I’ve been on an inadvertent blog hiatus. I had the past couple months all planned out for posting then the bottom fell out of my schedule. For reals. One morning the week after the Fourth of July Coco came in from turnout very lame. I hoped for the best and that it was merely a sole bruise and gave her a week to show improvement by just treating it as a sole bruise. I couldn’t quite bring myself to keep her locked up and after 5 days of no improvement I called the vet. He diagnosed her as having injured the ligament she had surgery on about a year and a half ago. Come to find out I hadn’t been given the best recovery instructions after that surgery which made her more susceptible to injuring the scar tissue. The vet indicated that she showed signs of having been favouring this leg for quite some time and that this injury was bound to happen. The main sign being that her hoof growth was imbalanced. The good news was that she isn’t in work and being pregnant gave her body extra production of things good for healing. The bad news was that she would be confined to her stall for at least four and up to eight weeks requiring wrapping, poulticing and icing twice daily and hand walking for 30-40 minutes every day.
The first 10 days went as well as can be expected. My social life was gone and spending 30-40 minutes walking in Texas summer is not my idea of a good time. She was a fantastic patient for wrapping, poulticing and icing. The hand walking was quite exciting a few times and I have the bruises to show for it. When you keep an 1,100 pound animal confined to a 14×12 box all day long they develop some pent up energy and frustrations that they take out on you during their 30 minutes of “freedom”. The vet returned to check her after 10 days and gave the go ahead to only wrap and poultice until it had been 14 days then move to only icing twice a day and continuing the hand walking. He also advised we consider building our stall runs so she could get some exercise on her own, but in a confined space.
This guidance really gave us the push we needed to get to work on the stall runs that have been in the plan since we built the new barn in 2012. The barn my parents had when I was growing up had runs on all the stalls and it made a huge difference in keeping stalls clean and allowing the horses to stretch their legs, not to mention how much better it is for their minds to not be confined to a stall all day long. We researched designs for height, spacing of bars, and different pipe materials. We knew we would build out of oil field pipe because we already had some and it is easy to acquire being in Texas. So stay tuned for a step-by-step pictorial of the building process!