Sometimes I don’t like to admit that I am a “Horse Lady” as the connotations attached are not qualities I like to have associated with myself. However, I turned into a “Horse Lady” on Sunday. My handsome steed after about 20 minutes of work, pulled up hopping lame on his hind end. Mind racing, heart pumping, I asked one of the women riding with me to watch, and yes, she agreed, lame. I quickly got off and put him on the lunge, and the answer was still yes. YES, it was a frightening lameness, one like I had never seen before. Thoughts of a year’s lay up, career ending injuries and other such dramatics whirled around my head. It was Sunday. I needed to wait until Monday to get the vet.
Monday morning comes, and I call the vet’s office, anxiously awaiting someone to answer the phone. Yep, you guessed it, I called too early and got the answering service. I’ll call back I say. They open at 8. At 8 on the dot, I call. A woman’s pleasant voice answers, as she listens to my description my wonderful steed’s ailment. She then tells me the protocol, she will leave a message for the Doc and he will call me back or she will schedule an appointment when she hears from him. About an hour or so later, my phone rings, my heart jumping, it’s the vet! His Irish brogue settles the whirling in my head, at least a little. It’s bad I say, trying not to be hysterical (is this the end of my horses’ career?). I see, he says, asks a couple more questions, then puts me on hold to make an appointment. The secretary beeps back into the call, we have an opening on Saturday. My heart sinks again. Another week. Don’t you have anything earlier I want to scream, The Horse Lady in me coming out again! Give me the vet back I want to yell! Don’t you know this is my HORSE! I send in the big guns, Auntie. Auntie gets me an appointment the next day.
Horses have a way of bringing humility into your life. We get to the vet’s office, and do the jog for the vet. He’s not lame. Hind legs are, however, walking a tight rope. It looked awful but not lame. A vet’s nightmare, a mysterious lameness that the owner “knows” is there, but the vet can’t see. The next step for the diagnosis was flexion tests. The flexion tests were positive, there was the hopping lameness I had felt and seen earlier. Still the vet says nothing, a nervous giggle escapes me as I watch my steed gazing off into the distance. We then put him on the lunge, and again, the lameness goes away! Argh. The Horse Lady in me is confused.
The mysterious lameness. There was no definitive answer found. Because my steed has a history of stifle problems, we injected that. If that does not help, we will be coming to Tufts for a bone scan to see if there is damage to the bones themselves. Keep your fingers crossed for us, we’re supposed to be competing in our first horse show as a team the first weekend in August. He’s having three days off and then it’s back to work! On the plus side, it does not appear to be career ending, on the negative, mysterious lamenesses keep a Horse Lady hepped up!