Well, it has been a week now since I pulled a lame Milo out of the pasture. A week, in fact, since the farrier was out and saw a stone bruise rather than an abscess.
Wednesday, Milo looked about 80% sound. He was a smidge off at the trot when lunging him briefly in his pasture to determine if I could lead him to the barn or not. I did, and groomed him thoroughly, then led him to the round pen. I had the Connected Groundwork halter on, and although it was raining, we worked on some of the exercises that didnt require moving around a whole lot.
Well, that was the idea. See, Milo first seemed excited over merely being up at the barn and not being ridden in a week (last time I rode him was last Tuesday). Then that excitement seemed to turn towards agitation by being out in the rain. As we worked a little longer, he soon turned into a firecracker, loping a tiny circle and me trying to get him to yield his hind end all the way, instead of just reaching up underneath himself. Milo had worked himself up that was for sure, and as he stood in the crossties, steam came off from his wet back. I kept the cooler on him for about twenty minutes until he was totally dry, then worried and felt guilty for even bringing him into the round pen.
But my hopes were still optimistic for a steady recovery and as I put him away I visioned riding him in a few days to come. The very next day, Clara drove me to the barn with her and I eagerly went into the pasture to retrieve my horse and see how he looked this next day.
He looked worse. Just as bad as the first day I pulled him from the pasture. I immediately questioned if our little session in the round pen was to blame. But I couldnt find any heat, swelling, and no digital pulse. The only conclusion I could think of was that he aggravated the bruise by stepping on another rock. With no other indications to go off of, both Clara and I thought it was no situation for the vet to need to be called out, and I decided to just keep waiting it out.
Today, I was dismayed to see little to no progress from the day before. He is really irregular on his lameness anyways. One minute hes walking seemingly normal, the next hes just barely putting weight on his toe. One glance I see him standing squarely on all four hooves, and the next he has the left hind relaxed. Still today there was no heat, no swelling, and no digital pulse. Is this still a situation to just wait out and see? Is it possible that his moment of frivolity in the round pen set him back? Could he have stepped on another rock? It seems to me if it was developing into an abscess at the very least I could feel a digital pulse or some heat.
What frustrates me too is I then question my capabilities as a good horse owner. I will always remember hearing my vet tell someone else that if you cannot afford a vet treatment at any moment, you have no business having a horse. While I have savings, my unemployment holds me back from calling him out for a situation where I cant detect anything wrong, aside from the visual. I'm feeling guilty and worried, and I just wish he could get better and I could have some sort of explanation.