Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Well, our Rides of March.... wasn't.  After vetting in successfully on Friday evening, when I went to hang up Diego's bucket to feed him some complete feed pellets while tacking up Saturday morning, he stepped over three-legged lame, hardly weight-bearing on his left front.  Of course I freaked out and grabbed him off the trailer to walk him around, which necessitated having to use a spare pair of reins to lead him as my lead rope was frozen solid at the knot.  Walking him around the camp fire in the main vetting area seemed to help some, he became noticeably less stiff and was walking easier, but still visibly limping at the walk.  Ride Manager and Team Easyboot Member Tami helped me to pull off both his front boots, to check just in case.  We couldn't find anything noticeably wrong.  Both front legs were cool with no filling and no reaction to our palpation.  He didn't get into prediaments on the trailer from what I could feel/tell during the night, and looked to have moved around enough as he had poop piles from one end of the lead to another. 

I had vet Susan McCartney check him out for me later in the morning to see what she might be able to find.  He did have some sensitivity with hoof testers to his left front frog.  Not sure how that bothers him enough overnight, with boots on in perfect sandy footing, to get that kind of reaction.  We were all a bit baffled.  For now I have a couple of theories:
  1. I had his boot on too tight.  I don't normally use athletic tape unless at an actual endurance ride.  I find I don't need it for regular training, but appreciate the tighter fit and security provided with three wraps of tape around the hoof.  It also helps to keep sand and other small debris out of the boot.  On that particular foot only, when I put the boot on the tape rucked up from around the bottom of the hoof wall, and kind of was bunched around the top of the Easyboot Glove.  It tooks a screwdriver to pry the boot off.  Perhaps this pressure overnight was too much and caused the soreness.
  2. He got cramped and chilled standing in the wind, rain, and snow overnight.  I did my best to park so he was on the lee side of the trailer, but it was still quite windy (gusts to 50 mph) on Friday evening and poured rain off and on until around 3 am, when the temps dropped and it switched to snow and froze everything that was wet.  I forgot my good insulated winter blanket at home, so had Diego in a polar fleece cooler with a waterproof sheet over that.  While he was totally dry and felt warm to the touch, perhaps he got chilled and cramped.
  3. He stood in one place too long due to the weather (seeking shelter) and was stiff/cramped.  Again, same circumstances as above.  I actually considered putting him IN the trailer Friday evening as I climbed into bed, but I cannot shut the rear door of my trailer with the divider open (design flaw) and I didn't want him standing in such a small area overnight.  Perhaps he ended up doing just that anyways.
For now, things are at watch and see status.  Plan is to ride this weekend, and if all looks well during and after the ride, then we'll still aim for Nevada Derby in two weeks.  Fingers crossed.


Mel said...

Bummer!!!!! I hope it's nothing serious. Don't use easy boots so I can't help specifically with that conclusion, but I was warned that if I had to leave my strap on renegades on over night, to make sure they weren't too tight - but because they fit so different from the easy boots, not sure if it's applicable.

Having to pull from any ride sucks - whether because he stepped on a rock, or a trailer incident......but how very frustrating to not even start!!!!!! GRRRRRRR>>> Hoping to hear good news soon!!!!!!!!! About a completion and a great ride!!!!!

Bird said...

Ahh, was sorry to read about it on Facebook and reading the details here. How disappointing indeed! Glad it doesn't seem to be a lasting issue though and better luck for Nevada Derby!

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