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[RC] Filling defects in legs - Ridecamp Guest

Please Reply to: Sharon Hahn sharon.hahn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx or 

Please Reply to: Donna S. Donhajek@xxxxxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
The vet is checking for tendon fill.  The tendons (actually I
think it is the tendon sheath) collect fluid under stress
and get puffy. Under UMECRA rules, the higher the #, the more fill is present 
(don't know how NATRC or other orgs score.)
Any filling that is added during a ride (i.e., greater than
what you started with) results in (-) points.

The puffiness should go away by the next day or so and
is a sign that your horse's legs are working harder than
they are used to (that darn sand!)  If you are just starting out, the tendon 
deductions might go away as your horse gets stronger. However, if you have an 
old horse or a horse that is worked hard a lot, the horse might keep getting 
tendon fill deductions. It MAY be an indicator that changes should be made in 
your training regimen, or it may just be your horse.  Ask the vet! Pick a time 
when they aren't busy checking horses, and go
over and tell them you are new and could they show you what
they are looking for when they check the tendons and whether
you should worry about your deductions or do any aftercare such as ice wraps.  
Most of the time they will be thrilled that you want to learn how to take 
better care of your horse.

If the vet isn't concerned, don't get too excited.  My 21 yo
mare habitually loses 2 points or so per leg (for 5 years now).

After a 12 mile Competitive Novice ride last weekend my horse
had scores of -3, -2 etc in his lower legs.   How are these
things graded?  How do I check what the vet is feeling? Can
anything be done to prevent this?

The ride was in deep sand, which we do not get the opportunity
to condition in. Thanks for any info.

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