Well... the title says it all. I'm back in Michigan, where sadly, about 50 pairs of mittens are needed to keep from freezing. As my plane was landing I saw the snow covered ground and just cringed.
Thursday night after getting back I got on Dakota for a short ride. Nothing major, mostly ambled around the arena but it felt great just to be on my horse again. Also tested my new Christmas present / 3 step mounting block and was able to get on with 0 knee pain!!!! Major milestone!
So more on Echo's general lameness. First thing I did after they came in was go over her legs. When leading her in I could easily see her limping. I had a hoof pick in hand to start with the hoof to make sure there was no snow, ice or rocks impacted. I didn't even get to the hoof. As I put my hand on her leg I had a gut sinking feeling as I felt the inflammation from her knee down to her fetlock. Majority was along the flexor tendons but wrapped around to the front of the leg as well. After 2ish minutes of pure freaking, I pulled myself together and did a more thorough examination and got to work on a plan. No major bumps to indicate a popped splint, only minor minor heat which made me happy, the swelling on the front part of the leg was an odd irregular pattern and tiny hard bumps along the front of the leg. Since the heat was so minimal I decided to sweat the leg overnight. She was a super good patient and didn't pick up her leg when I was bandaging it, unlike another horse I know *ahem* Dakota *ahem* - I'm onto your antics.
The ground is everything but rock hard. The day before I left (Dec 19?) we got a ton of rain, followed by massive snow the day I flew out. So basically the fields froze in it's muddy pattern causing a very unfun horse surface. I'm pretty much attributing her lameness to her doing something stupid in the field.
Anyways, the next morning her leg was significantly better, but kept her stalled anyway for precaution. Later in the evening her leg was looking even better! I put her in the arena while I cleaned her stall and I saw her trotting, cantering and bucking. Someone was feeling good. Plus after her antics, her leg did not become swollen again. I applied another sweat bandage for good measure and decided she could go back out in the morning.
Friday was a high of a whopping 30F (-1C). Which really isn't all that cold for a Michigan winter, but after 13 days in a 50 degree North Carolina, it's a bit of a shock. Ground is still solid and it's hovering around 32F which means it starts to thaw a tiny bit during the day and refreezes making a wonderful icy effect. Oh how I hatelove you Michigan.
Echo came in not even limping at the walk. Her leg still had a bit of filling in it, but compared to the first day I saw it, it's 90% improved. I lunged the crap out of Dakota... Correction, Dakota lunged the crap out of Dakota. Yay for self motivated horses who just run in the arena even when you're not there to make them. After he was done cantering and throwing a buck here and there I decided to let Echo in the arena with him so they would walk around a bit together.
I got some CRAPPY iPhone pictures of them together finally, but when I go out today I plan to take my actual camera and hope to snag a few pictures.
Dakota kept trying to come to me, and he stopped moving as soon as I put the lead rope on his neck. He's... special.