Time really flies when you are busy! Time to recap what’s going on with Stampede since the end of November when I last updated about the boys.
When we left off Stampede was battling on and off lameness in his left hind from a bruise or abscess. It would seem to get better then come back again so that cycle went on for a bit even after his saddle came back freshly repaired.
Eventually a small abscess popped and we got back to work in earnest by mid December. Stampede got to sport some of my Black Friday and small business Saturday finds which included Equifit D-Teq open front boots and an Invictus half pad. Reviews to come on those items!
Stampede seemed to do well with the saddle fixed and the Invictus pad. My Mattes pad had been too thick but with nothing the saddle sat too low so the Invictus pad was just right. As I kept working him he would lift his back and feel great except for not wanting to move forward and some stiffness and sometimes off look behind. As the weather got colder and I asked for more work this seemed to only get worse until I found myself so frustrated in January.
With the lameness vet already coming out and a feeling that for once it was not my horse’s back at issue (not that I didn’t worry the vet would come and say retire this broken beast already!), I added Stampede to the visit. Thankfully the vet did see what I saw and after watching him go believed it to be his hocks. Some x-rays later the view showed what the vet called “usual wear and tear” and the prerequisite amount of fusing going on in some places. So the beast got his hocks injected and got a few days to hang out before going back to work.
Initial results were very positive, but then only a few rides in I arrived at the barn to find Stampede with a swollen head and a fever. My regular vet happened to have her phone go swimming that same Sunday so I couldn’t reach her so I did what I thought I should and we got him some anti-inflammatories for his fever and his swelling and I grabbed some of my antibiotics from home and gave him a dose. Thankfully when the vet called the next day she agreed with my plan and we made an appointment for her to come the following day.
The overall swelling went down quickly, leaving just one swollen lymph node under his jaw. Fears of all kinds of horrible things were in my head and my vet didn’t deny it looked odd but she took some blood and a nose swab and headed out with instructions for me to continue the NSAIDS and antibiotics and give the beast time off yet again.
The tests came back just fine, nothing contagious or horrible, just a beast with an infection. The swelling took roughly a month to go down completely but after a couple weeks I started working Stampede lightly then increased that further.
And you know what? My horse felt good. Stampede was back to the horse I had been trying to find again since the end of 2014 when everything fell apart. So what did I do? I decided to just see what would happen if I trotted him up to an X a few weeks ago.
To my satisfaction Stampede acted like nothing had changed at all and just did his job. A week later we did the X and then we did a line. Stampede was so excited to do the line we left a stride out the first time.
Then this past Tuesday we trotted the X, did the line, and my trainer looked at me and said we should do a course. I felt butterflies immediately, was my horse ready for this? No time like the present to find out.
Trotted into the first line and got a nice 6 strides, left turn with a lead change, cantered down a diagonal 4 stride line to an oxer. I woahed a bit too much so the out was a bit long. Stampede didn’t get mad at me, just carried on. Cantered the 4 stride outside line perfectly, lead change as we turned right before tripping a bit. Came around the corner for a long run on the diagonal towards the X and he didn’t even grab the bit. Cantered along and gave the jump a cute little peek as he went over. Finally, the first course Stampede and I had jumped since October of 2014 was in the books.
I certainly don’t know if he will make a full comeback and show this summer, but I’m giving him a chance to be the horse I know he can be when he’s doesn’t hurt and that feels good.