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Healing Time for Taz and Me

Friday, June 24, 2011

I had a fun time at my second USDF show last weekend. This time I rode a friend's horse (a few weeks ago I rode one of my trainer's horses successfully). It was the mare's first time off the farm to a show, and she was a bit nervous, but by getting there the night before, we allowed some time for her to settle in.

The next morning, after a touch-up bath and braiding, I had only about 20 minutes to warm up (braiding took too long, not my choice, but owner wanted to), but we managed a 65.7% in Training 2 - not bad! Our afternoon test, it seemed she would be nice and mellow, in fact I had to get a whip when I got on to make sure she'd be forward (usually not a necessity with her), and again, we only had about 20 minutes to warm up due to a conflict with my trainer's test, but she was seeming fine. Then, 5 minutes before the test, as we were walking around, suddenly her barn-mate showed up to watch and her head shot straight up in the air and the jigging began. Agh, we had to go in the ring like that, she must have whinnied 5 times during the test, so distracted - we ended up with a 57.5% on Training 1 - not bad, and we both need to know how to deal with distractions, so just chalk it up to experience.



After that, as I was winding down and watching my trainer ride some more tests, I walked up into the bleachers, turned down an aisle, and my foot slipped off the walkway - I ended up banging my leg just below the knee (and my thigh and elbow) - it blew up to half a grapefruit size by that night. I thought my leg would explode! But I was icing it, elevating it, ibuprofen, and my roommate (hotel - the mare's owner) is an OR nurse, and had some compression socks I could wear. Those really helped, by morning it had gone down by half, so I felt okay to stay the second day and help groom for her day of showing.



Now, it's a week later, my hematoma is still egg-sized, sore. I actually tried riding Taz last Sunday, and I can get on okay, but I really can't hold my leg against the saddle, so we are just walking mostly - trail rides. That is pretty much what he needs anyway. I did try trotting him a bit on the dirt road, and if I collect him, he will maintain a sound trot. If I give him a loose rein, he may start to try and canter instead (kind of a lurching move in the front only like one leg is sore), so I think there is still some soreness going on, but I want to try and keep going - I feel like he's in this downward spiral where he has had so much time off that his muscles are going away, makes him weaker and more apt to strain himself, etc.

He did get re-shod in front last Friday, and the farrier did trim his RF so that the coronet band is more parallel to the ground, and so of course, he is landing a bit more on the outside again, but that's to be expected. It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Had my daughter ride him again on Wednesday, and I think she'll ride again today, too. This photo is from last summer, but kind of reflects what we're doing with him now (not much!):

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