In which we visit Doctor Dear again and make some choices for Fee

This week we went back to the vet for a re-check.

I deliberately rode Fiddle on a long trail the day before our appointment, so that if there was still some lameness it would show up for the vet.  

And it did.  Vastly improved, but still present.

Flexion test

I took videos of the various trot outs so I could look at them again and share them here.

Unfortunately, my camera shut down after 2 seconds on a few of the videos (operator error), but I did manage to get some footage, attached below:

Walk out.  The funky "swing" in her RH leg is reduced, and her stride is more normal.  In fact, it seems to be back to her normal (which may still appear odd, but it works for her).

Flex left hind, trot forward then bend left.  No problem here. 

Flex right, trot out turning right.  Short-striding on the RH, improved but still present.

So, what does all this mean?

After flexing the left hind leg, she showed more discomfort on the right hind--probably because she was weight bearing on the RH when the left side was held up and flexed.  Not a big surprise there.

She is slightly ouchy on the left hind as well.

What does all that mean where the rubber hits the road (or the steel hits the trail, in our case)

I love that my vet can send me her files via email, and that I can post them to the blog for safekeeping.
Modern technology rocks!

I had originally planned to ride an LD at the Mt. Spokane ride and evaluate her after that with a view towards riding a 50 at Milwaukee Road...mostly because I'd like to put another 50 on her record towards the Decade Team award.

However, the Milwaukee Road ride has been cancelled, and nothing else on the calendar would be suitable for bringing a horse back from this kind of lameness.

View from the Milwaukee Road trail in 2015

With an eye towards my REAL goal for Fiddle, which is to keep her happy, healthy, and sound for the next twenty years or so, we injected both hocks.  It's a good choice for a 14-year-old endurance mare.  Not cheap, but it will definitely make her more comfortable!

Also, I've decided to abstain from competitions with her for the rest of the season.  A twenty-five miler at Mt Spokane would not contribute towards the Decade Team award anyhow, so I'm not inclined to push.

Another six months of slow-steady rehab on the soft tissue will be better for the healing process than bombing headlong into an LD.

Am I disappointed?  Or sad? Or...?

Not really.  I will still go to the Mt Spokane ride and work as a pulser and general dogsbody for ride management.

My favorite view in the world: heading up Chanterelle Hill on my horse

Most importantly, I can still ride my good mare.

That--much more than competition--is what makes us both happy.


  1. GREAT to see improvement, Aarene!! Bummer that she will need more time off, but I love your attitude and it is one I adhere to as well. Longevity (besides the happy, healthy, and sound!) is so much more important in the scheme of life. Neck hugs and healing thoughts to Miss Fiddle!

  2. I love your dedication to Fiddle and the sport of endurance. Big hug to you both Aaron and her mighty Dragon.

  3. Glad there is improvement! Sorry it's not all better. I'm kind of in the same boat right now but I admitt, I am sad :(
    See you on the trail next year!

  4. Thanks for your kind words, everyone. I admit that when Fee was LAME, I was sad. She was confined to her stall at first, and then confined to stall/paddock. That was difficult for both of us.

    However, we did so many competitions last year (10! That's a lot for us!) that I think taking a year off is really no big deal now, especially since we spent a week at Renegade working the trails (but not competing).

    Also, the time off is timed well: my new-to-me truck needed $$repairs$$ that would have been nerve wracking if I needed that money for entry fees, but instead were just a PITA!

    Silver linings.

  5. Very admirable decision-making. Cheers to many more future miles.


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