Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Milo looked quite sound on Monday when I checked on him after my lesson on Wesley. I led him to the barn and watched him walk and trot behind me. Although looking good, I didnt want to test my limits by putting him in the round pen just yet, so I merely groomed him and put him away.

Tuesday, he was looking just as good, if not even better at the trot - not a single catch I could see from the left hind. He moved smoothly and easily trotting up the driveway with me. I groomed him meticulously, and lifted his hind foot for our regular examination. While there was no heat or swelling same as the day before, I did see something else:

Excuse the blurry dark photo, but you see that on his heel bulb? Looks to me like a blown abscess-site. Now isnt that just interesting? He was tender to my touching it, but not evasive. I washed it out and put some Betadine on it and let it dry.

Deciding he was sound enough, I tacked him up and led him to the round pen with the Peggy halter on. Although his saddle was on, I did not plan on riding. I put the saddle on mostly for Milo to get into a "work mode" more than a goof off one as he did the week before when I put him in the round pen.

We worked on combing the line, walking, stopping, and anything else that came to mind at the moment. Milo was connecting with me - even tuning out the distraction of frisky turned-out horses, crackling voices from the goats on the other side of the round pen fence, and the typical hub-bub of movement at a busy boarding facility. He had a few moments of resistance, but always came back. I always know things are coming along correctly when Milo goes into his "zen-face":

The camera didnt catch the tongue, but you can bet it was peeking in and out. Now compare this to the image of Milo avoiding flies in the cross ties just ten minutes earlier:

(And your eyes arent deceiving you - that IS sunlight in the background of the previous image, and streaking in from the stalls in the barn. It reached 77 degrees and we pitifully were sweating in it. Us Pacific Northwesterners dont seem to know the meaning of "heat" anymore!)

A productive and rewarding few minutes in the round pen made the forty minute commute to Milo all worth it, even if I didnt ride.

Milo gets a drink after our "workout" in the "heat". 
So what was going on with his hoof? Strange that that could be an abscess site considering I never soaked him, or for that matter, even put anything on his hoof to help draw any infection out. But I'm not complaining if an abscess did correct itself without any assistance on my part. I guess it probably was a stone bruise manifested into an abscess - but why no heat? Totally puzzling. But for now, I will continue to cross my fingers that the worst is behind us, and soon we can start working under saddle again. In the meantime, I still cleaned and treated the heel bulb, here's hoping nothing else comes from this!


Molly said...

Oh wee, I would die for 77 degree weather! It was 110 degrees here in middle GA yesterday. I stupidly ran 2 miles in it and almost died! haha

Then I rode horses from 9pm-11pm with a friend and it was still 80. We were sweating... in the middle of the night. :(

Mary said...

I love the Zen photo, he's so funny. I too live in the Pacific NW and absolutely cherish these days, I did a little yard work yesterday and did work up a little sweat, (no complaints) I couldn't imagine trying to get anything done in 90+ degree weather all the time. I'll take 80's any day and 55at night! It kind of makes the crummy winter worth it. I hope Milo's foot continues to get better, pretty wierd there wasn't really any heat. Good, but strange.

smazourek said...

Abcesses really don't need our help to work themselves out, just be happy that he's on the road back to soundness now :)

in2paints said...

That does look like a blown abscess hole... but it's huge! The few Lilly has had were about half that size but she was stumbling around on 3 legs for the entire time. I'm surprised Milo wasn't more sore and there wasn't any heat or anything in there. Weird! I'm glad he's feeling better, though. :)

porkbellyacres said...

I've not had a horse with an abscess yet, but from what I've read they seem to be incredibly painful for horses. I live in central WA (where we're used to it being over 100 degrees this time of year) and my horses are having a hard time getting used to the sudden "heat wave" as well. One bonus has been my three-year-old chickens have never looked better. Lots of green weeds and a lack of hot days makes for very happy hens, apparently!

If you squint while looking at Milo's Zen face, it looks even funnier...he looks kind of like a cartoon character with that marking on his lip and by his eye.