When we last left off with our intrepid hero baby horse, he was headed to California for his fall season. Unfortunately that didn’t quite pan out.
He did indeed make it to California. They went straight from Texas to Woodside, where he was entered to show in the Novice. If you remember, he’d had a particularly rowdy night in turnout before they were supposed to leave and came in with a banged up foot, but by the time they arrived he was sound and looked ready to go. And then the next morning, before his midday dressage test, he had a, uh… baby horse moment, and spent the morning absolutely ravaging his buckets with his feet (ravaging things with his feet is his go-to I AM ANNOYED/BORED move, he does it a lot), managing to get his foot stuck on one in such a way that he half ripped a shoe off and made himself very lame in the process. So, we scratched Woodside, gave him a week off, had the shoe put back on, and he looked good by that point so Megan planned to bring him back to work.
He looked good on the lunge line so she did a normal flatwork ride on him, where he also felt totally normal, but unfortunately afterward there was some filling and heat in his fetlock. The vet came out and did xrays, which all looked great, but Presto reacted positively to palpation of the suspensory. Like… reacted pretty dramatically. Enough to where they though oh shit, he’s done major damage. Out came the ultrasound machine and after much searching it was determined that there were no lesions or tears, but both branches were inflamed and irritated. The vet recommended 30 days stall rest along with daily icing/surpass/wrapping. So… his fall season was effectively over, and his Cali trip would now be spent just hanging out in his pen.
While it definitely sucks in a lot of ways and I was super disappointed for him to miss YEH Championships, I was mostly relieved that it wasn’t anything major. Thank goodness for Megan’s astute and careful observation or it really could have easily ended up being much worse, since she caught the physical change in the leg before he was actually lame. And when I thought about it, if this had to happen then it’s honestly kind of advantageous the way it went down, because we really aren’t set up for stall rest here at home. We don’t have enough horses to keep one in all the time with him, and he’d absolutely go batshit at being the only horse in the barn. Nor can I think of any boarding barns where I trust them enough to look after him properly and do all of his care to the letter. At least there he’s got plenty of other horses around him all the time and he’s at a busy barn with lots to see to keep him occupied, and I trust Megan implicitly to do all of his care plus she’s there pretty much all day every day. He’s such a busy horse I was very concerned with how he would handle the stall rest but so far he’s been ok in his pen.
Well… he did try to remove his ice boot thus earning himself getting tied very short during ice time, but otherwise.
I ordered him some stall toys, including a Wubba and a rolly treat ball. I wasn’t sure if he’d figure out the treat ball but apparently he did so pretty quickly and is obsessed with it. Toss it around and it gives you treats… yeah that sounds on brand for him. He’s also bulked up a lot, just standing there eating, so Megan is like “He looks so big now!”… um, wtf did he look before??? STOP FEEDING HIM. Just kidding. Mostly.
All was motoring along pretty well until yesterday, when Megan went to do his daily care and found a little bit of heat and some pulse in the leg when there hadn’t been any in a while. He’s sound, but she didn’t like the change and there’s no reason or explanation for it, so while he wasn’t scheduled for his next scan until this weekend she’s having him scanned again while the vet is out today doing a PPE. Fingers crossed that it looks okay… the last thing this horse (or any of his people) needs is an extended stall rest period. I don’t even know how to make that work. Trying not to panic and spiral too far, but, ya know. Mixed success.
Before he left I had already planned on going out to Cali for Galway, which is this weekend, and after thinking about it for a while I decided to still go. I couldn’t get full credit back for my plane ticket, I’d already taken the PTO, and this is probably the last opportunity for me to go anywhere until late next spring. Plus Tenny is in the 2*L and Mo is in the 4*L, and I have other friends showing, so it’ll be a fun little trip even without my own horse competing. The money is already spent so why not. By then we might know a little bit more about how Presto is doing and be able to figure out what his plan will be for the next few months. Naturally this has already ended up costing more than it would have if he’d stuck to the original horse show plan, between lost entry fees and vet bills and stuff, but what else is new with horses. At this point my only real concern is getting him healed up well and quickly. Fingers crossed for an ok scan today!