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[RC] horse lamness question - Kathie Ford

Hi there all, I hope everybody is well and happy.
 
I have a question I'd like to ask anybody, but especially Heidi and Susan about my daughters 22 y/o mare.
 
Last December my daughter took her mare out for a short ride. I had warned her a bit as it had been wet and slippery. She said she'd be careful.  But her horse had other ideas that day. She is a pretty spunky mare with a mind of her own sometimes.
 
History on her mare Dolly is that she was a broodmare for the first 10 or so years of her life, had 5 babies I think, and was also broke and lightly ridden. My daughter got her at 12 and started training her and conditioning her. We've had her 11 years and she'd never been lame or even ill in any way. She's suffered one minor cut in the past, had been close to a tendon but she was lucky and healed properly w/no issues.
 
She's done a little LD w/my oldest and my youngest daughters, Pony Club, (some eventing, jumping, dressage, and hunt seat), and lots of trails. She has always been a fit, tough little spitfire.  She has always been a good eater, drinker, and camper and always loved going places.  A really good all around little mare. (but don't tell her she's little!  She doesn't think so!)
 
Fast forward to now.  When my daughter took her for her ride last December they were just walking, a little trotting and doing just fine. Then, Dolly got a burr up her rear (not literally) and decided, as she was known to do "sometimes" decided she wanted to do things her way.  She suddenly decided to gallop. My daughter is a very good rider and she stopped her, however at that time, there was a small creek to cross. My daughter had planned to have her walk across it as it had a steep uphill slope on the other side. The creek wasn't even a creek really just a stream. BUT, it was slippery and her horse just decided to "launch" over it.  She slipped, as my daughter figured and was concerned about, and the mares front hooves slipped, causing her to scramble.  This is a local trail section in our neighborhood by the way.  Dolly seemed okay but my daughter brought her home via a shortcut walking.  She was fine at home, but the next day she was off slightly.
 
After a 2 week rest she seemed on the mend so we took her down to play w/some of our other horses at a neighbors pasture.  We didn't stay there as we usually leave them for a few hours. They love it down there. They usually just eat and some of them run around. We were actually careful which horses we selected to be w/her that day.
 
When we were walking home, Dolly was walking okay BUT when we got home, on her left side her forearm, the muscle there,  which we didn't notice immediately, was very swollen.  Again, she didn't seem off but it was huge. There was also some hyde off in a square shaped pattern. Only thing we could think of was that she may have been "squeezed" by the the others maybe near a fence if they were playing.
 
Next day, took her out she was dead lame.  She got worse and worse.  The swelling on the forearm disappeared completely and never seemed to really bother her. It was on the right side. She was off on the left.
 
We gave her more rest but this time she got worse. We took her to the vet, paid a large bill doing nerve blocks, full examination, x-rays w/no diagnosis and all of us scratching our heads. Ironically, her coffin bone, navicular bone, and all other bones, in her hooves and leg looked really great for a 22 y/o they said. There was never any swelling of legs upper or lower. We declined an ultrasound as there seemed to be nothing pointing to a tendon injury via the vet and we didn't want to waste $. We had NO clue what she had done. We thought abccess, then found nothing. Then muscle tear? Then possibly tendon/ligament?? No logical symptoms. Just a mystery lameness.

Only thing I could find were some spasms by both forearms, mainly left side..humm.I was able to release w/some t-touch and massage.  So we just gave her time. Had her have a prof. massage, had body work done, etc.
 
It's been 11 months now and this is my question. Dolly is very sound at the walk and almost at the trot. She's moved back up in pecking order (she'd been depressed for a bit and allowed herself to lower herself in the herd so we knew she wasn't feeling right), is cantering and playing in the pasture etc.  HOWEVER, and this is my question:
 
She trots sound on hard pavement (our driveway) and in the pasture looks okay. BUT, when we have her trot in the sand arena she is slightly off. Not bad but it's still there.  Strangely, it shows itself more when she is trotted with the supposidly bad leg on the outside.  Scratching my head here folks.
 
Also, I can't remember where or when I read this, but I did read something that mentioned that if you are trotting out a horse on sand vs. hard ground it would be a clue to either an injury to a tendon or a bone or something. One or the other. I cannot for the life of me remember which is which or completely what I read. Just remembered "something" in that regard...
 
So, anybody out there have any clues or experience w/something strange like this?  It did take a lot of time to heal. She is under saddle at the WALK only and that seems to be helping. She also looks completely sound if we trot her just a few steps going uphill. ( we do this to assess her progress) Downhill (on smooth ground only) it shows just a tad.
 
We were never able to even know what she had done to herself so has been hard to figure out. 
 
To date her attitude is very good and normal, weight good, wants to go. But we are being very careful w/her still and one step at a time.
 
Any good detectives out there?
 
Again, thanks in advance,
 
kathie
(a perplexed "horsey" grandma! :)  )


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