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Re: [RC] [RC] Splint injury? - Don Huston

This is the TENS kit I bought.

This splint boot adaption works quick and easy.

I have also used this TENS unit on myself many times for strained muscles etc.

Don Huston

At 12:54 PM 7/18/2008 Friday, you wrote:
Your post is really encouraging.  I should have added that this particular horse is a OT standardbred and has several cold/healed splints that haven't bothered her in the several years I have owned her.  I don't recall a splint injury in the particular area that is swollen right now, so I think it is new....but it's something I'll keep in mind. 
Thanks for the response.  I really appreciate the time and effort people have gone to in order to answer my post!  ***I had a TENS unit recommended to me a couple of times in the last year or so.  Do you have a favorite weblink that I could check them out at? 

On 7/18/08, Don Huston <donhuston@xxxxxxx> wrote:
Hello Melinda,

I bought my current enduro horse in 2000 from the track with existing cold splints on both front legs. They were fine for years then in Feb 2007 after the Eastern Mojave ride the RF leg swelled up all down below the old splint bump which was also much bigger. Looked terrible but he was not lame. Xrays showed a broken splint bone with a piece missing? an old racetrack repair? Ultrasound showed several tears in the ligament below the splint bump. Obviously he had re-injured the old splint and the vet recommended surgery at $3000 with no guarantee for soundness. I said no, that I would try R&R first. Rehab & Ride X;{

The vet also recommended steel shoes for support. I said no, the horse had been barefoot for 4 years at that point and is still barefoot. I do glue boots on for endurance rides only.

I did all those things that Elizabeth did plus used a TENS unit 3-4 hours a day 4-5 days a week for several months. I left the horse with his 2 buddies in their usual 40x100 pen so he kept moving, no stall rest. After several months the swelling was down 50%, felt firm, very slightly warmer than the other leg, and the horse showed no flinching or pain to hard palpating. We started back with light riding and by Sept he was back doing his usual 6-8mile training rides in 1 hour.

Then one beautiful Sept afternoon on my 1 mile of perfect trail where this horse had run fast many times in the past I decided it was time to test the leg. Up to this point we had cantered and galloped many short spurts but always a minute or less. We covered the mile in our usual 3 minutes barefoot and everything seemed fine. The next day I was shocked to see the leg swelled up just like before but the horse showed no pain and trotted out circles just fine so I continued riding but no more cantering and the swelling gradually started back down.

In Oct 07 we did the LD at Manzanita in 5 hrs and got Top 5 BC based on vet scores, not placement. The leg still looked like crap and I told the vets what I had been doing and they checked the leg and the trot extra careful, said the horse was fine. The leg actually looked better after the 25 than before.

In Nov 07 we did the Tejon 50 in 7.5 hrs and same thing. The leg looked like crap but better after the 50.

So far in 08 the horse has completed 6-50's plus many training rides and the leg still looks like crap but slightly better all the time. Go figure.

Don Huston

At 09:22 AM 7/18/2008 Friday, you wrote:
Hello everyone -

Was hoping that someone here could give me advice/encouragement on this matter.  I searched the archives but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of info.

When out on a trail ride on Sunday I made a poor decision and decided to have my horse cross some very flat/slick rocks in order to get to some water.  Of course she slipped (I was dismounted).  She didn't actually fall, but there was definitely some scrambling.  After it was all said and done she seemed fine, I trotted her out on the way home and she looked/felt sound.  I trotted her out that night and the day after and seemed sound, although I did find a slight bump on the inside of the front leg, up near the knee.  On Wednesday I we went out for an easy 10 mile (flat) ride.  She trotted sound but didn't want to move out and after getting back her heart rate didn't drop as quickly as I am used to, and once it did drop, it kept spiking up again (unusual).  The next day (Thursday) I trotted her out on the straight (sound) and put her on a lunge and had her trot in both directions.  Willing to trot and looks sound.  However, when I pick up her leg and aggressively palpate the lump on the inside of the leg, it is tender.  She is a 10 year old mare in fairly good condition (currently doing 50 milers on her this season).

Does this sound like an aggravated splint?    Is this something that will resolve on her own with rest?  I have had a lot of vet bills this year and would like to avoid going to the vet if possible.  Once the bump is no longer painful can I start slowly putting her back to work?  Or this one of those injuries (like a bowed tendon) that needs to continue healing well after the pain is gone?

I'm fairly certain that she is going to be out for the rest of the season (I had fireworks, camp far west, mariposa, and desert gold lined up...maybe Oroville), however does anyone have any experience with this condition and how long the horse was laid up?

Thanks for you advice in advance.


Don Huston
donhuston @ cox .net
SanDiego, Calif

Don Huston
donhuston @ cox .net
SanDiego, Calif

[RC] Splint injury?, Melinda Faubel