Posted by: forgingahead | July 4, 2008

Happy Feet

Steve Martin did a bit back in the 80’s (I think) about “Happy Feet” where he’d just be sitting around and his feet would start dancing. I can tell you that my horse, Now Voyager, is currently experiencing the opposite of happy feet.

Now Voyager and I did receive some super good news this week though. He will recover! The lameness is nearly definitely (that’s pretty definite in the horse world) the result of an abscess in his left front hoof. And abscesses resolve…eventually. Resolve is vet-speak for “go away.”

My vet is great. One of those soft-spoken clean cut types who favor long pauses while thoughtfully studying something. I often don’t know what he’s studying but I don’t like to interrupt. He’s solved many horse mysteries for me and Now Voyager so his methods work.

When he first came out to check on this mystery lameness he said it was possibly an abscess. The symptoms were just muddled enough to make it hard to diagnose. And he couldn’t find another tangible cause. So he suggested soaking in warm water with epsom salts…the horse’s hoof, not me. And then wrapping with a poultice.

As a parting comment he said these things could take anywhere from 12 hours to 12 weeks, sometimes more, to clear up. I tuned that last number out completely. My horse hadn’t taken that long to recover from anything and he’s gotten pretty banged up a time or two.

So the days turned into weeks and when Dr. Jay came back I asked what that second number had been. He chuckled and said 12 weeks. Ahhhh, that’s why I tuned it out. Three months! Not riding for three months? Someone’s idea of a bad joke. I would become despondent and my horse would start jumping the pasture fences (assuming he could bear weight on his feet.)

Well, I’ll learn to pay closer attention to the few words Dr. Jay does say because he was right again. It’s already been 5 weeks. The good news is we may be on the mend. So we continue our daily routine of soaking and wrapping. Now Voyager is pretty cute with his leg in a bright red bucket. And as long as I keep the carrots coming he stands (relatively) still.

Happy 4th of July!

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