Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Endurance Ride That Wasn't

I've been planning to go back to the Ron Janzen Memorial Ride and do the LD (25 mile) ride since we did the 12 mile fun ride last year. I follow a bunch of endurance blogs and I think endurance ride recaps are my favourite posts. I was super pumped to be able to write my own. And then since horses are delicate and fickle animals I get to tell you this story instead...

On the fun ride last year.
On Wednesday I noticed Dee had some scratches on her hind leg so I slathered on some Equifit Silver CleanBalm.

Thursday the farrier was out, and when I pulled Dee out of the field, the scratches had exploded into a full on problem. They didn't seem to bother her too much so she got new shoes and another layer of CleanBalm.

Friday morning, they were much worse again. At this point I was suspicious of the CleanBalm, maybe she was reacting to it. I didn't have anything else to put on it so I slathered it in honey. I had a dressage lesson that evening and she was sound on it so I went ahead and drove out to Devon to register for the RJM ride and attend the rider briefing. I spoke with the organizers and since I was going to vet in in the morning they let me know that I should be there for 7.
Still sound at this point
I was up bright and early to head out a as I caught Dee my heart fell. Her back leg was swollen and she was sore on it.

I decided to haul over (it's about an hour) anyways. I figured that I had already payed my entry fee and I might as well utilize the vets on site.

I let the vet know what the story was and that I wasn't planning to ride since she had come up lame this morning but asked to have her looked at and a quick discussion on a path forward. I've never had a horse become lame due to scratches before. the vet said it could be a reaction, or it could just be that the scratches were still getting worse. At this point one of the vets from my normal clinic walked up and told me that she's had really good luck using Virkon on scratches this year.

I hung out for a couple of hours to get the group I was supposed to ride with all organized and ready to go. (They ended up having a pretty shitty day, they got lost on the first loop, one of the horses got kicked and ended up pulled due to swelling on his hip, then another horse stepped in a hole on the second loop and they had to hand-walk him back almost 6 miles)
Pre-ride smiles!

The organizers even refunded my entry fee, which shocked me. I completely expected to just walk away from it (and would not have had any hard feeling about it).

Unfortunately Dee is still lame. It does seem to be getting better, just very slowly. I slather it in honey before I leave for work and then when I get home all the scabs are softened and super easy to pick off. Then I give it a good dousing of Virkon. We had to scratch the event this coming weekend and the rest of our plans are up in the air.
Slowly getting better
None of the other Alberta endurance rides fit into our schedule so I'm going to aim to attend this ride next year! One day I will get to do my very own endurance recap.


  1. Fiction gets horrible scratches this time of year as well :( I've found Malaseb works wonders for me. Scrub it in, let it soak, pick off scabs, scrub some more, wash off, repeat daily.

    Sorry you didn't get to ride!

  2. I've had good luck using diaper rash ointment - Desitin -on scratches.

  3. Hope Ms Dee is feeling better soon. Maybe just as well you missed the ride, sounds like it was interesting in all the wrong ways :)

  4. Aw what a disappointment :( scratches are the worst, and they have totally made my friend's horse go mysteriously lame too. We have had good luck with mtg and gently washing with betadine. Good luck!

  5. Have to second the desitin treatment plan - wash, dry, slather with desitin, again and again. Good luck! Scratches are the worst ��

  6. Darn :( hope she's 100% soon!

  7. oh no! You should look into the Summer Whinnies

  8. That's so disappointing :( scratches are the worst

  9. Scratches are such a frustration for endurance horses. I remember doing a 100 miler but being so nervous at the vet check because my mare's legs looked horrible. She was sound, but it looked so bad. Fortunately, the vet could see that she was sound, and the scratches weren't bothering her. We finished that 100, and her scratches actually were improved by the end! Keep working at it - you'll get there! :0)