Unfortunately, the cut that Shah got during our last ride turned out to be much deeper and bruised than we thought. So much so that he’s still lame four weeks after the ride.

He’s not hopping lame so he’s not on box rest, he gets turned out in the field during the day and in at night to keep the cut clean and dry. It is healing, but very slowly due to the location on the heel. The skin stretches all the time so it will take time to heal completely. Plus the cut goes into the bulb of the hoof, another place where it takes time for things to heal.

As I was worried that it might be something else wrong with him that we were overlooking because we’re so focused on the cut, I had the vet out to see him last week. Vet confirmed that the lameness was most probably due to the cut and as Shah sustained the cut during an endurance ride, the extra strain you put on the legs while competing might contribute to it taking extra long time to heal. He looked over all legs and could at least confirm that the lameness is definitely in the leg where the cut is. There is a slight thickening on the tendon on that same leg, but as it’s not hot, sore or swollen the vet thought it might be just a small burst blood vessel and shouldn’t be anything to worry about. The cut should heal within the next couple of weeks and hopefully the lameness will go as soon as the cut is completely healed, until then we can’t assess whether the lameness is due to something else so it’s just a case of wait and see.

The good news however was that the vet was happy for me to ride walk Shah for 10 minutes a day to help with the boredom – grumpiness already set in – and condition – he’s now slipping back into bad habits. I should check his trot once a week to see how he’s progressing, and if the cut heals up and he’s still lame then we start to worry as we’ll have to investigate further! But I’m hoping we don’t have to go that far.

So, another setback on our journey. It always seems to be like that, you take five steps forward and four backwards.

I’m really missing riding, and poor Shah is really missing going out for our Downs rides and endurance rides. He was so happy for a couple of weeks after our last ride, still keen to do more although frustrated when he realised that he couldn’t trot. Poor thing is now all grumpy and back to his old self of not wanting to work, amazing how quickly they lose that motivation they get when competing. I’m just hoping that we can get going soon again and get him back to his happy state of mind.

If things get worse we’ll just have to turn him out for a couple of months to rest and get fat – but I will then face a much longer period of rehabilitation to get back to where we were. And I’m not looking forward to that as I know it will be very hard, depressing and frustrating work. So we’re trying to stay positive, stick to our 10min walks, and hope that this will be behind us as soon as the cut has healed properly.