Easy Patient

I never thought I would see the day that Eli would actually perk up his ears at his vet, but yesterday was that day! Initially, I had made the appointment simply as a recheck of the RH suspensory branch. Fast forward to Eli’s next set of shoes, and suddenly I had a few other things I needed the vet to examine. Throw in some tenderness on the inside of the left hind fetlock, as well as long-overdue stifle injections, and you get an appointment with lots of poking, prodding, hoof testing, and imaging. Through all of it, Eli was a model patient, standing quietly for x-rays, being polite about flexion tests and hoof testers, and tolerating the ultrasound without so much as a twitch. Just as I was thinking, “oh wow, do I finally have a normal horse?” my trainer said out loud with surprise, “he’s being really good.” Not normal for Eli, but perhaps a new normal for him? Maybe he finally understands all this vet stuff is for his benefit? However, both the vet and I spoke up just as a tech was about to start scrubbing his stifles for his injections — wait, wait, wait, we need to sedate him first. Trust.

sleeeeeeeeepy and also kind of dirty, with bitey-face battle wounds

Once he was hilariously sleepy, the scrubbing commenced, and the only protest Eli could manage was twitching his lips in consternation that he couldn’t act out a little more irritably. I don’t think he could even manage grinding his teeth at that point.

Attitude may or may not be influenced by number of German horse muffins consumed.

So getting on with the results … First, how about some more good news? Eli flexed sound on his RH. The still-healing area of the suspensory in question “looks awesome,” in quotes, because that is exactly what the vet said. Like it’s pretty well healed. As far as that goes, Eli is cleared for regular reconditioning work. The PRP and shockwave seem to have been well worth it.

Now for the trickier stuff. After some jogging and hoof testing and blocking, Eli has some heel soreness in both front feet, the right being worse (which is always the case with this horse!). He seemed very foot sore after this last set of shoes, but after packing his feet a few days, he got over it. He still takes a wonky step on the RF every so often, usually on hard ground (and we have some super hard, may-as-well-be-cement ground around here right now and could really use a little more rain). He is sound in the arena footing. If he continues to improve, he can work, although no jumping until his next set of shoes, which will include pads. Not sure we would have got back to jumping before then anyway, in consideration of the RH. The vet and farrier conferred, and the farrier now has x-rays to work from, too. Although this farrier is still pretty new to Eli, he and Eli’s vet have worked together for years on horses, so I feel like I know what to expect. If shoeing alone doesn’t suffice, there are other treatment options, too. Thoroughbred feet, man. Ugh.

Stands weird at all times but somehow it’s super cute when he’s trying to wake up

And last, the localized, LH tenderness disappeared after a day so by the time of Eli’s appointment, it wasn’t even necessary to address. The stifle injections should take care of any other weakness I may have felt in his hind end — since we were only trotting I couldn’t even be too sure of that. He can go back to work on Sunday, so I guess I’ll find out then! Maybe he’ll feel a little too good and offer some expressiveness upon finally cantering under saddle after more than five months of not cantering under saddle. Eli is still good to go for regular turnout, so hopefully the bottled-up energy won’t be too bad.

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