|The best kind of mounting block is the back tailgate, lol.|
Annie came out quiet and was great to tack - after I mounted up she moved out willingly and then... she felt kind of weird. I halted her, gathered my reins, and asked her to trot. She trotted out on the asphalt and seemed kinda stiff? Unbalanced? Ouchy? I sighed, figuring it was due to our rocky trail ride the day before and trotted her again to assess. Now she felt fine. Ok then.
Cautiously, I continued the ride and noted she felt fine at the walk but every so often just felt weird. Not lame. Not limping. Just... kind of weird.
Back at the barn I poulticed and wrapped her hooves before turning her back out, hoping a few days worth of rest would help. I felt pretty bad about trail riding over the rocks, especially if it had caused her discomfort. I gave her a hearty pat, apologizing while I dumped mash into her bucket.
The next morning I went out and drove Spud, who was much better behaved than the drives prior. We worked hard to establish a trot-walk transition and ensuring he understood standing meant not moving an inch. I was happy with him and when I returned to the barn, I threw Annie on the lunge to see what I had.
|Hint: it ends like this.|
I scratched my head and took her through the barn to tie and started to peel off the hoof wraps to find... nothing.
Moving to her front, I looked down and saw it.
A very large, angry swelling bubbled up from her right fetlock to her knee. Upon further inspection of the area, I found a puncture wound hidden under her fetlock hair.
|Post-cold hosing (day of discovery)|
I went straight to work, cold hosing and poulticing, aiming to get the swelling under control. The wound itself was a few mm deep and after several walks around the paddock, I haven't found a damn thing she could've poked herself on. But, horses will be horses and I'm sure I'll never know how it happened.
|Unhappy, fat leg. :(|
Regardless, I've fixed a few fences and cleaned up some fallen branches in the pasture - I am kicking myself for not inspecting her fronts and looking closer, so I've spent a few evenings walking aimless circles around the pasture trying to find something because I feel crappy about riding her.
So far the wound is healing well and aside from a small bit of swelling in her fetlock near the puncture, her leg is more or less back to normal. There is some residual heat and swelling in her fetlock, as well as the jagged edge of the wound has caused the fetlock to look even puffier, but I hope as the wound itself heals it'll shrink a bit. The puncture itself is starting to close over and although the edges will never meet, it should scab over nicely.
|Day 2, post-betadine scrub and cold hose.|
|Day 4, post cold-hosing.|
|Her front right is kinda off centered, but you can see|
the slight swelling and how the wound has caused the area
to look puffier due to the skin splitting.
|Lots of grazing in the front field, grooming, and cold hosing for this lady.|
|Proud of both of these girls!|