Sorry for the neglect, team. Things kind of got crazy after the clinic. And by crazy I mean Java scared the shit out of me and a I signed a lot of checks. Yay!
On March 18th, Roddy came to the barn for the clinic. I really wanted to get a refresher on mounting (specifically, getting Java to stand still while I attempt to climb aboard) and getting my leads. I wrote those on my original form for the clinic, and by the time it rolled around, the leads were coming way easier. Roddy gave me a solid reminder on how to ride, which was nice, but overall, told me that I was on the right track. I just need to work him more on the ground before I try to get on, and from there, approach it like we're "preparing to get on" instead of just doing it. Take our time. He had me trot for five minutes andthen ask for some leads from there with me actually sitting square, athletic, and with my hands up, and then he demoed for us. Overall, Java passed his checkup. And I didn't do too bad, either.
Roddy reminding me how to ride while Java looks handsome AF.
I wasn't able to get out to the barn until the following Wednesday, and wanted to work Java before I got on. But Java had other plans. Plans like spooking at a corner he'd gone by a thousand times, forgetting to bring his feet with him, and nearly plowing the arena with his face. He caught himself, but took one funny step on the left front. You know that horrified sinking dread that happens when you immediately assume the worst? I was made of that feeling. I checked his leg, and there was already swelling in the knee.
Me, jumping to conclusions.
Cue emergency vet call. I'm not the one who's going to "wait and see" when legs are involved; there's too much at stake there. The after-hours vet came out a couple hours later, and his knee was doubled. She had me jog him, said he looked ok, and prescribed cold hosing and bute for a few days to see if it improved. If not, we'd have the vet out again. Fantastically, it did not get better, and my regular vet came out to run some x-rays. The leg was absolutely perfect on that count, but to verify that it was superficial, he recommended I take Java up to the NJ Equine Clinic to see Dr. Jen Smith. She's incredibly good at lameness and ultrasounds, and my vet wanted to be 100% sure.
There's nothing as comforting as a team of people who know their shit.
And holy shit is she good. The barn manager and I rolled in there, and Dr. Jen's team had him jogged and in the ultrasound like we were the only patients they had. I cannot even begin to describe the total 180 my emotions did when she told me there was no injury to the tendons. It was just a big bruise outside of the tendon sheath with no interference. I was about to have a fucking party in the clinic. She assigned him two weeks off to let the swelling go down, continued cold hosing, and Surpass daily on the knee. And you know what? It was incredibly affordable. "Clinic" sounds like big money, but the exam fee was the same as a farm call for my regular vet.
R&R looks good on him.
Two weeks later, we were back in the saddle! When I emailed to let Dr. Jen know how the riding was going, plus a shitload of other details and a trot video, she responded in equal length. Not only did she watch the video (and say he looked great), she gave me a plan to bring him back into fitness slowly, since he's been off a while. I'll be a loyal NJ Equine customer forever with that level of attention. I was so impressed. And now, Java and I are back to trail riding and hanging out with our buddies at the farm.