Gracie's Stifle Story

Post Stifle Blistering – Week 1 update on Gracie

Let me start off by saying I meant to write the update this weekend since Sat. was officially a week but of course I had to much going on and by the time I sat down at night I was just too worn out. So then I told myself I would sit down last night and get it written but I got home to Te colicing. As if him colicing wasn’t bad enough, when the vet got there and listened to him, he discovered Te has a really bad heart murmur. His words were on a scale of 1-6, Te’s was a 6. ::Sigh:: So after talking to him about that, I decided it’s time to officially retire Te at the ripe ole age of 16. Boo.  I swear I think I have the worse horse luck. I now have 4 horses, all of which have some type of health problem, and only 2 that I can actually take places to ride.

Any who. Let’s talk about Gracie and her first week of rehab since the blistering procedure on her stifle.




So after getting home Sat, the vet said to give her 3 days off then start her on a daily exercise program. On Sunday, I could tell Gracie was sore but she didn’t have any visible signs of swelling or heat. Since I couldn’t do much with her she got groomed and then turned back out to enjoy eating grass and hanging with her pasture mate. This was her routine for the next couple of days.

Skip ahead and now it’s Tuesday, the 3 days are up and it’s time to get her moving. Since I haven’t noticed any probs with her I decided to ride. Since she hadn’t been worked in a little while and was out of shape, plus in recovery mode, I decided the first day would just be spent trotting circles around the arena. I trotted her for 10 minutes in each direction and then spent about 10 minutes cooling her out by walking the perimeter of the pastures. Our ride went really well and I was surprised how good Gracie felt.

Now for the shocker. When I got home from work Wednesday, I noticed Gracie was locking up again. My first thought was I can’t believe I spent all that money and she’s still having probs. Then I wondered if I rode her to soon or did too much. After my anxiety subsided, I started to think logically and the logic side of my brain knew if her stifle was as loose as he said and he recommends blistering it more then once, then obviously it wouldn’t be fixed on the first visit. Just to make sure though, I put a call into Dr. Hassinger and he assured me it’s normal for her still to be locking up and that it won’t fully go away until we get the ligaments tight. The only way to do that is through the blistering and by working her daily. Phew.

So  I lounged her instead of riding that day. While watching her trot around the circle I noticed she was stepping funny. Now when I say stepping funny, she wasn’t lame, she was just trotting like she was a duck and waddling her butt.. She also wasn’t tracking up as far as normal with the right hind leg. My assumption when watching her was that she was prob more sore today from being worked the day before and just moving funny because of it. I figured she was just like us, after we go the gym and workout or go for a run after not running for months, we’re super sore the next few days and we walk funny. To keep her from having to deal with the soreness to long and to keep her from hurting herself more from moving abnormally, I only lounged her for a total of 20 mins. Then cooled her out by hand. When we were finished and I was brushing her off, I noticed she was standing funny with that leg now. Her hoof was pointed in instead of straight ahead. So I had to ask Dr. Hassinger about this too. Again he assured me it’s just her getting use to her leg feeling different and there was nothing to be concerned about. She was just trying to find ways to stand/move that weren’t as painful. Fine ok.

Thursday I did the same lounging routine but added a circle or two of loping in each direction. This day she seemed better and finally she wasn’t locking up at all.

Friday I let her rest.

Sat morning we were back at it lounging again. This time I lounged her 15 mins each direction and made her do trot to lope transitions. I also added in a single ground pole that she had to pick up her feet and go over. She did really well and didn’t show any signs of being sore or moving wierd. At this point, it seemed like she was as close to normal and normal could be.

We did the same thing again on Sunday. No soreness lounging and no locking up. I know it’s only been a week but I was feeling pretty hopeful. Unfortunately, Sunday was also the day I had to give Gracie her Estrone shot. Now in case you don’t know, (1) I’m petrified of needles. Like I will cry like a baby and throw a big fit if I have to be stuck by one. I don’t like shots, I don’t like needles. Keep them away! (2) If I don’t want a shot there is no way in hell I’m giving my poor horse one. Or so I thought..ugh.

Talk about putting on your big girl panties. Well I did. I sucked up my fear of needles as best I could, Youtube’d how to give a horse a shot in the neck then walked out to the barn ready to do it. (I’ve watched vets do it many times. They even explained to me how to do it before I left.)  NOT! I looked at her and she had that look like please don’t. What is a girl suppose to do?! Shots hurt. I don’t want to hurt her. So I talked to her. I hugged her. I gave her treats. Then called my friend to come do it. Yes I know. I can hear you saying it now..Big Fat Wimp! Yes I am.

However, I hated to make my friend drive over just to do that and I knew she was going to need 5 more shots so I was just going to have to do it. I don’t know what came over me but I guess my fear went away just long enough for me to get it done. Yay me. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be either. But dang I still feel bad. At least she takes them like a champ and doesn’t seem phased by them.


Tune back in later this week/early next week to read all about week 2.

If you’re interested in watching the same video I did on giving a shot, here ya go.


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  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Oh girl, you had me reading all until you started talking about shots. I could never give my horse a shot, I hit the floor at the sight of blood & needles just make me queasy. You go for being able to do that.
    Raquel recently posted..Shrimp & Mushroom LinguiniMy Profile

  • Reply
    Weekend Cowgirl
    November 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I love Gracie’s name and hoping that she continues to improve. She is so pretty. Very good on the shot giving!!!!!
    Weekend Cowgirl recently posted..Colorado Mountain ViewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Equine Stifle Blistering Recovery Week 2
    November 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

    […] « Post Stifle Blistering – Week 1 update on Gracie […]

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