Things were going swimmingly for a few days...Tommy and I had gone out on short 20-30 minute rides 4 or 5 times; I was pleased with the new hoof growth as seen in my before and after photos; my Barefoot Tahoe was great; and did I mention we were riding again? Sigh. It wasn't exciting. We were just walking around the pasture, down the road, and along the unplowed fields. Still, we were RIDING.
I went out one evening about 10 days after the farrier appointment. When I pulled him out of the stall he was three legged lame. Just gimped out of the stall and down the aisle snatching his hoof up as quickly as he could. I put him in the cross ties and dug the packing out of his hole, but couldn't find anything. I checked all his hooves and legs; no heat, no tenderness, and no stones. Hmmm. I applied the thrush medicine to all four hooves and heels, repacked his hole and taped it up. Then I walked him down the barn aisle. He was a little short but worked out of that even as we were walking. I decided against riding, and put him back in his stall. When I spoke with Anita and Bill they reported that he'd been perfectly sound when he came in for his grain two hours earlier.
The next morning Anita called to let me know Tommy was lame coming out of his stall again. She made up a chart on the board so we could see if there was a pattern to it or if he worked out of it. We tracked him over the next three days, and every time he was stalled for a couple of hours or more, he'd come out of the stall lame. He always walked out of it within a 3 - 5 minute time.
We were all baffled. Was it the thrush? The abscess hole? The shoes being reset? The ringbone? The sidebone? Was the riding too much too soon? Or had he simply been goofing off in the pasture and strained something? I didn't know and he wasn't telling, so I put a call in to the vet.
Dr. A has a great vet tech. Kim and I spoke at length, and she passed it all on to Dr. A. It wasn't feasible for me to get him up there short of a life or death emergency. Dr. A started Tommy on a Bute regimen, 3 grams am and pm for 3 days. He still seemed a bit sore coming out of his stall on the first day, but not really lame. Today he seemed to be moving around the pasture well, trotting and cavorting a bit.
Today's lesson is Bute makes horses happy! We'll see what tomorrow brings.