So it’s been a little over a month since Justin started having soundness issues and I decided to hit the pause button for the winter. My plan was to chuck him out in he field, greatly reduce his work to just hacking through the winter.
Well, life has gotten in the way since then. I started working out frequently to 1. fill my time and 2. keep me from getting entirely round during the winter (Looking at you, Thanksgiving). It’s been a welcomed distraction, especially after daylight savings time ended. When the sun sets this early, there just isn’t enough light to even get in a short trail ride, so there hasn’t been very much riding at all happening.
Don’t worry, Justin has been perfectly pleased with this. I am still trying to figure out how he got so fat and so hairy in just a month. These photos are from about a month ago and he is MUCH rounder and fluffier now… I’ll have to remember to snap a few new pics next time! You can’t even tell that he was body clipped at the beginning of October now…
But, he has been thoroughly enjoying his leisurely life, and believes he was born to eat and nap. My landlord said that the other day he laid flat out and took a two hour nap the other day. She even went to check on him because he hadn’t moved in so long! He sure knows how to relax!
About two weeks ago though, I noticed a lump forming on his right hind pastern, and he was getting some fill in his fetlock on the same leg. Since he was already slightly off.. I decided just to keep an eye on it. Well a week later it had turned into a definite lump, about the width of a baseball, and it felt very hard. Heat would come and go in the area as well. I decided to call out a vet just to ensure it wasn’t anything majorly bad, or anything that was painful for him.
I got a vet from my normal practice to come out and see him last week. After checking it out, and watching him jog he told me, in the shortest vet appointment I’ve ever had, that his advice would be to continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing…. no/light riding (walking) and chuck in out in a field.
He said Justin was only mildly off in his right hind, and not off up front (which was where he was showing lameness when I initially decided to stop high intensity riding). And although it felt very hard, he believes its a soft tissue injury, so I am thinking it’s very possible that he could’ve had this, and compensated on the front end, causing the front end lameness that I felt. We didn’t ultrasound to confirm mostly due to cost. Since I was already planning on turning him out all winter, this doesn’t alter that plan.
Just a small road bump, but I was relieved it wasn’t anything crazy. So for now, I’m not riding him at all. I’ve also been traveling a lot lately so I haven’t even been around on the weekends to try. I hate to think that he might have a soft tissue injury, but it does make me slightly hopeful that it was an injury, rather than his arthritis finally having too much on the front end. Maybe after time off I will be able to bring him back this spring…. only time will tell!
Until then, I still enjoy fluffy white pony snuggles, which Justin occasionally tolerates 🙂