Horse Life

The Suspens(ory) Is Over


August 3rd: P goes to vet for chiro/acupuncture. Is body sore all over and vet puts him on Robaxin for 2 weeks with no jumping, and suggests potentially injecting SI in 2 weeks if he’s not better.

August 20th: P goes back to vet for re-checkup, is still pretty body sore but shows most uncomfortable-ness when flexed in the hocks, especially the right one. Vet decides to inject both hocks, finds arthritis in right one.

August 24th: First time getting on P. Dead lame in the right hind.

August 25th: Back to vet, who agrees he’s lame, but says no infection and thinks there’s some leftover inflammation in the hock and/or is not used to the feeling at the injected sites. Prescribes Bute. Trainer suggests suspensory based on previous nights videos. I drink heavily.

August 26th: Lameness is gone, but still has the right hip drop that was evident pre-injections. Gets Bute.

August 27th: No Bute, no riding, just turnout.

August 28th: Get back on, is pretty normal at walk, is uncomfortable at trot and repeatedly tries to stop. BO observes right hip drop. Tell vet, vet says to give Robaxin for 2-3 days and see if it gets better. If not better, will x-ray or ultrasound hock the following week.

August 29th: Wake up, realize waiting sucks, call Tryon Equine Vet Hospital and schedule appointment. If the vets there are good enough for WEG and the FEI, they’re (probably) good enough for me.

August 30th: Haul P to Tryon, meet Bette who was kind enough to come for moral support, vet watches him go, then blocks foot, which makes P worse. Based on that, vet blocks suspensory. P trots off with a gait Totilas would be jealous of. I wish I had thought to bring tequila to my 10 AM appt.


So it’s official, we have a diagnosis. No more waiting to see if he’ll get better in a few days and try again. So that’s a relief.


The vet used ultrasound to determine the damage, and is optimistic P will make a full recovery. There’s no tear, no lesion, the damage isn’t close to the cannon bone, and there’s no swelling or impingement. He called it “slight mixed fiber loss,” and said it was caught extremely early. The most likely scenario is that P’s hocks were bothering him and caused him to compensate most heavily on the right one (the one with arthritis) in an unnatural way, putting more stress than usual on the ligament.

Prognosis given by the vet was good- he said fall season is out, but we should have a spring one. That over 80% of horses with his injury make a full recovery and go on to resume their normal job. He’s treated Grand Prix dressage horses, Grand Prix jumpers, and 3* event horses that are back at their full workload with no further issues. His wife’s own Prelim horse is sidelined with a similar injury for the rest of the year, but is expected to get back to it early next year. The most important thing is to keep P quiet and follow the rehab schedule.

So P is on stall rest with 20-30 minutes per day of walking either by hand or undersaddle. I’ve been doing both: 10 minutes of handwalking in the AM and then 15-20 minutes of walking undersaddle, which is super boring but also keeps P more mentally engaged. The vet gave us some ace to keep him quiet in his stall, but so far he hasn’t needed any. He’s been enjoying having the door open with just the stall guard up, so he can get all the itchy places:

Eating his Licky Things:


And salt lick:


Cooling off with the leaf blower:

Supervising the arena and pastures (he has the perfect view of his lover, S):


Being Husband’s puppet:

Getting hugs from kids:


And still doing horse things:

Happy I still get this view!

I did look into a rehab place, because the vet had said he could do some aquatread, but it’s over $3,500/month. So yeah, love ya, P, but nope. You’re stuck with me.


He’s getting steel egg bar shoes on tomorrow, to relieve some pressure on the suspensory.


Trainer B has had similar experiences with horses, and made a list of stuff for me to get (some holistic, some medicinal) to help healing any way I can.

I added SmartTendon to his SmartPaks. Yes, I’m quite aware that this is probably nothing more than a placebo effect for me but I couldn’t NOT.

The vet said IRAP, PRP, and stem cell injections were not options because there was no hole to inject anything into and he wasn’t about to create one, but that shockwave could be beneficial. Since there’s not really inflammation and it’s not near the bone, it’s not something he said was necessary, and was up to me, since it’s expensive ($1200 for 3 sessions). But it’s covered by insurance, so P is scheduled for shockwave with the hospital’s mobile division the week of the 10th, the week of the 17th, and then will get the final treatment when he goes back to the hospital the last week of September to get re-ultrasounded.

Then as long as it looks like it’s healing, the vet will start to add some trot into his daily routine.

On the riding front, I’m considering leasing or half-leasing BO’s horse, S.

He’s a good egg, and BO isn’t really riding him because she’s busy riding client’s horses. I’m taking him to Trainer B’s tomorrow to get his opinion, but I’ve ridden him a couple times now and have enjoyed him. Yesterday I also got to hop on a horse in for training for her first little gymnastics!

