ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Thumps!!!! Need advice!

[endurance] Thumps!!!! Need advice!

Jude Hall (Hall@cc.denison.edu)
Wed, 07 Aug 1996 16:56:19 -0400 (EDT)

OK, I've read all the info about Thumps in the archives, and the articles on
the endurance homepage, but still have a lot of questions (and
anxiety)....I'll try to make this "question"
as brief as possible.

Last week my husband and I took our horses camping at a state forest in the
southern Ohio hills that we ride often. This was a pleasure trip, several
friends with less conditioned horses came down to camp and ride with us for
a day or two, thus we rode slowly, and
took plenty of breaks. Both of our horses are (at least I thought they
were) fit to ride the trails much faster than we did. They are lower-level
distance horses (25, 30 & 2-day
50 mile rides to date).

The weather was good. Mid to upper 80's, fairly humid (50% or above), but
we were riding primarily in the forest and not in the sun. There was not a
breeze at all. I *forgot*
to pack the electrolytes, but I thought it would be OK, because we were not
exactly blitzing along.

So, now that the scenerio has been set, here's the problem. We rode 15-20
miles maximum each day, the third day we rode a pretty challenging 12-13
miles; coming back into camp, and going back out on an evening ride of about
7 miles - not that
hard, one hill up, riding a ridge, one hill down, riding a hollow, then back
into camp.

Up until the last ride on the third day, everything had seemed fine. Redbud
(my husband's horse) *does* sweat profusely, particularly when excited (he
is very competitive, and being around strange horses really flips his switch
- and each day we had a new group of new horses to "compete" with). There
was plenty of
water on the trail and he drank well all 3 days.

His pulse had always been down to 44-48 within 10 minutes of coming into
camp, and he seemed very energetic. Redbud's pulse was
60 when we stopped in camp, he was breathing normally (I didn't count
respirations, but I know he was breathing slowly, not panting or blowing at
all). Charlie had taken a few extra minutes to cool in the creek nearby,
sponging him off, and when he walked
on in to camp, Redbud felt cool and dry. Anyway, at 10 minutes, he was
still 60....I sponged him some more, but he just didn't drop. =20

He acted perfectly normal, munching hay, good gut sounds, capillary refill
time seemed instantaneous, he may have been a bit dehydrated. I kept
checking his pulse, and after 45 minutes, it was still at 60, and I noticed
a twitch in his left flank. :^0

Thumps? This really scared me, as it is just something I have read about.
I found a tube of electrolytes I hadn't used at a competitive ride, and gave
that to him - within
10 minutes of giving him the electrolytes, his pulse had dropped to 44.
But, the "thumps" continued. He acted as if he noticed nothing was
different. I had been walking him around letting him graze, if I hadn't
seen the twitch, I wouldn't have known anything was wrong at all. It was
only the left flank that was "thumping" -
is this what thumps looks like? I was kicking myself because I didn't have
any of my endurance or vet books with me (when I got home and read them, I
was glad I didn't have them - each one said something different). I
remembered something about Potassium and Lite salt, so I mixed some in
applesauce and gave that to him
also, about a =BD hour after the real electrolytes. All in all, the=
went on for about an hour and a 1/2 - the last hour or so, I couldn't *see*
the flank move, but could feel it.

Well, I tried to keep this short....

Now, I am very paranoid. One part of me says it was because I didn't give
electrolytes those 3 days, the other part says that before I began distance
riding, I (and most other
casual trailriders) didn't even *know* about them and didn't feed them at
all and I never had this problem before. My mare, btw, did the same rides
and was normal in every way; but then Redbud had been too....

One of the books I have says that horses who have "thumped" are more likely
to thump again. =20

I had planned to take Redbud on a 2 day 50 mile ride Aug. 17-18 (a
competitive ride, the speed will be 6mph), but am worried about this. My
vet is on vacation....

Can anyone give me advice? Has anyone experienced this? This was on a
Sunday evening, hours from home, I was hesitant to try to contact an unknown
vet since the horse didn't show any signs of distress at all. Would this be
considered a case of
"mild" thumps? Is it likely to happen again? I haven't ridden him since,
we came home the next afternoon, and it has been *very* hot and humid the
past 2 days. What do I look for to prevent this?

I hope it can be prevented by using electrolytes...

Sorry to go on and on, trying to explain thoroughly.

Any and all advice will be appreciated!=20

Jude Hall
& Kentucky Redbud