Well we have some answers for the question, “What the heck is wrong with Ike?” Now we are working on what the correct solution is to keep us going for another 10+ years.
Right before our scheduled June show, Ike and I had one final tune up lesson with Ms. C. About 20 minutes into our lesson, Ike strangely cocked his leg like a dog at a fire hydrant. WTF?! He felt so unstable that I flung myself off. Ms. C and I performed a crime scene investigation, but found nothing obvious. We let him relax and he seemingly walked out of the problem. I hopped back on, but he was moving a little wonky. A call was placed to the vet. Bute and rest.
Well, given that we were supposed to be headed down centerline in 72 hours, my overprotective mom-mode kicked in and I was able to get a vet appointment for Friday morning…2 hours before the departure for the show…because who doesn’t need a little added stress to the show weekend. Nothing was screaming “ouch,” so we decided to make the short trek to the show grounds.
Ms. C came to school us and watch for problems. Not much escapes her hawk like vision. Well, a half-blind dog could have seen Ike cock his leg. We took him back to his stall, and I made the sad trek to the show office to scratch my classes. A funny aside, the assistant show secretary asked if I had another horse to show. “Yes, I have another horse, but no, he won’t be coming to pinch hit for his brother.”
We ended up taking Ike to Piedmont Equine Practice in Marshall, Virginia for further consultation. Dr. Nolan gave Ike every chance to fail and show pain, but big man gave no obvious sign. Xrays were clear of any lesions or arthritis. Flexions were also good. We believe that Ike’s left hind hits the low pastern of the right hind causing temporary pain thus the odd leg cock. Dr. Nolan’s plan is to pull the hind shoes, do a corrective trim on the left hind, and for Ike’s legs to be as protected as I can make them. Fingers crossed that we can keep Ike shoe-free on the hinds.
I have been using neoprene low pastern wraps sold by Big Dee’s. The are marketed for the harness racers. They have been fine, but we need more. Bringing polo wraps down low was an option, but still not ideal. I toyed around with using bubble wrap, but decided if it popped, I might need additional padding. Whatever we use needs to have some flexibility given the leg and joint movement. Enter the Bed Sore Boots by Professional’s Choice. Fleece-lined neoprene velcroed to the lower hind leg.
One test ride gave me no cause for concern. Ike is not bothered by them. They cover the area where he brushes the low pastern. I put Ike through the paces and I am happy to report that there was not a single mark on either of the boots.
Sure, they will get us some “looks” at shows, but so be it. If it means that we are good to go with chasing our silver medal dream, laugh all you want. I am just glad that my pony is all right.