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Just Need to Vent/Share....Horses are such Heartbreakers!!

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  • Just Need to Vent/Share....Horses are such Heartbreakers!!

    So this was suppose to finally be "our" season, my seven year old has been doing fabulous, finally coming along so great, jumping amazing for me. We showed Ocala first weekend of January at BN and my plan was to quickly move up to novice with him this season. I pulled him out of his stall Sunday morning and he was a bit off so I scratched him and took him home. Long story short, after a 4 hour work-up by my vet on Monday he was diagnosed with severe DJD in his left front pastern! He has been with me since he was 6 months old, never taken a lame step or had any injuries that we know of. This is basically career ending for him at seven. My vet couldnt believe he was even jumping for me! So now just like that the rug is pulled out from under me. I am lucky enough with insurance to be able to offer him surgery to stabilize the joint so that he will be comfortable. In the meantime I am left with nothing to ride...

    The cruel realities of horses...but at least I still have him. I know it could have been so much worse and how much heart he had to jump for me being in all that pain.

    Now I wait for my 2 1/2 year old to grow up so I can start riding her. Horses!!!
    RIP My Beautiful Kevin
    RIP Sweet Ella

  • #2
    So sorry I'm glad your horse is still healthy otherwise and you are able to stabilize him, but that kind of shock and change in game plan is still no fun at all.

    I had big plans for my pony and me during 2011 but he incurred a suspensory injury that spring and had the season off. I'm planning an exciting, full season at Training level this summer but he turned up mysteriously lame last week. I'm currently hoping it's an abscess I need to wait out, but my belly is started to fear it's another suspensory issue (different leg). He is turning 17 this spring, so if it's another suspensory issue, I will need to retire him.

    It's always something with horses, isn't it??
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


    • #3
      So sorry for you. What a brave guy to give you so much of himself.......jingles


      • #4
        so sorry about your guy. Maybe you can catch some rides on friends' horses till your baby grows up?

        Where are you located, btw? I'm also in FL.


        • #5
          I so feel for you. Horses are such rollercoaster. Sorry for the bad news, glad you'll be able to make him comfortable.
          You can't fix stupid.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the kind words guys! they definitely are roller coasters for sure.

            Talkofthetown I am just south of Tampa.
            RIP My Beautiful Kevin
            RIP Sweet Ella


            • #7
              I am so sorry. I had almost the same thing happen to me and it was the rollercoaster aspect of it that nearly did me in.
              Within a couple of months of buying my athletically talented, first horse that was supposed to take me up the levels, he comes up a bit off. After multiple evaluations, they find DJD in his right front fetlock. I did arthroscopic surgery to clean up the joint but that ended up not helping. He was able to do light riding and very low jumping after a little while (well until he developed other injuries from being an idiot in turn-out). It was the up and down of injury, maybe surgery wil help. no it didn't, to maybe a year of Dr Green will help, to back to light riding, to dealing with a catastrophic pasture injury, etc that really took a toll on me.
              So I have now had my supposed-to-be-first-real event horse for more than 10 years and we have done 2 elementary level HTs in that entire time.
              The upside is I love his horse to pieces- he is useless, but I love him anyway. He is my goofy boy.
              I say all this, not to take away from what you are going through, but to say, I get it- I really get it and it sucks out loud
              There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


              • #8
                OP, my heart goes out to ya! I had to retire my 7 year old with DJD. And of course, she was lame on it after never taking a wrong step and after we had several "aha" moments and were really progressing. Vet said the same thing: I can't believe this horse was jumping! They have such big hearts sometimes...

                You are obviously committed to doing right by this guy, I hope he's able to stay comfortable for many years of pasture puffage. The fact that my girl remains pasture sound has become a huge consolation to me. Jingles to you both!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bambam View Post
                  I say all this, not to take away from what you are going through, but to say, I get it- I really get it and it sucks out loud
                  I get it, too, OP. I retired one horse at the ripe old age of eight. I gave him to a doctor who liked to have pretty horses in the pasture, and they took really good care of him for another 4 years, when he died from colic complications at 12.


                  • #10
                    I'm so sorry and I've been there. Just retired my horse at age 13, and I wish it had been 23 instead. I've only had him 6 years. Horses really are a bummer sometimes. I cried for over a week over my horse's injuries...they just appeared one day.


                    • #11
                      oh my goodness, I am so sorry you are going through this. Keep your hopes high things will work out in the end. xx
                      Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                      • #12
                        So sorry. I KNOW the feeling. I have learned to never again say "this is going to be our season!" It's like an instant curse. I said that last fall and at our first event, horse was going beautifully, then pulled an SI ligament on XC and it took me ages to figure it out. Fortunately he healed, but my previous horse did suffer a career ending injury just as his training finally came together. I am slowly learning to take one day at a time, sigh.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          I'm so sorry you're going through this, I guess the best we can offer you is a big hug and a "you're not alone".

                          I've had two nice young horses have injuries, both with agonizingly long rehabs, only to not come back to work and end up retiring. It is devestating each time.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks guys, I knew I would get lots of moral support here. It has taken me a couple weeks to get over the shock of it all. Hearing similar stories helps me realize I am not alone in this.
                            RIP My Beautiful Kevin
                            RIP Sweet Ella


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=53;6798747]I'm so sorry you're going through this, I guess the best we can offer you is a big hug and a "you're not alone". QUOTE]

                              Agree with 53- You are not alone and I am so sorry for you.

                              I've had two lovely horses - each gave me one season, and I was ready to move up - then they came up lame and had to be retired, one at age 11 and the other at 12. It's nothing but heart break, and it doesn't get easier.

                              I'm currently focusing on another horse, he came up lame and had stifle surgery a bit over a year ago, after 6 months of rest and turnout, I put him back to work last Spring, knock wood, things are going well. I pray every day he stays sound (he plays really hard in turnout) and I can get to and keep him going for more than one season.

                              Damn horses!
                              Last edited by Hollywood; Jan. 26, 2013, 07:26 PM.


                              • #16
                                Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                                You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                                • #17
                                  so sorry! it does seem sooooooo unfair sometimes. i look around the barn at people who dont seem to have any real goals and their horses are perfectly sound. i just shake my head.

                                  i feel your pain - been there too many times.