Thursday, June 21, 2012

10.30-11.30am 6/21/12

Cuna ended up getting yesterday off because of work commitments I had. He got turned out, but no one paid too much attention to him.

He seemed fine today. I pulled him out, groomed him thoroughly, tacked up, and went to the arena. After a long walking warm up, I asked him for a trot.

He obliged with just the slightest head bob.

Hm. Drop back to walk. Walk and think, "Did I imagine that?"

Trot again.

It's still there. Just the slightest head bob, maybe now a hair more pronounced.

Walk. Seriously? I don't feel any unevenness, but the head bob is totally not normal.

I ask an experienced dressage rider to watch us and give me an opinion. We trot off. No more slight suggestion; he's now full on head bobbing and very uncomfortable. She says left front. I slide off and take the old man back to the barn. He's walking fine. I rip his boots off and check his legs, paying special attention to the left front.

Nothing. No heat, no usual swelling, no sensitivity.

It's that dark swirl in the center of the pic
Steph shows up and I trot him for her. She agrees that he's somewhat off, then flexes and thoroughly palpates both legs. Nothing. No reaction. The only problem is just a slight skin abrasion on the inside of his front fetlocks that is mildly worse on his left than his right. Hm. They are symmetrical, most likely rubs from sand getting under boots on a thin skinned TB. That would explain why it got worse the longer I rode him in boots and why it was less pronounced and not effecting his weight bearing when he trotted without them.

All wrapped up
To be honest, it makes me feel a little better to know just how sensitive he is. I'm more comfortable around horses that I know will tell me when there's a problem and he's never mentioned one before. Of course, with that level of sensitivity comes a lot of responsibility for me.

Old man needed to be poulticed, wrapped, and carefully sheeted to make sure he didn't fuss too much with bugs around.

He'll be fine soon. The situation is in hand. It just gives me one more thing to neurotically clean. I mean, I wash boots all the time anyways, but now nothing but the cleanest and best fitting can go on him. I'll spend the rest of my afternoon researching the best boots for uber-sensitive horses. Sheepskin, maybe? It's hard with all the fine sand in the arenas. That stuff gets in to everything.

Despite my mild panic and near-obsessive pandering, the old man takes everything in stride. He pointed out the problem. Now he's enjoying all the pampering that comes with the solution.


Cute, wonderful, huggable bastard.


  1. Sensitive horses are a blessing and a curse, but to be honest, I would rather know that something was wrong rather than have the hose keep going when it was hurt.

  2. uh oh researching new boots.. do share!!! :)

    Hope Cuna is all good tomorrow!

  3. What a baby!! A cute one though and well worth the work caring for a horse so sensitive.

  4. Poor little Cuna. Lucky he has a mum who loves him and will pamper him!!!

  5. Feel better Cuna!

    Can he go without boots instead?

    1. Eh... I will flat him without boots occasionally, but in general we use boots on the theory that it's better to overprotect than risk any injury. Since I'm working for my instructor and that is her policy, I follow it as a matter of course.

  6. Aww poor baby! I'm glad it's nothing serious. :D


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