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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 12415
Experience:  DVM for 19 years, Equine chiropractor, Riding 34 years, Pro trainer
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My large pony was competing at the 3 foot level at a large

Customer Question

My large pony was competing at the 3 foot level at a large show for the past two weeks. He is supposed to be headed to Pony Finals next week. His right front swelled up some but never took a lame step. After work the swelling would go down some. Now, the swelling is very minor. The vet flexed him, longed him and palpated him and he is not lame. She did an ultrasound which showed a very small check ligament strain. She said if he weren't going to pony finals she would put him on 3-4 weeks of limited turnout and rest. She said he could still be ridden lightly under saddle (walk and long trot). She did tell our trainer that he could go to pony finals but if he became lame or his leg swelled more than we needed to put him on immediate rest. We care about this pony and want to do the right thing (even if it is a very important show). What would your recommendation be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this is Dr. Gabby,

I would do the three months of stall rest and skip pony finals. The main reason is we know if he has to jump at pony finals there is a good chance he will make the injury worse.

I did that to my own horse (very dumb) and then she had to have surgery. I decided I needed to go to a show when she was slightly off and sensitive on check ligament palpation. After the show she had a severe check ligament tear and then the suspensory tore because of the damage and inflammation of the check ligament.

My colleuge who is an equine surgeon did the surgery and told me she may never be sound again.

Then she had stall rest for a year! After a year of stall rest there as a 6 month slow rehab.

Last week my friend too a lame horse to HITS jumping and now that horse is on 3 months no turn out for check ligament.

So it is not worth it.

I know you usually can only take the pony you qualified on but could you call show management and ask if you can take another pony?

Is one show really worth the risk? And you can take the gas and hotel and meal money you would have spent at the show and use that towards healing him. Or save it for qualifying next year.

I know if it is after the closing date you can not get the entry fee back.

Does that make sense?

Your vet is right in that you can try it but you could also seriously injure a fantastic talented pony.

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kathryn,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Kathryn Jones. How is everything going?

Dr. Gabby