The Athletic Horse

Vet techs prepping Rosie for injections

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Recently while driving my mare Sunni on streets at a trot, her right shoulder seemed slightly off-beat–a sense so short, it might not really have occurred. During subsequent drives, that right shoulder periodically caught my attention, but any sense she might be limping quickly disappeared. Uncertain, I asked our trainer for an opinion. We watched Sunni’s shoulder in a training arena and didn’t notice anything unusual. I shrugged off my concerns–until my next drive on the streets, when that shoulder slightly went off-beat. Here’s the problem: whatever was off lasted briefly, didn’t recur during the drive.

Yesterday, Rosie, my other mare, had an appointment with our veterinarian who specializes in horse anatomy and movement. Rosie’s recovering from an old injury and would have some joints injected to ease her discomfort while being driven. I’ve noticed in turning her that Rosie’s balance is off–her body compensates for that old injury. I took Sunni along so the doc could examine her right front leg.

He watched Sunni move and noticed immediately her leg off-slightly. He tested its ligaments, muscles, hoof, and then diagnosed a small abscess in that worrisome hoof. Confirming my observations, after her trotting leg warmed up, the brief limping quit. Our solution will mean for several days hoof-soaking with epsom salt and an antiseptic to draw out the abscess.

Soon afterwards, watching as Rosie was prepped, I asked a million questions. The accommodating veterinarian pointed to Rosie’s joints and explained what he would do. He showed me illustrations of the internal equine structures on which we were focused and explained his love of horse anatomy. I realized I’d paid little attention to anatomy unless my horse seemed off. Later, watching as the vet worked on Rosie, I was struck by how much driving a horse has taught me.

Back in the days when I rode horseback, I cared about my horses but rarely noticed problems for they did their job well, ambling along and occasionally trotting or cantering. But deciding to drive a horse called for more strenuous work. Driving safety requires for driver, rig, and the horse, an animal in top physical condition–for pulling requires being forward, sure-footed, upright, and responsive. Asking my horses to perform athletically has turned all their physical components into matters of concern. Take Sunni’s periodic slight limp. After many drives, with her “shoulders as part of my view”, I quickly noticed something off even slightly.

Now, and hopefully, Rosie’s discomforts will ebb and Sunni’s hoof will heal. I’ll increasingly ask more from these mares, while trying not to overdo for they’re not spring chickens. Although horseback riding always was bunches of fun, elevating our activities has become an amazing experience. It tests my handling, patience, and courage, and above all, demonstrates more of the incredible magnificence of those beings we call horses.

Dear Readers, small wonder that horses were the key to enlarging civilizations. Diana

2 thoughts on “The Athletic Horse

  1. Good for you for noticing Sunni’s problem. We get to know our horses well with our daily contact and inter connectedness.

    On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 8:02 AM Diana’s Morning Blog wrote:

    > trailriderincentraloregon posted: ” Vet techs prepping Rosie for > injections Thursday, June 06, 2019 Recently while driving my mare Sunni on > streets at a trot, her right shoulder seemed slightly off-beat–a sense so > short, it might not really have occurred. During subsequent drives, t” >

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  2. Another terrific post.  Hats off to you as you continue to amaze and learn.

    From: Diana’s Morning Blog To: ldlouk@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:02 AM Subject: [New post] The Athletic Horse #yiv5730229083 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5730229083 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5730229083 a.yiv5730229083primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5730229083 a.yiv5730229083primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5730229083 a.yiv5730229083primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5730229083 a.yiv5730229083primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E !important;color:#fff !important;}#yiv5730229083 WordPress.com | trailriderincentraloregon posted: “Vet techs prepping Rosie for injectionsThursday, June 06, 2019Recently while driving my mare Sunni on streets at a trot, her right shoulder seemed slightly off-beat–a sense so short, it might not really have occurred. During subsequent drives, t” | |

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