Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm awaiting an update from KAT and will re-post when I get one....

Last night Junior was very, very off. It's a mystery why, but there are a lot of factors involved. So here's your mystery to solve:

1)Vaccinations were done yesterday
2) He is not wearing shoes (front shoes will be put on on Wednesday)
3) His first time (this spring) truly working in the outdoor arena which has less than ideal (rocky) footing.
4) He was not turned out Wednesday due to the vaccinations
5)He'd already had a morning lesson in the indoor but it was only at a walk and he seemed fine.
6) He'd had a lesson Tuesday evening after turnout and did not seem out of the ordinary.
7) He had drunk nearly all of his 2 buckets by 7pm.
8) There was manure and urine in his stall and he farted and pooped while riding.

So, what happened is that he threatened to kick at me while I was grooming his left barrel before tacking up. It wasn't impressive, he got a verbal scolding and was fine. I did not take much note of this until later, though. We got out to the indoor to ride and he started off just fine. He was a little short strided so I trotted him out at a posting trot for a warm up. Since he hadn't been out I figured he could use some long trot before being asked to jog. Then he walked and jogged along but I kept having to ask him to reach from behind and he was increasingly non-responsive to my requests to do so. Then he started needed to be continually cued to jog or he'd break to a walk. At this point I became aware of the abnormality in his movment and behavior and was just trying to "feel it out" when KAT noticed and said "wow, he's really moving differently in the footing out here. Try and trot him out." That's when he started to feel limpy and lightly head bobby. He usually carries his head very evenly so the small amount of bob was very visible. As soon as I stopped urging him he broke to a walk. I stopped him, checked his feet, felt around and didn't find any inconsistencies/heat. I tried to lunge him a little and his right hind seemed shorter strided than his left but both fronts were choppy. KAT felt his feet and said she couldn't feel any heat. I took him back to the indoor and he was VERY sluggish the whole way back. I tried to ride him in the indoor to see if it was just the footing and he was worse in there. I put him in his stall, untacked him, and noticed he had a bulge on his left barrel, just behind the ribs that was warm to touch and he cringed and threatened to kick again. KAT looked at it and though he may have been kicked there and so was painful from it.

We gave him some banamine paste I had left over from his eye, put his blanket on and gave instructions for no turn-out and no lessons for today. This is one of those days I wish I lived a whole lot closer to the barn!

What the heck is wrong? IS it a kick? An internal thing like a hernia? If it was a kick it must have happened on Tuesday and he didn't show any soreness until Wednesday evening?

This is one of those times a talking horse would be helpful.


  1. Could be a colic/laminitis thing - if so the vet would be an immediate necessity. If he's only off on one leg, it's probably an injury of some sort; if he's footsore on all feet it's likely to be metabolic. Hope you get it figured out!

  2. Where were the shots administered?
    What shots?
    What brand was given?

    Turnout after shots is a good idea to quell any stifness at the injection site.

  3. Worst case is it could be laminitis. My mare got laminitis in her front left hoof and luckily we caught it in time. I'd have the vet come out just to be sure.
    Otherwise, maybe he could just be a little stiff or stepped a little strangely earlier in the day. Hope you figure out what's going on with him soon!

  4. Hmmm... aren't horses fun?

    How does he seem when he's not being worked or brushed? Does he seem "normal"? You mentioned he drank a lot of water, but is he eating? Did he only threaten to kick when you brushed over that lumpy spot? You said he seemed sluggish heading to the indoor arena, but what about before you rode him?

    Seems like if it was related to the shots he might feel under the weather, but if it is an injury or a sore foot instead, he might feel fine, just not want to work, which is why I'm curious about his disposition.

    I hope you get some good news soon! Hopefully he's just having an off day.

  5. Happy to report that he seems normal today. He is still sensitive to hard brushing/touching in the area but he is usually a little ticklish there anyway. The swelling has gone way down and looks symmetrical to the other side. I tried light exercise and he moved out happily on the lunge line in the outdoor, volunteered to trot and kept himself moving without any urging from me. He jogged on the concrete, grass and outdoor arena without complaint. He is drinking, eating, and pooping at near normal levels. Near normal only because I think his stall was cleaner than normal after being inside all day but I have no way of knowing what time his stall was cleaned. He has pooped once in the 2.5
    hours I've been here. He seems totally normal behavior-
    wise. So a-okay for now.