If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that horses will find ways to injure themselves. Cuts, scratches, lumps, bumps – you name it, and sooner or later a horse will find a way to amass a variety of them. It’s written into their code, as sure as breathing air or drinking water.
So Edward was just exercising his right as a horse to injure himself when last week he popped a splint. The other thing about injuries and horses – there is typically a mystery involved in the creation of the former. Rarely is there a trail of breadcrumbs leading from the scene of the accident, and some injuries seem to prove the existence of ghost hazards, rusty nails and broken fence boards appearing just to scratch and gouge before disappearing, leaving us to wonder ‘how the **** did that happen?!”
We can make some assumptions about Edward’s popped splint. He had been playing with Jacob out in the arena earlier in the week, and the two roughhouse something fierce. This is not meant to sound like a bad thing, never in my life have I seen two horses enjoy each other’s company more. But I digress – it’s likely that Jacob was somehow related to Edward’s injury, either directly or indirectly, but when asked for comment on the matter, he plead the fifth.
A popped splint is a fascinating condition to me, only made this way due to its lack of severity, at least in this case. The splint bone, the remnant of a toe now shortened and no longer in use, lies snuggled up against the cannon bone. When some trauma happens to it, the splint bone can separate from the cannon bone. Dutifully, calcium comes in to repair the spot, and with time, all is ‘set’ right again. Typically, these types of injuries just need rest and relaxation to heal. In Edward’s case, this seems to be all that is needed. He was never lame on the leg, and while there was some tenderness and heat around the area when it was newly popped, it did not affect him the way one might assume if you were to tell them one of his bones separated from the other.
After being checked out by our vets, Edward was prescribed a regime of cold hosing twice daily to help with inflammation, application of a topical cream, and several weeks of rest. Stall rest does not agree with our Eddie, so it came as a relief to us all when a small rehab paddock space was deemed fine for him, with the added benefit of being next door neighbors with his buddy, Jacob.
Edward will bear the bump on his leg for the remainder of his life, but that’s not to say it’s a bad thing. Bumps and lumps add character, we feel, and it means Edward will have a cool ‘scar’ to show off when he’s back to work. But for now, he’s taking it easy, being a very good guy for his hosing and lotioning, and probably not complaining about having some time out from under saddle.