The last week or so, Iggy was looking stiff but seemed better throughout the day so we just kept an eye on it – a stiff 19 year old horse isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. Then last Friday (a week ago), I took him out and he was like, 4/5 lame. Majorly. Only minimal swelling, no heat, but tender to palpation. Of course it was 7pm by now, so I got my vet’s first available non-after hours emergency appointment – Tuesday afternoon. And then both iced and cold hosed 30 minutes a day, 2x a day, bute, stall rest, wraps, hand walking… the whole shebang. All while anxiously google searching and eyeing the calendar for that August 8th show date.
Tuesday came and we busted out every tool in my vet’s truck. We started with the Equinosis machine which is this crazy cool sensor that is able to quantify lameness, where it is, what part of the stride, etc. and spit out a full report. Iggy kept swapping which front leg he was lame on which was really fun.
We ended up pulling shoes, shooting rads (which all came back perfect and beautiful and apparently looking like they belonged to a horse half his age) and then moved onto blocking. We finally got to where we blocked it (mostly) out and moved onto ultrasound.
Which is where things get really shitty.
The short version of the long story is we found significant soft tissue damage to both the suspensory and superficial tendon on LF, thickening of soft tissue and general disruption of the fibers on the RF (the different tendons and ligaments looked like a giant tangled ball of yarn), plus possibly a bone bruise or cartilage damage. Probably not a single one injury, more cumulative over time.
Annndd that’s what makes the prognosis bad – there’s nothing to go treat per say, like a tear or lesion. He said with rest and careful rehab, he thought he’d probably be sound for flatwork, but the damage is pretty bad.
In other words, on Tuesday I found out my brand new event horse’s jumping career is over, Wednesday I got a four digit vet bill to just add some insult to injury, scratched my fourth recognized event in a row and today I get to write a super shitty post, almost 11 months to the day I wrote the same one about Doc. In between I’ve done a lot of outright sobbing, yelling, listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore album and wishing I’d picked a hobby like tennis or knitting or God, just ANYTHING else.
It’s not really a pity party (okay, so a little bit), but more ‘this is why my perfect chestnut pony is going back to Kentucky to be retired in three weeks, doesn’t my life fucking suck’.
My trainer is already on the hunt for another lease (that horse shopping budget just had a large chunk taken thanks to spending more money at the vet this month than my entire mortgage payment plus some), which I appreciate and know is the right move seeing as it will take time, but damn my heart is just freaking broken right now. I don’t want another horse. Again. I want MINE. My fun as hell, rocket booster pony who I can also hack on the freaking road solo, who I can ride bareback in a halter, who was laying down sub-30 dressage tests. Who I got six months with, a full one of which I was under quarantine and couldn’t see him. Who I fell hard and fast in love with.
I’m just really fucking over 2020.