Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chance's Limp

Well, Maybe It Is, Maybe It Isn't

Scott, my farrier came out last evening. When I brought Chance out of his stall, it looked as if he was favoring his left front, as I had said.

Scott checked his foot with the hoof testers and did a pretty thorough exam and found nothing. There were no sore spots and no sign of a bruise or injury. No heavy pulse, no heat.

So we took Chance out to the arena to lunge him and...lo and behold... it looked like he was off in the hind end instead. The head nod down was on the right front which meant either left front or right hind. We pretty quickly decided it was the right hind. In fact, he looked exactly like he's looked in the past when that hind leg has acted up.

When I first got him, he was lame like that and I had my vet examine him. He found, even with using acupuncture points to test various areas, absolutely nothing wrong.  He concluded then that it was some sort of muscle issue that would improve once Chance was fit.

Since then, it's shown up once before for a few days. Now, I am thinking that the little extra work I did schooling him that day might have created some muscle fatigue which, in turn activated his chronic problem

Scott suggested I give Chance some bute for a few days and work him as my vet had instructed in the past. I dosed him with bute this morning, but I have not done anything with him today. Aside from the fact that it's been chilly and windy all day, I was not home.

Instead, I left church a bit early to head to the Horse Park to watch the cross country obstacle driving portion of the combined driving tests. While it was a bit warmer than Friday, it was still brisk and windy there so my down coat once again was just the ticket.

I watched several teams negotiate the water obstacle---pretty tricky for the preliminary horses, easy for the training level, and even more tricky for the intermediate horses. Then I headed up to an obstacle in the woods with all kinds of challenging twists and turns between wooden barriers. There I saw a top level driver miss a gate. That brought the Technical Delegate to sign the elimination form.  The TD was the cones judge from Friday. She offered me a seat in her golf cart and I spent the rest of the afternoon riding around the course with her.

I got to see a number of drivers negotiate obstacles I never would have seen if I'd been on foot. And I got some insight into the finish line vetting, the timing issues, and resolution of a number of other issues that cropped up.

We got to the tricky woods obstacle just as a very talented woman driver was getting through it in a fast time. On the way out, however, her carriage hit a stump and overturned, throwing her, her navigator and her horse to the ground. The horse got up before the stewards could get to her and ran off with the overturned carriage behind her. Fortunately, there were dozens of volunteers and horsemen around--many on golf carts to managed to stop the horse a little ways up the hill before she was seriously hurt.

Everyone seemed to be OK after the crash, although the horse had a few minor scrapes. The vets gave her a good going over at the finish line. The driver and her navigator had on helmets and protective vests. They will probably be sore, but don't have any serious injuries. The carriage? It is one of those marathon carriages built to take some abuse. Bent? Hard to say. One of the golf carts pulled it back to the stable area and it seemed to be in pretty good shape, considering.

I had a front seat view of the accident which happened about 20 feet in front of us. Scary stuff and proof again of just how potentially dangerous horse sports can be.

Helmets and vests saved the day.


  1. Hope Chance is back to normal soon.

    Seeing the driving competition close up must have been fascinating. Glad the horse and driver weren't seriously hurt - in the old days many people (and presumably horses as well) were killed in carriage accidents.

  2. I hope Chance feels better soon and is back to his old self.

    The competition sounds exciting. Good to hear that no one was seriously hurt. Must gave been scary to witness. Thank goodness for helmets and vests.