Waving The White Flag of Defeat

Riddle me this:

How much time off does a horse need coming off a 5 month hiatus for hoof related lameness?

The answer?

10-14 more days.

H’Appy. Courtesy of Emma.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress the fact that in nearly 10 years of owning, riding and competing Gem , she never had a lameness and only had one incident with a wire fence while being boarded that required veterinary care and time off enough. Even now, happily retired she is sound, healthy as can be and injury free.

20 years old, healthy, sound and about as happy as this mare gets. 

Oh, and she was also only $800 and I did not do a PPE on her. I’ve never even seen her legs or feet on xray. Oh, and she was barefoot for everything except the 100 mile ride.

I’ve had H’Appy for 5 months. In that time he has had two vet appointments for lameness, a very expensive farrier appointment with pads and custom shoes, and has been given most of that time off for lameness and/or injury.

I’m shocked too buddy. In a terribly defeated way.

Today was supposed to be a great day. I took off work, scheduled a lesson and a saddle fit appointment through Custom saddlery. Life has been one big giant suck fest lately and I really, really needed this day.

H’Appy and I tackled our first trail ride last weekend and all went well. Then on Monday he came in for dinner with this:

How? How on earth in a 15 acre paddock of grass with no buildings or sharp objects? How??

Thankfully he stayed sound on it, but it was angry and over a joint so that granted him the beginning of the week off to heal. Come Wednesday he looked spiffy and ready to rock and roll for the lesson Friday morning.

Only last night he came in with this:

Seriously, horse – HOW?!?!?!
The other two don’t have a mark on them. At this point, if this guy lives to 10 I’ll be shocked. He is an accident waiting to happen. 

Now, Dusty is forever telling me to suck it up and ride the dang horse, so when I had him look at it and he told me no way should I ride and he would need at least 10-14 days off to prevent that from splitting wide open and requiring sutures, I sagged in defeat and texted Trainer to cancel the lesson and oh yeah no saddle fit either.

Me handling life right now.

Plus I texted Emma to commiserate with. Life sucks less with friends.

Adding this all up – in the time I have has H’Appy he has had maybe 2-3 consecutive rides before yet agian needing a chunk of time off to heal something or another. At this rate, we may be ready to show by 2025, if he is still alive at that point which is highly unlikely.

32 thoughts on “Waving The White Flag of Defeat”

  1. i’m always here for commiseration!! 😉 in all seriousness tho, H’Appy isn’t a tube of biscuits that’s gonna pop open the moment you peel back a layer. his contents are not under pressure, he’s not going to split open. obvi i’m just a stranger on the internet looking at a snapshot, i’m not your husband or a vet or even a professional, but i see a picture of a scratch with the fur taken off, with no visible swelling. it’s not even where the saddle panels sit. personally? i’d still ride. it won’t hurt him to continue life as a pasture ornament tho!


    1. Ha..I can picture him bursting open like biscuits. But…he was very reactive to it this morning and the one section that is deeper than just fur rests right under the saddle panel. I didn’t get a great picture. The concern is that a) I don’t need bucked off because he hurts and I’ve ridden him enough through pain by this point and b) the weight of the saddle + me could very easily make that section open which not only means sutures but because it is him I am talking about, probably an infection and yet another vet visit. I’l putting stuff on it and the minute he stops reacting he is getting ridden


  2. omg Emma god i love that anology a package of biscuits….Tate has a smaller scrape like that (he got it from REMUS scraping his teeth down him) He never popped open either 🙂 LOL but i get it…what the hell.

    I think that scrape will heal up faster than you think (Tate’s has) Tate looks like a Road Warrier sort of pony he has so many back scrapes (from trees and Remus). I bet that is how Doofus did it, scratched on a tree you think?) what a doofus. UGH…i am sorry that sucks. SO MUCH.

