I know it is almost impossible to imagine, but over the last two weeks I have been quite the neglectful horse owner. Or perhaps I should call DC a latchkey horse. A week ago Monday I hacked DC with the full knowledge that I would be unable to see him again until the following week. I was leaving for my vacation on Wednesday, and due to work commitments would be unable to go out on that Tuesday.
I lined up a couple of hacks for when I was gone, and figured he would enjoy a little semi-vacation to go along with mine. I explained to my stand-in rider that DC was of the type to try to convince you he was almost un-broke and clearly had never learned to steer in his entire career.
Upon her first ride, I received this text:
DC’s two favorite lies:
1. My mom totally lets me bulge in the corners.
2. I do not have walk canter transitions.
Upon reflection, these two lies are much improved from the previous lies he would like to tell new riders which were:
1. I don’t know how to trot or canter
2. Somehow my mom manages to canter around a course of jumps, but she does so by osmosis without using any aids whatsoever.
I call that progress.
When I arrived back in Austin, my plan was to ride DC on my first day back, and leg him back up to full work over the next two weeks before hauling up to Matt’s for some lessons. This excellent plan was foiled by a cold that I came down with in Vegas. There is absolutely nothing worse than being sick on vacation. Except when you’re still sick when you get home and can’t go ride your pony! Stomp foot.
Thus the latchkey horse went from latchkey to benign neglect when I didn’t get out to even see him until Thursday. That would be one full week and a half since I’d laid eyes on his grayness.
Being a horse, and being a horse who is feeling neglected and without enough paddock cakes in his life, I arrive to a swollen front leg. Ok so maybe it had a little bit of filling and not actually swollen, but alas there was filling in it without a doubt. Luckily my vet is also a good friend of mine, and our conversation went something like this:
Me: OH MY GOD DC’s LEG IS SWOLLEN.
Vet: Are you sure? This sounds like an exaggeration.
Side note. He knows me well.
Me: Ok, its just slightly swollen, but definitely not normal.
Vet: What would you like me to do about it?
Me: I don’t know, vet stuff.
Vet: I’m pretty sure you’re capable.
Me: sends pics
Vet: Does not look very swollen to me. Maybe a little puffy.
Me: More than puffy. Less than Swollen
Vet: Can you give me definitions of each?
Vet: (with what I’m assuming is a lot of eye rolling) Maybe has an abscess brewing. Maybe tweaked it. Maybe needs a furacin/DMSO wrap and some bute. Or just amputate!! Whichever is best.
At which point I chose the "furacin/DMSO wrap and some bute" route. I may or may not have overdone the wrapping. You be the judge.
Guilt resulting from neglect I assure you.
The good news is he was completely sound, and I hope to still leg him back up and take him to Matt's next weekend. To be continued.....