It looks horribly like an inferior check ligament strain. – localised fairly firm swelling just below the back of the knee, not that lame at walk, VERY lame at trot and painful to palpate. With any luck it’s a strain not a tear, and it will be a few weeks not 6 months off. I’m not going to get him scanned – my fingers and eyes I think are enough to know that he needs a significant amount of time off. And in reality, as a 12 year old Standardbred, it may mean the end of his top level endurance career – there may not be any more 80s for him. At the moment the plan is bute, DMSO, and at least 2 months off (in the paddock – he would not cope with being yarded 24/7). He doesn’t feel too bad at the moment mind you, judging from the antics when I let him out of the yard this morning (which included REARING, for goodness’ sake).
Tendon and ligament injuries are such unpredictable things. I have known horses with apparently minor injuries who have been box rested, walked in hand, and given every therapy under the sun, go on to reinjure the tendon and have to e retired. And others where an apparently catastrophic injury has seen a horse go on to compete again. So it’s all in the lap of the gods to some extent.
Prycie’s done alright though – he had 60 starts as a racehorse and won a lot of prize money, and he’s done 4 years here while he and I learnt together how to be an endurance combination. He taught me a LOT – about fitness, about how to help a tired horse at the 65km mark when you find yourself alone out there, and about my own issues as a rider. He doesn’t owe us anything, and if he doesn’t get back to doing 80s, that’s OK. He can be Pete’s bush basher.
It does however leave me without the planned back up ride for our crack at the 2014 Quilty. Joe and I will just have to give that a red hot go on our own.
It’s a timely reminder though that this game is all really about one step at a time. I had a grand 2 year plan in my head, even if I wasn’t going to admit that to anyone. But this has brought me right back, grounded me in the proper mindset – one ride, one week, at a time…. That’s horses for you.