    I can feel your pain. meanwhile i have a horse that could use some legging up..want a buckskin?? 🙂


    1. Yes..ship him to me right now!!!!! I’ll meet you half way even 🙂

      He had a very small version of this from Pete’s teeth about a month after I got him and that one was even more under the saddle, but he never reacted when I palpated it so he got ridden and I ignored it. He finally grew hair over it with his winter coat. But this hurts him. Not even like a tiny bit, but a major dip his back away, pin his ears, try to bite you and run off sort of reaction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. if you didn’t have 30 acres of grass i would totally send him to you for a while so you have something to ride 🙂 but dear god he is fat enough here 😉 HA….
        Poor sensitive snowflake H’appy 🙂 What a wuss! I hope he heals fast. GRHHHH your trainer must think you have the WORST luck 😦


  3. I get the not wanting to get bucked part, if he was that sensitive he would have gotten time off from me too. Not 14 days tho, but I’m mean. I would have tried ridding him thru the leg ouchies, but that’s because my gelding apparently rubs his legs raw all night so his delicate little Appy skin always looks like that. Appys are the weirdest mix of tough as nails and delicate as tissue paper. Dont give up yet. Maybe just keep lunging him thru this back cut, keep him working, dont let him start to feel retired lol.


    1. Yeah…14 days is probably too long, I’ll be palpating the area daily to see when he stops being reactive. The moment that happens he will have a saddle and a ride! The leg wound wouldn’t have bothered me if it had;t been swollen and over a joint. That only took two days to go down and then I was going to ride Thursday night as a pre ride before the Friday lesson…and BAM nope. Some day we will get on track.


  4. Oh my goodness, if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Hopefully he’s just getting his fill of injuries for a while so you’ll be on a good streak for 2019!

    I remember helping my friend with Gwyn (before I bought her). She stuck her nose in a fire ant mound and that swelled up, then she scraped her eye and we thought we might lose it, and then in the treatment of the eye, she got bitten by a rattlesnake and half her face fell off.

    But since then it’s been smooth sailing. We just got ALL of the injuries in a span of 4 months. (Plus a colic and euthanasia of her dam) It was rough.

    Also, put me down for 14.5 hours of volunteering for endurance timing from my camping weekend.


      1. It happened before I made the switch away from Livejournal. Back in, oh gosh 2008. I’ll probably post about it on the new blog just to share because it was REALLY COOL to watch how she healed.


  5. All I am going to say is I am sorry. That sucks.

    Horses can be wonderful and open our hearts and mind. And they can make us kind of want to just set them on fire… (I mean not really… but still) He better make 2019 a GREAT year for you.


    1. He is so clueless too. He isn’t dumb but he has zero common sense and does stupid stuff all the time. Like Tuesday night when I took Gem in for dinner leaving the boys behind, he decided to play with the latch and opened the damn gate letting himself and Pete out for a joyful gallop.


  6. I had an accident prone horse in high school and he taught me a lot about vet care! But I think the most WTF injury was when an almost blind, 30+ year old, 12h, pony kicked Johnny in the leg while they were being silly and going for a gallop around the field, and the kick was from a joyous buck instead of a “F-you” kick. Yeah, Johnny’s leg swelled up and had to go on SMZ’s to get his giant post leg back to normal!!!! Arg!!! Horses!!!! But hopefully H’Appy will get better soon? You are definitely learning how to be patient with silly boy 🙂 Tell Trainer J you might just show up randomly for a lesson one day bc you can’t let your guy know when one will be 😂


  7. I’ve owned 8 horses, one of them from the time he was 7 months old to his death at 20 years of age. Vet visits were only for vaccines. No issues throughout his entire lifetime. Rhythm required a few vet visits but Lily outdid them all: she injured herself and me more than all of the others put together in 26 years of horse ownership.

    I am all too familiar with the bane of owning an injury-prone horse, and I’m so sorry you are having to go through this with him. I hope very much that this is just a temporary thing with him.


    1. If he wasn’t 7 I’d retire him and shop again but he is way too young for that. Hopefully we are just going through a transition period and once he fully adjusts to life here things settle.


    1. The pasture is two large connected grass fields with an aisle way through a small patch of woods. We left a single small cedar in the path because our two horses aren’t stupid. He apparently is. I believe he did this on a low branch but there is no hair left behind so who really knows. The tree has been sacrificed.


  8. He’s a wizard. That’s the only conclusion I have to this. So sorry you’re dealing with this much frustration and so many setbacks with riding.


  9. Unfortunately, I know this feeling of frustration very well. JR is 20 and fat, happy, and needs no maintenance of any kind. Dancer, who was supposed to be a quick sale project, kept impaling, injuring, and otherwise laming himself while living in the same exact paddock with the same exact care. It’s like they KNOW.


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