Monday, July 27, 2015

My Lovely Bobby Lumps

As can only be expected, the actual act of tack walking is extremely fucking boring.

just kidding! look how fun it is! we're so excited!

Last Monday, I finally climbed back aboard ye old beastie for fifteen minutes of methodical marching. That didn't seem too bad. But five minutes got added on each day, and by the time thirty minutes rolled around on Thursday, I had come to the realization that there are more boring things than playing on your phone while hand grazing your broken horse.

does stopping to say hello to other horses count as tack walking?
good, because the clock is still running.

Fortunately, I have the most considerate horse in the whole world. He did not want this rehab to go down in the books as a one and done sort of deal. He really did miss being a part of the action and getting ridden, so he hasn't been lame again, but there are other ways to keep everyone amused.

Let us explore them.

because we are best friends and best friends look out for each other.
look at our best friend faces.


Leg injuries can certainly be complex, but I find there are few things more exciting in horse ownership than having your horse violently throw himself to the ground in front of you while you're grazing him after a bath.

After the initial, "What the fuck is happening?!" reaction, I saw the source of Bobby's groaning, head rubbing, flailing about in the grass problem. He had stuffed his giant, stupid, mule head into a ground bee's best and was being eaten alive.

Alright, that might be a slight overreaction, but they were swarming his stupid face, and I had to dive in and drag his stupid face away because he was just like, "arhghbgdlgl;kd, they're after me!!"

we love our lumps

When I put him away for the morning, the BM, farrier, and I all had a good laugh at his expense because all you could see at that point was one prominent sting on the middle of his nose. The next morning, it was clear he'd actually been hit multiple times. I couldn't get a picture that showed the full extent, but under his chin was massively swollen, and it looked like he'd adopted a rather prominent Roman nose.

doesn't even come close to showing how much it was swollen

After two days of handfuls of Benadryl (Yum, pink candy!), he was one hundred percent normal on Saturday.


Friday was my planned day off for Bobby before potentially incorporating a few minutes of trot either Saturday or Sunday. I went out to drop off my board check and see how his face looked. I was in flip flops and shorts because it was ten bajilli degrees outside, I had the dogs with me because we'd stopped at TSC to get puppy food (which meant they went from the air conditioned car to the air conditioned store and back again before any crazy activists go all crazy), and I wasn't planning on being there for more than two minutes.

text break because i was too busy freaking out to take a pic
of his leg on this day

After looking at his swollen, lumpy face, I glanced down at his leg. And it was HUGE. Not only was it massively, insanely swollen, it was so hot it was pulsing. I was basically like, "His leg is literally just going to blow up right now. A literal fucking explosion is about to happen."

I threw the ice boot on him and strapped that baby down tight. I took his temp, sure that we'd finally hit the cellulitis stage, but it was a normal 99.4 and Bobby happily got to grazing as I ran around debating whether to make an emergency call to the vet or not.

I texted Hubby that Bobby was going to die, and he was all, "Is he actually lame, or..." (The implication being: "Or are you just being a total fucking freak again?")

another text break because yay walking.

So after twenty minutes of being iced, I pulled the boot off to put Bobby on the longe and see how he looked. First of all, the swelling in his leg? Gone. Then, on the line, he pranced around totally sound--not a head bob in sight.

I tossed him back in his stall and left instructions for him to start getting turned out in front boots. Horse compression wear for the win.

Mother fucking lumps

But now we finally get to the really fun part of this leg rehab process. The one where we get to play the game called Name Where Those Lumps Came From.

For reference, here is the original swelling on Day One of the crazy leg:

giant, but smooth and uniform

On Saturday, this is what his leg looked like when I first got there:

The skin funk developed the day before the vet saw him two weeks ago. It was a lot worse then, but has cleared up significantly with MTG. However, when there is heat in the leg, it's centralized around the back ankle where the scabs are the worst.

After riding with boots on for fifteen minutes, including two minutes of trot each way where he was sound, the leg looked like this:

Sunday pre-ride:

a better view of a normal bobby leg on the left:
tight except for old splints and rounded ankles because racehorse.

And Sunday post-ride:

Let me reiterate that at no point since I've start riding him last Monday has he been lame. The swelling has been intermittent and never the same as far as where it is or how bad it is. He hasn't had an increase in temperature, a loss of appetite, or a change or behavior (except for being so excited to trot OMG he's a racehorse he's so fast why don't I let him go so fast.)

