Hock is Better!
My vet, Dr. Klayman, was here today to look at Chance.
Apparently, the hind end lameness was that bit of bony change in his hock. The steroid injection seems to have done the trick.
Chance was slightly lame in the left front when he was lunged. (Dr. Klayman was by himself and lunged Chance himself for the exam. I am proud to say my boy was perfectly behaved on the lunge line for the doctor. He was super obedient and lunged perfectly in both directions. What a good boy! Proves once again how lots of ground training can pay off.)
Anyhow, the left front lameness seemed to be in his heel. Now, there is more to the story. My shoer, Scott, was here on Friday and when his assistant trimmed Chance they found evidence of sole bruises, most likely from the winter. As you may know, with the recurrent Polar Vortex here we had weeks and weeks of hard, solid, frozen ground. Because the horses had been walking out in the paddocks, the ground froze into lumpy, bumpy stuff. I was impossible to tell if a horse was sound out there and most of the time all three just kind of tiptoed around. The arena sand was the most level place for them and the pasture was not too bad, so they did have places to get out of the lumpy bumps, but aside from the snow cover, there wasn't any good footing for the bulk of the winter. Apparently, it took its toll on poor Chance. He was super wonderful feet, so this was a bit of a surprise to all of us.
He got a good trim and that might have made him a little sensitive on that left front. Or it could be related to a small cut he has a little higher up. Either way, he's a bit off. Dr. Klayman and I opted for the most conservative route. We'll be painting his sole/heel/frog with Venice turpentine for the next few weeks and the doc will come back towards the end of May. I can't ride until then anyhow--might not even be ready by then, but we'll see. Hopefully Chance will be sound by then. If not, we'll have to do some more tests.
Actually, looking back over the months of Chance's lameness, all of this kind of makes sense. On the few time the ground thawed and I tried to ride him, I wasn't at all sure which leg was lame. As a matter of fact, at one point, I had Scott come out to check his front feet because I was sure he was lame in front. When Scott and I watched him that day, it was very obviously that right hind leg where we finally found the hock issue.
All the puzzle pieces seem to be falling in place for me now. The hock injection will hold for quite a while and if the theory is right, the turpentine will help the sore front. By the time I am sound enough to ride, I am ever hopeful I will have a sound Chance to ride.
I do have to say, seeing him on the lunge line and then just standing there as Dr. Klayman pondered the lameness, I had to say, "He is one good looking horse."
And good looks go with a good attitude, a good mind, and a good ride.
I'm looking forward to it.