Monday, August 7, 2017

Mareface Update

When Quest first came up lame, the barn worker suggested it might be Lyme since there was a huge outbreak at the barn this year. I was doubtful since she didn't exhibit any of the other symptoms at all. She was content, fat, and sassy. But of all the things to go possibly wrong, I'd take an abscess or Lyme over any other injury. It's strange how owning a horse changes your world perspective...

Enjoying her vacation. At least one of us is happy

After immediately ceasing all work, I did my own quick diagnostic. I could tell the issue was on her right diagonal. There was no heat/swelling around the hoof or legs and zero reaction when I palpated suspensories (thank goodness). Other than the lameness Quest was totally fine so I opted to do a bit of wait and see. After almost a week of rest though, mareface was still NQR so I got the vet out. With nerve blocks, Vet K isolated the issue to the RF heel, took radiographs, and currently we have it diagnosed as caudal heel pain, possible soft tissue injury. It seriously sucks that we could be dealing with a similar issue yet again but the vet said prognosis is good overall.

After giving it some thought, it's really is a matter of form follows function. If you have bad form, there is bad function. Quest is slightly clubfooted on that leg. It has been a repeat offender and source of grief for two years out of three. From the very start, I have been responsible for her trims and used a professional to reset/check my work regularly. We have zero issues when doing rides in the arena or meandering on trails. However when the workload increases to include longer and faster mileage, that's when things appear to start falling apart.

Looking back, I dare to venture that this was about the same point in our training/conditioning timeline that the suspensory injury surfaced. The signs seem to point that Quest needs extra help to stay sound and active. This means corrective shoeing, which is something way beyond basic owner maintenance work. One of the things J mentioned to me right before we left WSS was that she would put front shoes on Quest if she were her horse. A year later, and probably none the wiser, I am finally going to do just that. We will see how the shoes work out and move on from there.


This newest development will change a few things in terms of management and competition. Obviously first is adding the front shoes but I guess on the upside, I now have more than enough Gloves for her hinds and for spare tires. As for competition, I'm not sure what the future holds for us distance-wise. As much as I would have loved her to be my first 50/100-miler horse, she may be limited to CTR/LD distances only. This will largely depend on how she holds up to future conditioning mileage. If the corrective shoeing proves to be the answer, maybe we could venture into the realm of longer CTR-format distances like a 2-day 50 or 3-day 100.

It's not the best news but we do have a game plan lined out with plenty options. I knew getting into distance riding with my own horse would be difficult but this has honestly not been an easy journey, especially with so many setbacks right from the onset. I've never been one to go down without a fight though, and we are not giving up just yet.

12 comments:

  1. Don't rule those longer distances out yet. Sometimes just changing one thing can solve all the issues. Once she does get legged up, you may find that she doesn't need a lot to maintain it and that the right front holds up better to that schedule. Good luck with the shoes and her current rehab

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    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement Sara, it really means a lot to hear that. I've always been a big dreamer so it has been little sad to even venture thoughts about limiting our potential.

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  2. Girl I get it. It took me forever to get started in this sport (and now that I've my foot in the door we're moving lol). Good luck to you and Quest! (Oh and if you're interested I have a proven endurance horse I'm going to be rehoming soon!)

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    1. It's seems to be something that not a lot of riders talk about- we should form a support group or something haha And I admit thinking about getting another horse but it's not financially prudent right now since I'm trying to buy a house/place of my own soon. Yay adulting

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  3. I'm sorry Grace :( it seems like you always do your very best by Quest and she looks overall like a very healthy and happy horse for it. The nagging and persistent issues are a real bummer but so common in horses. My guy has one funny leg too - the hoof misbehaves and he likes to injure that one above all the others. And always in new and unique ways. We try to manage the best we can. Hopefully the shoes do the trick for Quest!!

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    1. It's going to be hard seeing her conditioning waste away yet again. Though you make a good point in how common persistent issues can be...I just wish I had been more proactive about going ahead with the front shoes. I guess I am learning things the hard way ):

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  4. Ugh. Horses. I'm so sorry to hear this, Grace!!! I hope it really is minor and you're able to bounce back from it and then some.

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    1. I hope it's something we can fix with the shoes and just be done with it. Seriously no more vacations please.

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  5. arghh, I understand completely. I hope you're on the path to healing, it is a test of endurance to just keep these fragile but tough beings going...

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    1. Fingers crossed, I'd like to hope that things will get more smooth from here on out...but we will see though.

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  6. How frustrating! Hopefully it will heal quickly and well and she will be back on the trail soon!

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    1. It is really frustrating ): I'm trying hard to keep the bigger picture/long game in mind though- hopefully if we address these issues early on we'll be better set up for long term success.

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