Here's his first day of trotting:

My plan is basically to keep slowly pushing on until he either gets better or comes up lame. Or he spikes a temp or gives me some other reason to suspect cellulitis. Right now I'm scrubbing the skin crap with Castile soap, thoroughly drying it, putting a single layer of vet wrap around the leg, and then putting the ice boot on over that for twenty minutes (because ice directly on raw skin is never a good thing).

he's been a little zoomy, but he came right out after not being ridden for a month
with zero fuss and no happy drugs to pave the way.

I'm hesitant to apply the MTG every day because applying anything every day for a long period of time kind of freaks me out. However, I do think getting the irritating skin all cleared up is going to help out some with the swelling. I can palpate every centimeter of his leg with all my might and Bobby doesn't so much as acknowledge me, but the second I start picking at that stuff, he wants nothing to do with me.

If he goes lame, or the swelling doesn't continue to decrease after each ride, then I'll obviously have the vet out to ultrasound. I'm not a completely irresponsible horse owner. I'm just not a very wealthy one either.

so happy to do the trotting.

In the meantime, he'll only be ridden three or four times this week before having a break while I'm on "vacation". Next week is supposed to be the introduction of cantering, but because of the time off he'll get, I'm going to push that back another week. Maybe we'll be jumping again by September? I'll be happy with still being sound at that point.


  1. I don't think you're being irresponsible at all. They can definitely get swollen lumpy legs from skin funk, and if he's still sound with no temp, that's probably what it is. Then again I'm not wealthy enough to call the vet unless he's actually bleeding either (and even then....)

  2. Oh Bobby! He doesn't want a boring recovery process I guess :P

  3. That's frustrating. Maybe the activity will help get rid of the swelling. Problem child all the time! Bee stings couldn't have been fun!

  4. Sorry to hear about the lumps but for the love of Black Eyed Peas I know what I'll be singing all day.

  5. Omg. Bobby. Stahp.

    Some of that swelling might be from the Skin Funk Of Doom. MTG might be making it worse? It did for Pig. Betadine scrubs daily will clear up the fungus/bacteria/hellspawn, and corona or desitin will help the scabs loosen up. Since you're having to hose so much, desitin might be the best bet to keep that part of the leg fairly "dry".

    I'm a staunch no-vet caller. Horse is sound but leg appears totally severed? He'll be fiiiiiiiine ...

  6. Omg, poor baby! Bees effing terrify me. I've only been stung once and it was totally a bizarre thing, and I'm not allergic, but I can't function around bees.

  7. Bobby and Twister getting stung! And seriously Robert, you need to get sound buddy!No more puffy legs!

  8. Lumpy McLumpersons. He's a special one.

  9. I'm riding the what-the-hell-did-you-do-to-yourself-this-time train right along with you. Every day I go to the barn in the last 2 weeks I've actually been afraid to look at his legs, because it's like a game of roulette guessing which one is going to look the worst today. Ugh. Horses.

  10. Those are some... creative lumps! I agree that most of the leg lump is probably due to skin funk. You should see how Dino's legs BLOW UP when he gets some skin irritation. I'm like AHHHH HIS LEGS ARE FALLING OFF but really he just spent too long in the mud. Glad he is sound, at least!

  11. Ay yi yi, relocating leg lumps of doom. I'd do the same approach as you. Impressed with Bobby's down-to-business attitude under saddle.

  12. His video clips on FB looked amazing to me. You can just change his showname to Sir Lumpy Lumpington.

  13. I totally hear your pain but I think many people are too quick to call vets just to be left with instructions for the same ideas we already had. If he seems happy, is eating and drinking, just observe. He does not look lame to me!
    Good job.

  14. I totally feel you on the boring tack walking and rehab bit! Spot is coming back from an injury and we've been tack walking and hand walking for the past 8-9 weeks. Booorrring. But! I got to trot the other day and she looked and felt even! Good luck with the rest of Bobby's rehab. :)

    I seriously LOLed when I read the part about you texting your Hubs about pony dying...I have done that more times I can count to Andy, ha!

  15. Miles makes it about 20-30 minutes of tack walking and then just says OMG WHYYYYYY plz just slit my wrists.

  16. silly horses and all their lumps and bumps. Just when you get a handle on one...**sigh** rehab is long and tedious :( here's to hoping for a smooth rehab and no more (wait for it) bumps in the road...haha see what i did there

  17. ughhh poor lumpy bobby!! :( he's got to be such a drama queen... but seriously i hope he stops with the bumps soon !


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