Monday, July 11, 2011

Double Disappointment

Sigh. Horses are heartbreakers, aren't they?

Today the vet came out to do both Ringo's one year ultrasound, and hopefully his clearance to jump, and to recheck Dually's foot after his weekend of hoof packing and epsom soaking. Alas, as the title of this post might suggest, neither visit went exactly according to plan.

Ringo's leg looks fine. It hasn't changed much since last time, which is good because his workload has increased significantly. This means that, hopefully, it's pretty stable for flatwork and the vet gave the go ahead that we can keep working up to whatever level of flatwork our heart desires and ability allows.

(I'm 'glowing' rather unpleasantly in this picture, but I had to include it because check out his awesome DQ browband in action! He's so handsome)

But, it only just looks fine. It doesn't look normal, and there are still some little striations and irregularities in the tendon composition that are a little worrisome. Because it has now remained pretty much unchanged for that past six months, despite all the work increase, it's likely that the irregularities are scar tissue that isn't going anywhere fast. This means that the leg is always going to be in a somewhat compromised state. For flatwork, or even low coursework, on a nice level surface in an arena, it should never be an issue. But for upper level eventing, with drops, tight turns, uneven and constantly changing footing surfaces, and slowing down and speeding up? Not so much. It's just never going to be strong enough again to not be constantly flirting with another serious blow out.

So, we made the decision right there: Ringo is not going to event again. I've been prepared for this fact from the beginning, but it's still obviously very disappointing. He's been feeling so good recently that I've been letting myself daydream more and more frequently about getting to head out of the start box with him again. He has the most amazing gallop and riding him cross country is like piloting a cruise missile... in the best possible way. It's very, very bittersweet to realize that I'm never going to feel that again.

(The best)

(No one does it like you)

On the upside, his flatwork is going well and there's never been a horse out there that I've had more fun riding on the flat. I had my first lesson on him in 13 months today with the dressage instructor my dad has been using, and it was fabulous. Ringo was great and Kim (the instructor) though that my long term goals of getting my bronze and silver USDF medals on him were definitely within my longterm grasp. Plus, it's not that we don't get to jump at all; we just have to keep it low, controlled, and always on good level footing. We can start doing trotting poles next week! Not all is lost =)

(Hey! I don't look totally rusty! It's a miracle! Also check out that hind leg step - Ringo is so fancy schmancy)

(working on adding some jump to that canter)

Dually, unfortunately, did not have the positive recheck we were hoping for. In fact, he seemed a little worse than last time. Boo. A bruise still seems the most likely candidate; it's just a significantly worse bruise than we'd hoped. He'll now have at least another 10 days off, which means that the Training Three Day is out for this year. What a bummer! The great news, of course, is that he should be totally fine and should even be able to finish the season out well... he just won't be fit enough in time for the Three Day in August. Oh well... =(

(Big D in invalid mode)


Veronica Lodge said...

sorry to hear it wasn't as good as you hoped....there is still hope though!

Have you seen that regenerated cell therapy they are using on horses with tendon problems? I don't know the costs I imagine they are pretty high but I have heard they are working extremely well even on four star eventers. May be worth the research if you can afford it.

Heres to speedy and sound recoveries for everyone.

Dressager said...

So, mixed reviews on both of them. Bummer. But I got my hopes up for Dually to tear around the xc course again and for Ringo to become a SUPERSTAR DRESSAGE PONY! A bronze and a silver would be very cool to get with him.

Katherine Erickson said...

Thanks guys!

Veronica, unfortunately we've already been pretty much as aggressive with his treatment as we are able to be. We did stem cell (which is I think the same as you're referring to? I could be mistaken; there's a lot of technology out there!) right when we first discovered the lesion and supported it with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which is supposed to boost healing. Since it's pretty much healed at this point (just with scar tissue), there's not much more we can do. Frustrating, but such is life!

Suzanne said...

Damn... I was hoping to see him back in action. You're handling it well and Kikki is awesome... you go girl!

jenj said...

Well drat! That's unfortunate news for Ringo, but he looks like he has a fantastic second career as a dressage horse! That's not necessarily a bad thing - I had to retire my Paint eventer at 11 but we continued on to school 4th level dressage. I never would have done that much dressage if I had been eventing, and DAMN it was fun! Besides, who can say no to a USDF bronze and silver medal?

As for The Dude, that's a real bummer, but at least the long-term prognosis is good!

Katherine Erickson said...

Haha, yes Jenj, a Bronze and Silver WOULD be pretty hard to turn down... but since I'm currently preparing to show 1st level, it seems a little far away at the moment. But a girl can dream... =)

Abby said...

Sorry to hear about Ringo, but I can definitely see him ROCKING a freestyle...

Dom said...

You're absolutely right. They are heart breakers. I'm sorry about the bad news. I'm having to accept that Ozzy's endurance career is probably over so I feel you about Ringo. ::hugs:: Thinking good thoughts for Dually as well.

Andrea said...

Hey well, you and I can have fancy former eventer dressage ponies together then!

Checkmark115 said...

AW that really sucks....he was a reallooker, esp that massive gallop of his. I know you must be pretty heartbroke. However, I bet you can rock it in the USDF ring!

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