Saturday, December 7, 2013

The mystery of pasture injuries

Friday, December 6, 2013
The past few days have been dark and gray.  With temperatures moderate I manage to ride even if it is a bit misty or drizzly which I do willingly given the upcoming wintery conditions predicted.  A bit of snow no longer phases me but after adventures in the sleet last week I really have to draw the line.  That was an odd day though.  The quiet snowflakes that tumbled down at the start of my ride suddenly switched to sleet!

Yesterday I managed to fit in a ride on Nikki and a brief lunge for Suki but it came later in the day than usual due to thick morning fog.  Nikki seemed tense under me, as though the snap of a branch would set her off.  I overcame my own anxiety at this feeling by keeping her occupied in work.  She settled quickly.  

While grooming Suki I noticed a long scrape on her left hind white sock, down the front.  I always marvel at how horses manage to obtain these injuries.  The location suggests that a scuffle with Nikki was not the cause, and nothing in her pasture could really do it either.  Yesterday when I was leaving I did see her perform several hardy rolls, back and forth again and again.  I guess it is possible that she caught it with her foot during that roll.... It appeared to be superficial but in the past such an abrasion would cause her to be a slightly off.  Okay, sometimes she would actually appear 3-legged lame with a lesser scrape!  I always thought that it was her way of trying to get out of having to work.  Ever the drama queen and diva!  Following her brave recovery from burn injuries I do believe that she was exaggerating! Suki had come in from her field fine with no evidence of lameness, so I proceeded to prepare her to lunge.  Cleaning the wound, it was indeed superficial but I added some wound ointment under her boots.

Suki was also somewhat tense so I wonder if the start of hunting season has them on high alert.  After a buck and a snort she also settled into work but I kept it short anyway.  And she was 100% sound. Following the work I cleaned the abrasion again, added some ointment, gauze squares and standing wraps behind for over night.  Suki tends to stock up when in for extended periods and this would be exacerbated by a cut on the sensitive white sock/pink skin.

Knowing that today would be completely unsuitable for riding outside I was happy to get in that ride.  Three days in a row for Nikki then a day off works fine.  

This morning I awoke to the sound of rain on the skylights.  The Suki and Nikki would be in today.  Temperature was in the 40sF but expected to fall during the day.  Needless to say the girls were happy to see me. I spent time with each of them, grooming Nikki (who pulled my hat off while I was brushing her front legs).

Suki's mystery wound looked fine but after cleaning it and applying ointment I once again wrapped her hind legs for the night.  The barn was cozy and peaceful with the sound of horses contentedly munching on hay.  The heavy rain continued through the night so arena condition tomorrow is questionable.

Saturday, December 7, 2013
Another cold and gray start to the day, but i think that I am getting used to it.  I dress warmly in layers and hope for the best.  The sharp air slaps my cheeks as I fill the bird feeders, while my regular squirrel visitors watch me from not too far away, waiting for their first opportunity to snag some yummy nuts from the ground.

Driving to the barn a flock of geese flies overhead in formation, honking loudly as they pass.  Everything about the morning offers the feeling of impending wintery weather, but I am looking forward to my ride nonetheless.   Coming down the drive to the barn I can see some puddles in the arena, but upon further inspection it is not so bad.  Nikki worked well, lifting her knees and hocks when we passed through the occasional puddle.

Suki was impatient to get out of her stall as usual, and the scrape looked fine when I removed the wraps.  One thing about these winter blankets....they hold the moisturizer nicely underneath so I decided not to add more.  Just the exposed areas were moisturized today.  A thick layer of ointment on the scrape, and I was confident that it would be fine for turnout.  Cloudy, windy and cold I added a layer to both horses.

Tonight temperatures will dip far below freezing, so without much sun today I expect a frozen tundra for an arena tomorrow morning.  Sunday afternoon and evening going into Monday Snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected, so Nikki really needs to work tomorrow.  If the footing is too hard early it may be okay later in the morning before the bad weather starts.  Suki will probably not work in the arena.  I can probably take her out back to do some in hand work.  Might be a good piaffe day!


  1. Glad the scrape wasn't anything serious. I manage to get my share of mystery bruises, myself ;)

    1. I also manage to get those mystery bruises! Yes, it seems to be just superficial, but quite long!