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I love him no matter what

Lame Pony is Lame

So what’s up with Miles? Well, I haven’t written much about him lately because he’s not doing much of anything. Lame pony is lame 🙁

After our last horse show, Miles had four days off. It’s more than he normally gets, but considering I was nursing a swollen, bruised ankle I wasn’t extremely motivated to do much of anything that required mobility. So when Thursday rolled around and the BFF offered to hop on Miles for me, I thanked her profusely. Poor pony was probably bored out of his skull and I still didn’t feel up to riding. So she brought him out, warmed him up and hopped over a few crossrails. They stood around for about five minutes and when she trotted off again, he was lame. Not three-legged lame, but obviously uncomfortable. The weird thing? Absolutely no heat or swelling.

Miles in the Crossties at Timber Run

So Miles got a few days of bute and stall rest, but when he didn’t improve much I finally caved and called the vet. I expected the vet to tell me that Miles just had a stone bruise or an abscess. I’m definitely the over-anxious type when it comes to my horse. No really, ask anyone — I go from ‘oh, he just isn’t quite himself’ to ‘OMG his leg is going to fall off!’ in 37 seconds flat. But I justified it by saying I didn’t mind paying $100 for the piece of mind that all Miles needed was some R&R. Unfortunately, the appointment quickly progressed away from something small to a full-blown lameness exam with nerve blocks and radiographs.

The diagnosis? Non-septic pedal osteitis in the left front. Pedal osteitis means inflammation of the coffin bone (not the joint, the bone) and there are two types: septic and non-septic. Septic means the inflammation is caused by an infection or disease, non-septic means there is no infection. Either way, the constant inflammation over time demineralizes the bone itself, leaving it weak and less dense. Pedal osteitis is also called “road founder,” and isn’t all that uncommon in carriage horses, racehorses and jumpers. At least, that’s what my uneducated brain gathered from the vet’s very thorough explanation.

Our relationship in a nutshell
An oldie, but a goodie. I think this about sums up our relationship, haha

While the damage to Miles’s coffin bone can’t be reversed, our top priority is halting the progression — we need to eliminate the inflammation so that no more bone density is lost. The vet recommended a shot of Osphos, as well as 30 days of Previcoxx with severely limited activity and special shoes/pads. So that’s what we’re doing. Miles got his drugs, and is stuck in his stall for 30 days — although I am allowed to handwalk, tack walk and do supervised turnout, as long as all he does is walk (no trotting, no cantering). After 30 days, we will recheck the coffin bone and see if we can return to work, or if we need another 30 days of rest.

We'll be back to this soon
Dr. says none of this!

Luckily, the vet was very optimistic about Miles’s long-term prognosis. While this will be a condition he lives with for the rest of his life, with careful management, he should be able to return to full work. He didn’t express any hesitation about Miles continuing as as adult amateur hunter, so that’s really, really good news. Right now, I’m just trying to stay positive and not be all ‘woe is me’ because it will all turn out alright. Yeah, a big fat break in the middle of show season wasn’t what I had planned, but what I care about it my horse and his health. So if he needs time off, time off is what he’ll get. Either way, I still get to see his cute every day and that’s what matters most.

I love him no matter what


Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

43 thoughts on “Lame Pony is Lame

  1. Awh, bummer! 🙁 Happy that it’s something that is treatable and he’ll be good to go with some time off and care! When Red started showing symptoms of his arthritis, we all thought it was road founder so I, of course, in my panic studied for hours online about it. Definitely not a super fun thing to deal with!

  2. Aww man. I so hate that this is happening to you! It seems everyone is raking in the vet bills right now. So sorry to hear this.
    I hope Miles gets better quickly, lots of love from my side of the world!

  3. I’m sorry that your boy is lame, but happy to hear that it is manageable and he is expected to make a full recovery. Maybe this is the universe’s way of redirecting your attention onto the other exciting changes going on in your life right now? Wishing Miles a quick, painless and uneventful full recovery!

  4. Because I’m living in negative nancy land these days, I’ll list some positives for you. He has a great prognosis to return back to full work. You’ll have lots of extra time (and money) to work on your house this summer. Summer horse shows are hot, maybe you can add a really fun fall or winter one? I can keep going if you like 🙂

  5. So frustrating, but so relieving to hear a good long-term prognosis. Sometimes that time off is a good thing too – time to reset and come back with a renewed passion!

  6. Oof! Poor Miles and poor you! I am so glad to hear that the vet thinks he’ll make a suitable recovery. I know a lot of times that sort of lameness goes undiagnosed for a long time and ends up being catastrophic, so I applaud you for getting it looked at and caught so early!! My fingers are crossed for an awesome success story in the making.

