Yesterday we headed right out on a trail ride. He felt great. Powering along, stretching out, interested in his surroundings, happy to work harder by walking up the steeper hills instead of trying to run up them. I let him trot the only clear flat section and I didn't feel a hitch in his step at all.
I stopped in the freshly dragged indoor on our way back to the barn and asked him to trot in there to make sure I wasn't imagining things and he really was feeling sounder. Nope. Noticeably off.
What the fuck, bro?!
|sassy tail and preferred awkward resting stance.|
Now, in the above picture, you'll note how he's resting his weight on his tippy-toe. That's why BM originally told me to check for an abscess, and yesterday BO suggested heel pain. I put a boot on that foot and trotted him out for them. He's always trotted out sound with a boot on when footsore before. Within a single stride, both BO and BM called out, "Still lame!"
I soaked him in epsom salts for twenty minutes anyway, slathered on the ichthamol, and wrapped and booted him for the night. I was hoping I'd be able to draw out something--heat, glorious pus and blood, a suspicious looking spot?
|flirting with his favorite lady horse ever.|
it involved heavy breathing in the creepiest of ways.
|when she went back to her hay, he started licking her halter.|
BM reported that he still looked off walking down the hill this morning, and after a thorough scrubbing of the RH hoof I found absolutely nothing. He still doesn't respond to any probing of the stifle. Always in the past when he's hurt anywhere, he'll grind his teeth, kick out, and/or bite the air. He's not shy about expressing discomfort.
SO SHOW ME WHERE IT HURTS, ASSHOLE!
I am dead set in thinking it's stifle. It literally cannot be anything else. I'll get video over the weekend of how he looks under saddle, and none of you will be able to disagree. I mean, you might just to be contrary, but I won't believe you anyway.
We gave him the most basic neurological exam: Can he turn in a small circle? Easily. Can he resist against a tail pull? Easily. Will he uncross his legs himself? Yes, and then he looks at you like you're a fucking idiot, and where are the cookies.
I got on him in the indoor, and when asked to trot he moved right out into a big easy stride.
And he was perfectly sound.
Oh, really? Make up your mind already! At the canter, I did feel some looseness behind as you would expect from a weak stifle. But he still cantered around easily, albeit slightly crazily as two weeks of no cantering and a hackamore were too much for his brain to work out.
I pushed him hard. I want to see what I get tomorrow. We did a lot of (totally sound) trotting, a fair amount of canter work to try to get him slowed down (where he didn't offer to swap behind once), and I even set up a single 2'6" vertical to canter him over once each way. He was perfection for the jump and seemed pleased with himself when we were done.
Back at the barn, he didn't hold the weird pointy toed stance once. I painted the DMSO mix on yet again and put him away. I'm waiting for the chiro to call me back to schedule an appointment. I strongly suspect that he popped his stifle/hip out of alignment while being a moron out in the paddock while I was gone, and he's just in desperate need of an adjustment. Fingers crossed anyway.