Eli’s been a bit stiff through his right hind … I got a text from a working student on Sunday that Eli played hard, “had a ton of fun.” He does that sometimes and it usually isn’t text-worthy, so I was prepared to find a sandy, mud-covered gimp once I finally made it to the barn Sunday evening. I couldn’t tell about the gimpy part because it was lightly raining and the arenas had not dried out yet and the grass was slick in the fields — no riding. I let him out in the round pen for a roll and he walked around fine. He did, however, have chunks of hair gone along his SI area, which I already posted a picture of on Monday.
Monday evening, I pulled him out of his stall and he was walking fine until we had to turn — his right hind was definitely tracking up short. Interesting … I couldn’t find any unusual swelling (he’s got wind puffs which I guess I count as normal swelling?) or any heat anywhere. His hoof/heel/sole seemed okay and I didn’t find soreness or heat there, either. I started poking around above the hock and he didn’t seem super reactive about anything. I went ahead and tacked him up, hoping I could feel something — or not — under saddle. He walked around fine. When I asked for trot, he took a wonky step or two but then felt sound, tracking evenly as far as I could tell. He had some weakness in his right hind, I could feel that, but that’s old news and without being able to work much I expected that to some extent. I rode him lightly, and did the same thing on Tuesday night, this time with another rider keeping her eye on his gaits. What I could feel and she could see was that he felt and looked pretty sound. I knew he wasn’t totally back to his normal self, but I couldn’t pinpoint what was going on, if anything. And of course, while leading him in the barn, if we took a right angle turn, his right would track up a bit short but not as bad as the day before. So there is something going on, but it is something that seems to benefit from Eli being able to move around. The other rider and I poked around his hind end again after we untacked, and there seemed to be some weirdness in the SI area (other than his jumper’s bump, which we were on track to correct until all this rain!), and I feel like Eli’s right gaskin might be a bit sore, buuuuuut he didn’t really react about anything with anything remotely approaching drama, and we know he’s a lightweight when it comes to that kind of thing.
I think he’s got some muscle stiffness/soreness, mainly because I can’t find anything else, and it seems to be gradually improving.
When I rode him last night, he showed no sign of any soreness or stiffness. Even more exciting, a mild cold front came through so I didn’t even hose him off after our ride! Look, 70° + low humidity feels chilly when all you’ve had is mid-80s to high-90s with high humidity for months.
So I have been back to using Ultra Shield fly spray and discovered it comes in a continuous spray. Maybe that will be less startling for Eli? Or maybe not 🙄. I ordered this and a few other things from State Line Tack. They have Thia Cal at the best price I’ve seen, too.