    Hope you can still catch some ride time while Miles is off. You guys were making such great leaps forward this year in the confidence department!

  7. Aww poor Miles (and poor you! Lame horses are no fun). My old horse has pedal osteitis and was sound for jumping 3′ for years after the diagnosis, and actually what made us stop jumping him was a flare up of an old suspensory, not his feet. He’s 24 now and sound for trail riding and flatwork. It sounds like you have an EXCELLENT treatment plan and are remaining positive so that’s good 🙂 hope all goes well in rehab and you guys are back in no time.

  8. Hang in there, Miles! You too, Tracy. I know it’s never easy to hear tough news and can be even tougher to sort out the best plan. You’re doing the best for him and yourself to keep the optimism rolling. I’ll be thinking about you guys. Also, that last photo of you two is waaaaaay too adorable!

  9. Oh, no, I’m sorry! Kudos to you for finding it early and tackling it aggressively, though. Tristan’s coffin bone was the septic kind, and trust me, that is not a path you want to go down.

  10. You have a great attitude and you’re putting on a brave face, but I’m so, so sorry to hear this Tracy. It’s a huge bummer to have to sit it out in the middle of show season. But I’m really happy to hear the prognosis is good. That’s really what’s important in the big picture.

  11. Such a sucky deal, but it sounds like you’ve got a wonderful crew and Miles will be back to feeling like his usually wonderful self soon! Hugs and best of luck getting his new program going 🙂

  12. Ugh, such a bummer!! At least you have a solid diagnosis to work with, and what sounds like a good long term outcome. Hoping his recovery goes flawlessly!!

  13. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear.

    Although, it’s a good thing it sounds liek a very manageable condition and hopefully he’ll be back to tip-top shape in no time!

  14. Rats! But knowing SOMETHING is way better than NOT knowing. It sounds like you have a very workable plan in place. That’s the best you can do. Sorry for the delay in your season. I’ve SOOOO been through that, and it definitely stinks, but the time will go by quickly, and you guys will be back at it before you know it.

  15. It is frustrating to take time off riding when it’s not planned but time away can be a good thing for both. Hopefully once you get back on Miles will be back for good and you can keep him on the right track to being healthy and sound.

  16. Oh nooo!! Sorry to hear but glad there’s a plan and he’s expected to make full recovery. Sending healing vibes his way! And I suggest reducing his food – switching hays to be lower calorie, reducing grain, etc.

  17. Oh man! Sending hugs for you and healing for him!!

    On the positive side, you get to spend lots of time with him and make him extra beautiful ever day 🙂

  18. I hope your boy has happy feet again soon. Foot and coffin bone issues can be very scary, I’m glad it’s not a bad prognosis. I have an extra horse just two hours away if you want to come on an adventure! Oh and lots of tack shops…

  19. What a wicked bummer! True: at least you have a solid diagnosis to go from and a good prognosis too!

    You should check out/ask our vet about DuraPlex from KER ( it’s EXPENSIVE, but could potentially be worth it in the long run. I love the research behind KER products, but I can hardly afford them myself. DuraPlex is pretty unique though and there’s tons of actual scientific research behind it – be sure to check out the technical articles that the page links to as well. If you do happen to want to try it I have a coupon code for 10% off that I can share!

  20. Definitely a bummer to have to lose that much time in the middle of the season. I may be in the same boat since I went and broke myself this weekend. Maybe it will be a good opportunity to ride some other horses and see what they have to teach you. You can learn a lot by riding a different horse who may throw a spotlight on something you didn’t even know you were doing.

  21. At the vet clinic where I work, we have a running joke about how we go through Osphos like water…because we’ve had so much success with it! It’s so nice to be able to use it in a lot of cases where Tildren is prohibitively expensive. Hope it does the trick for your boy… in some of our cases where we still want to see more improvement, you can follow up with another dose after 28 days. Fingers crossed… foot lameness are tricky 🙁

  22. So glad that the long-term prognosis is good – especially for a horse that puts that kind of smile on your face! Hope you find some fun ways to keep him occupied while he’s off!

  23. Poor Miles. Poor You! My favorite line was “Either way, I still get to see his cute every day and that’s what matters most.” That resonated with me. Great Midwesterners think alike! Shows are great but can’t compare to the awesomeness of just having a sweet, fun horse. Sending well wishes from CA!

  24. oh no!!! poor Miles! i love your attitude tho and sounds like you and your vet have an excellent plan for getting Miles comfortable and sound again. good luck!

  25. Damn, hate hearing this! But I’m happy the long-term outlook is good and I’m really thrilled y’all aren’t going through anything worse!

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