I added cantering to Kaswyn's workouts last Sunday, and he felt fantastic. On Tuesday when I was wrapping his legs before the ride I felt some swelling under his left knee on the inside - which is right at his injury site. At first I thought maybe I was imagining it because it was so slight. I decided to get on him and see if he was lame. He still felt really great, and I went ahead with the plan to add cantering. When I unwrapped the leg the swelling was almost gone, but not quite. I iced the leg and dosed it with anti-inflammatory cream as usual, and just waited to see what it was like on Thursday.
Thursday he was swollen again. It's not like it was a huge balloon on his leg or anything, but noticable. I worked him, again adding canter, and at the end of the workout he felt not quite right. My trainer was there and saw him working and told me she thought I should stop. She said he didn't look lame but looked disconnected, probably because he had loss of strength in his back. He didn't feel lame to me either, but just not right.
The swelling was definately down after I worked him, but still not gone. Again I iced and creamed the area. And waited until Friday.
Yesterday brought more swelling, and I had my trainer look at it. She confirmed that it was there, but that it wasn't really bad. Now, Kaswyn's legs are very clean and tight. Many older dressage horses have windpuffs (chronic swollen areas in their ankles), splints (calcified injuries similar to Kaswyn's that are now permanent but probably cause no problems), and other miscellanous swellings, bumps, and lumps. Kaswyn has one area on the front of his right leg that he got as a yearling when he stuck his leg through a fence while fooling around in the pasture. He's had it since I bought him and it hasn't changed or caused any problems. Since his legs are so clean it's very easy to see even a slight change.
When comparing the left swollen area to the same area on the right leg, you could see a slight difference. The right leg was tight, cool to the touch, and the tendons were easily distinguishable. The left leg was a little warmer, with spongy swollen areas filling in between the tendons and the bone. But you really did have to feel it to see the difference.
So I got on him just to see how he felt, with the plan on going back to just ten minutes of trotting. After about three minutes I decided he didn't feel right. No lameness, he was just hesitant. He was willing to go if I asked, but he felt like he was guarding himself. The leg was less swollen after the short ride, which I guess is promising. I think I'm just trying to convince myself that it's not that bad.
Dr. B. is coming out on Monday to check it out. I'm going to have him bring the shock wave machine so he can treat the area if he decides he needs to. I just keep telling myself that I followed the vet's plan, and that this isn't my fault. But that doesn't stop me from feeling terrible about this. I hope I didn't just re-injure my horse. Blah.
1 week ago