Saturday, December 12, 2009

Test run

Today was the first nice day we've had in what feels like forever, although it was probably only just over a week in reality. Temperatures were in the 40s this afternoon, and tonight is the first night in a while that I haven't had to blanket. (I blanket under 20 degrees, or if we are expecting snow.)

As a result, Panama was quite restless. When I got to the barn, I parked and called out a hello to him, but when I went to get his halter I got held up chatting with a couple of other boarders. Every minute or two, I'd hear Panama's whinny as he demanded that I come and get him! (Yes, I know the sound of his whinny.) Unusual behavior for him, particularly when he has hay in front of his face.

When I finally got him and brought him into the tie stalls, he was clearly needing to run. Since it had technically been two weeks since the last time I'd ridden him (though it was only 12 days since the vet put him on two weeks' rest), I checked his fetlock the way the vet had shown me. Panama didn't show any signs of discomfort (though he was plenty impatient with me over the whole thing), and he hasn't been fussing lately when I pick his feet, so I went ahead and turned him out in the arena.

He definitely needed the turnout. I turned him out first with Spaghetti, one of his gelding buddies. Then Lady, his girlfriend, joined us, and Spaghetti left soon after. Panama ran until he was sweaty, and though I watched him closely, he seemed fine.

My plan is to check him again tomorrow evening (since I won't make it in the morning) and see if he has any discomfort from his playtime today. If not, I'll ride him lightly — perhaps bareback — on Monday and see how he does. If he still seems fine, we'll transition back to our regular riding schedule.

Another boarder also recommended that I use sports medicine boots to give his fetlocks some extra support in the soft arena sand. I actually don't think that is what caused his discomfort, since it was just one leg (and I actually can think of an incident that may have caused it — more on that later). However, I'm interested in what my readers think. Do you use sports medicine boots? Why or why not? And how the heck do I determine what size Panama will wear?



At December 13, 2009 at 4:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Sports Medicine Boots - I don't use them every time I ride, but often, especially if I'm doing work at speed or on a horse with know weakness (that would be Maisie). They provide some protection against brushing/impact injuries, and they also provide a degree of support for the suspensory ligaments. A horse can still injury itself wearing them, but they can improve your chances.

At December 13, 2009 at 8:32 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Kate, thanks for the input. Panama hasn't ever seemed to have needed them before, but I'm definitely considering them. How do I measure for the correct size?


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