That was my first non-TB ride in years and when I first swung my leg over wasn’t sure my legs would be able to separate that far. But it was still a blast and I will literally ride anything I can.

And now I’m headed off to catch up on everyone else’s blogs and live vicariously through you all!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my meltdown.

54 thoughts on “The Suspens(ory) Is Over”

  1. Phew! So glad the prognosis is great that he can get back to full work once this is healed! I’m so relieved that you guys know what it is, too!

    That’d be exciting if you could lease BO’s horse in the meantime! Still get all that riding in! He looks like a really nice horse as well. I find it amusing that he’s gray too haha!


    1. Iโ€™ve been offered 3 horses to ride: 2 of them are grey, TB geldings ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ apparently Iโ€™m their type.

      It really sucks to have it be something that requires so much time off, but so thankful it was caught quickly before it tore. For once my impatience paid off!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well on one hand I’m glad you finally have a diagnosis and a good prognosis for recovery but on the other ugh it sucks to deal with an injury and rehab.

    Looks like you will keep busy though and play around with some other ponies which is fun too!


  3. ughhhh i’m so sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ what a serious bummer. like, yes obviously i’m hugely relieved for you that it’s not worse and that by all appearances it appears easily treatable with a good prognosis and all that (excellent) jazz…. but still. blargh. injuries are the freakin worst. hang in there – and hope you get to enjoy some of these other ponies while P recovers!


  4. YAY answer and YAY good prognosis but serious BOO to it happening at all. Period.

    His expression in the leaf blowing video is precious though!


  5. Ugh. The nasty S word. I’m sorry. Georgie had a hole in hers, which ended her upperish level career with me, but she is bombing around 2’3, so I am sure P will have a full recovery and be bombing around with you in no time! I didn’t do PRP or anything else. The research just couldn’t convince me it was worth it. I think lots of long walks, and then adding hills, can be really beneficial. Kisses to P!


  6. Ugh! I’m glad you finally got an answer but I feel for you lady! Sending you and P healing vibes from PA. I’m excited you might get to lease something to have some fun on too!


  7. As shitty as it is to have a suspensory injury to deal with, YOU HAVE A DIAGNOSIS! AND its treatable! With a good prognosis of coming back into it. I’m so glad it was discovered so early. I think P will recover great and you guys will have a fabulous spring season. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. My Red Pony had a very similar injury to a front leg when he was given to me (because I love lame horses) and he returned to full work with no limitations. I made sure to always poultice and wrap his legs after every jump school which might have been overkill, but it made me feel better. I also had him on SmartTendon and saw a noticeable difference in the amount of stocking up type fill he would get whenever he was stalled–as in no more after starting it. #justtakemymoney You guys will be back in action next year, ready to slay!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Welp.. not the best news in the world but FAR from the worst. It always feels good to at least KNOW what’s going on. On another note, just a heads up with the ace, if you havent used it with P before. It can make horses CRAZY. My old, pretty docile gelding became a spooking, jittery mess on it. Took him off it, and our rides were much more manageable.


  10. Fuuuu..dge. That is so much time off. Thank you P for not having something unfixable but sheesh! Talk about an extended vacation! Thank goodness you have other horse options to keep on riding.


  11. Well that’s a bummer, but a really really good thing to have caught it so early before it turned into a lesion or a tear! I have no doubt that he’ll make a full recovery, and who knows, maybe a little bit of time off will give him some time to let all of the lessons of the year sink in. In the meantime I’m sure you’ll come up with plenty of shenanigans to keep both of you busy.


  12. Holy crap I had no idea Still Creek was that expensive! I knew it was going to be pricey but daaaaaaamn!!!!! Glad P is having such a good time in his stall though and really want to know how Trainer B likes your lease horse options! Jealous that you have such great resources to keep riding ๐Ÿ™‚ Chimi is about to get an appointment with Tryon to see whatโ€™s up with his lame ass. Ugggh. Horses!!!


    1. Chimi is still lame Bette? WTH?? SORRY.

      KC glad you got a diagnosis and have a plan and a reason why he was stopping (i mean that had to hurt right?? UGH). I am glad P Has such a good brain and doesnt seem to mind stall rest tho I would also be fine living in that stall…so pristine ๐Ÿ™‚


    2. Omg riiiight? The barn manager finally called me back Saturday night and when she went over the prices with me, I almost fainted.

      Good luck with Chimi- keep me posted!


  13. I’m coming in pretty late to this – but it seems like he’s tolerating his schedule as well as you could hope for (the rainbow stall picture was both adorable and pretty!) Two thumbs down for the roadblock, but with multiple pony offers maybe it will go by quickly and smoothly!


  14. While I’m happy the prognosis is good and his rehab has gone relatively easy, I am sorry you guys are having to go through this. Fingers crossed the remainder of his rehab goes well and you guys can be back at it next year โค


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