also, have I ever told you how much I live my life with SPN gifs? So it makes me so very very happy when you post one.

    Good luck with Henry…


  2. Sucks doesnt even begin to cover it but hopefully you figure it out asap and are back training for training 🙂 HEE at least you are in TX and don’t have to worry about the dark cold nights as much looming ahead (I am already dreading Winter can you tell?? LOL)

    Keep us posted.


  3. Very sorry to hear that Henny isn’t feeling 100%. Not much is more frustrating than having a horse who doesn’t feel his best and you can’t figure out why. The vet is about to come visit my horse too. Probably to do joint injections.


  4. We are existing in a similar world. One preggo mare and one NQR gelding. Vet is fairly confident Copper’s is that hock, so I need to pony up the funds and have him injected but I’m tempted to wait until spring since I typically don’t ride in winter anyway…ugh.


  5. Booooo. I’m sorry. Hoping for a clear diagnostic soon, and that it turns out to be something simple like stiff stifles. I’ve played a waiting game like this before and it’s horribly stressful. Hang in there lady, you’re doing right by your boy to figure this out right away and hold off on the events for a bit.


        1. Totally know what you mean, I know I could take him to a show tomorrow and have no problem soundness wise, but I feel it, and if I feel it, something’s wrong even if it’s super hard to see. It’s driving me nuts.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. In my mind I’m like what if its a suspensory lesion or something, and by riding him more I turn it into a tear? Once that thought takes root, its kind of impossible to keep going lol.


  6. Sad face. All the hugs. You can bring my mare up for “learn to canter without killing people” bootcamp. 😀 That would TOTALLY entertain you.


  7. As someone who just scheduled my thoroughbred onto paddock rest for an indeterminate amount of time for an undiagnosed (I just can’t afford the $$$ MRI) likely chronic soft tissue injury, I feel your pain… you care a lot about Henry and you’re a smart cookie – it will work itself out


  8. I’m so sorry. Is there anything worse than not being able to ride your partner who you’ve gotten to the best point thus far? (yes, ok there are worse things, but really, not that much worse). I’m hoping you get him diagnosed soon (that will help, the knowing part) and then he can rehab and be back to himself soon. Kudos to you for knowing he’s off even when it is slight. Henny is lucky to have you!


  9. Hoping you can find what it is too! I wonder if maybe SI? I had a horse with similar sounding NQR-ness, had his SI injected and he was good as gold. Sometimes back issues can look like hock issues due to the compensation.


  10. DARN IT, I am so sorry! I know what you mean by “animal purgatory” and it’s the WORST. Bad enough in people but at least they can tell the damn doctor where it hurts! I always just want to know WTF is wrong so I can start treating it. *gritsteeth*

    I will be thinking of you guys this afternoon and hoping that a) the diagnostics can pin this down and b) that it’s something minor and treatable. Everything crossed!


  11. I hope things get sorted out! I too am dealing with injuries though we’ve (thankfully) got my mare figured out. Hairline fracture front right cannon and arthritic hocks. Hopefully we can be back to full work in December or January. Good luck!


  12. Not knowing is the worst, hopefully it’s not something major D: I can relate though, my horse had a mysterious in the cross ties seizure while I was tacking up two days before moving up to novice. It was the worst experience I’ve ever had, holding his head so it didn’t crash into the concrete ground as he seized. We scratched (obviously) and the vet said it was likely a one off thing. Seems that she was right as it’s never happened again.
    Then after our first training CT we came out of the ring and *poof* he was dead lame. Thankfully it wasn’t serious as he had only stepped on a clip but now I’m convinced the eventing gods don’t want us to move up levels, looks like you’re in the club now.


  13. Oh no! I hope you’ll find the source of the NQR and that it is something easy treatable!
    Poor Henny…and poor you.
    It always sucks not to know what it is.


  14. Ugh! Worst. I hate when you’re moving along, learning new things, ready to go accomplish new and harder stuff, when BAM! Not quite right.
    I’ve had this same issue with Jamp ALL SUMMER. We haven’t shown once. We injected almost everything possible, and he didn’t respond to any of it. Not even a little. Finally my vet said I had to work him harder. I had to either make it worse or magically he’d improve, but in his current state he could not diagnose it. So I worked him hard. I even jumped him 3′-3’6″ courses. And he hasn’t changed at all. Still just nqr. We treated him for Lyme since I live in the Lyme capital of the world. I even did a round of epm meds. I’ve noticed the more time off he has the worse he is, so more work seems to be better for him. But I can’t take him in public as he is. It’s very frustrating. If you figure this out, please let me know because we’re literally in the same boat. Hind end stabby, toe dragging torture.


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