Balancing Soundness and Turnout

In a perfect world, a sound horse is outside in a paddock or pasture for hours at a stretch; 24/7, even, for some horses.

Eli, however, definitely likes the luxury of a stall with a fan, where he can eat without competition and nap undisturbed in between lunch and dinner. And not be “outside” in the dark.

But Eli also likes turnout. On a regular turnout schedule, it’s super obvious when he’s ready to come in: he doesn’t walk away from you as you approach with halter in hand.

But he is on a modified schedule, mostly stall rest, with hand walking, walking under saddle, and some turn out if he stays quiet.

IF he stays quiet. That’s a big “if”. Even when he stands “quietly” in the round pen after a good roll, he goes from idle to bronc in .02 seconds.

On Saturday, he did this … from a standstill, he suddenly tried to buck and spin at the same time. Which he is not very good at. Which resulted in him halfway wiping out upon landing, and scrambling to stay on all four feet. I was torn between face-palming and eye-rolling. Eli quietly enjoyed the rest of his outside time. We went for a 30 minute walk under saddle after that, as the only visible damage he did was a small scrape on the front of his right hind fetlock.

I cleaned him up and slathered Corona on his scrape, and rubbed some liniment on his front legs just in case. When I pulled him out of his stall the next evening, he had some localized swelling around the scrape, which I expected. He also had some localized swelling at the back of the fetlock on his right front. Good times. I decided a leisurely graze was the way to go.

Poofy fetlock

After icing 3 of his 4 legs, I put some poultice on the swollen areas.

he plays with his tongue a lot after he gets cookies and he gets a lot of cookies

Maybe there will be less swelling this evening? His vet will be out on Tuesday to recheck his suspensory so if the swelling is still hanging on I guess we can just flex and maybe ultrasound those legs, too.

2 thoughts on “Balancing Soundness and Turnout

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  1. Horses. I swear that they are born trying to injure themselves. Mine are hilarious. They go out around 6:30 and want back in at 5. Even if I try to ignore them and let them stay out on the pasture they insist on hanging out by the barn staring at me…..

    Liked by 1 person

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