More proof of Louie's show hatred. . . He tries as hard as he possibly can to spoil my fun. Well, here's the scoop, we've got a show this weekend that we've been planning on doing for the past few months, Octoberfest Horse Show, our state's last ASB show of the year. We're all ready, up until about a week ago, we've been doing great with our leads, new saddle, cuts healed, etc.
Well, Louie had been off in one of his front legs about a month ago, just slightly, so I gave it some time to heal, and continued to work through it, but it just hasn't really resolved. He's not head bobbing lame, just really tight through the shoulders and landing a little bit toe-first and short on both fronts- slightly more so on the right. Our vet came out to take a look last week (I had planned to have her do some chiropractic adjustments in preparation for the show) and diagnosed him with a right front high-mid suspensory ligament strain/sprain, and tender heels on his left front, due to his lower angles on that side and probably compensating for his right front being sore. She opted not to do chiropractic on him since he is off and will likely not benefit as much from it as he would if his legs/feet were all feeling okay. So we're on rest- paddock/stall rest for 2+ weeks, DMSO, hand-walking, etc. Louie hates it. He hates not being with his buddies, not eating grass, having all kinds of pent-up energy with no outlet to express it, and did I mention he is a weanie for pain? He HATES the DMSO with a vengeance. So I have to walk him around and distract him for several minutes to an hour after applying it. I hate putting it on and causing him pain just as much as he hates having it put on him.
Our vet is so wonderful and understanding and she knows how much I want to go to this show. She's not certain he'll be comfortable enough by then, but at least didn't totally shoot it down. We're having our farrier out on Wednesday morning, and he's going to put some front shoes on Louie to see if they make him just a bit more comfortable. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and in the meantime doing the rest, DMSO, hand-walk regimen in hopes that he'll be moving comfortably enough by this weekend to show him.
I do go back and forth with this debate of whether I might injure him more by taking him to the show, but this is the way I see it. This injury has been going on for more than a month, and I've been working him through it the entire time up 'til now- and not just babying him along, I'd been doing some pretty substantial work with canter leads, simple changes, driving- speeds and intervals, etc. It was no worse with all of that work than it was before it. Not to say 4 classes in a horse show is easier than work at home, but I don't realistically see a huge potential for significantly worsening the injury as long as we're careful. I've been palpating his suspensory ligaments each day before I apply the DMSO and it really doesn't seem to be tender any longer, and the trace of swelling that he had last week is now gone. And, after this show, we have nothing on the docket for months. Perhaps a trail ride for him if he's sound later on this fall, but otherwise he can hang out in stall/paddock and rest until March if he wants/needs to. All impatience aside, I really do worry about him (excessively), and will be taking this entire show thing, class by class if we even go, very cautiously and playing it by ear.
The fun of the preparations have begun, dampened only somewhat by Louie's injuries, so let's hope that our farrier can work some magic and get Louie feeling good on Wednesday!