The Longshot Update

By Patty Wilber  First Published in January, 2011

6/2013. Just wanted to refresh everyone on who Longshot is, so that next week when I talk about his training progress, there will be some context!


1/2011. A while back I said that red boys were my LEAST favorite horse color/gender combo.  So this year I fell for not one, but TWO red boys.

Winston, my midlife crisis, who, based on a two second decison making process, came to me from a kill pen in Abilene, TX, got healthy and and is now in a fine new home,

Winston on a Back Country Horsemen project in the Manzano Mountains fall 2010.

and little Longshot who was born in September with contracted tendons in one front foot.

Longshot under his mom's tail. His curled left front foot is clearly visible

Longshot just a few days after birth.

Research indicated that a splint might help him, so his Dad gave it a go.

The thing that put me over the edge was the absolute center of calm this foal possessed. “Either that or he’s missing a part of his brain,” says his Dad.

Longshot takes a nap while his dad prepares to work on his leg.

How many foals FALL ASLEEP when getting messed with? Narcolepsy?

This cotton makes a nice pillow!

It was not clear that the initial splints were going to work, so Longshot ended up at Albuquerque Equine with Dr. Dralle.  Dr. Dralle recommended a dose of tetracycline to loosen the tendons, along with more splints.

Tetracycline being administed to Longshot via IV

Tetracycline being delivered via IV–and look he doesn’t even have a halter on.

Longshot shown with a splint that reaches above his knee

This was a big splint!

Dr Dralle warned that despite the gauze, cotton, vet wrap, vet bubble wrap, and custom shaping, the PVC  splint could put pressure on the tender skin of the foal, causing damage.  He suggested would be best if the splint stints were no more than 12 hours in length.

After his vet visit, Longshot came to my temporary  “rehab clinic”.  (His Dad was going out of town).

With the invaluable help of my husband,  the splints were changed.  This usually involved Longshot laying on top of Jim, asleep, while I apologized for my slow splint removal due to the increasing dullness of my scissors.  (It is really hard to cut off layers and layers of elasticon tape!)

Dr. Dralle came to see him after a few days and because the tendons around his hoof were still very tight, we decided to go for a second dose of tetracycline.  This pretty much maxed out the tetracycline option and the vet budget, so we kept our fingers crossed.

Longshot got more tetracylcine while at my house

Longshot after his second tetracycline dose.

Longshot nursing. No splint and standing fairly normally.

After a few days, the leg is looking MUCH better. He has a tendon issue up near his knee also, so his knee looks a little funny.

One of my splint jobs did cause a pressure spot on the back of his leg, but over all it didn’t seem that there was much damage to his skin due to the splints.

He went home. 

He started shedding skin off his leg (there WAS tissue damage).

He limped and laid around a lot.  Mellow?  Too mellow.

Banamine (a pain killer) really seemed to help him.

He got a respiratory infection.  He rattled.

Longshot feeling a little under the weather

Longshot while he had the respiratory infection.

The hoof on his bad leg wants to grow WAY too much toe, so while checking on his respiratory issues, I held him (he fell asleep) and he got his toe rasped a little.  (There is not much hoof to work with, so just a little rasping is all that can be done.)

Two courses of antibiotics got the rattling under control, and he has gotten stronger.

I went to see him last Sunday, to help with another trim job and to get pictures for this post!

Longshot with his mom

He has grown! The near leg is the one that was contracted.

Two white spots

He is standing oddly on uneven ice. The two white marks are where there were pressure sores. I am guessing they may be white for life.

White spot on the back of the leg

This white spot is “mine”. There is a still a slight lump from the splint there, too. This shot is after the trim and he is standing reasonably well.

The bad leg is  hairier than the other legs.  I have seen horses in poor body condition grow excessively long coats, and girls with anorexia may develop downy hair growth called lanugo (which is especially noticable on their arms), but I didn’t realize that extra hair growth might occur in specific locations like this, apparently in response to trauma.

The coronet band, where the hoof grows, also seems to have sustained some pressure damage.  It is growing out normally in all but one spot.

Maybe the vintage hoof dressing is helping (price tag of 2 bucks for a big jar so you know it has got to be OLD).

Applying hoof dressing.

Applying hoof dressing.

Too cute

Think I will take a nap!

 In  2013, I have a spot reserved to begin his training.  Either he is going to be the easiest horse I have ever trained, or  he is going to sleep through the whole thing!


Tune in next week to find out!!!

About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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23 Responses to The Longshot Update

  1. julia lewis says:

    Another great post Patty……..keep them coming!!

  2. Patty says:

    Thanks Julia! See you next week?

  3. Heather says:

    Oh I think him I may just like him as much as Winston too! See you next weekm!~

  4. Patty says:

    Hi Heather. Yep, he’s pretty endearing!

  5. Doranna says:

    Awww! GO, Longshot, go!

  6. Lisa says:

    Nice…haha loved seeing my post in the abq equine page but dang I can’t spell hahaha. I love little longshot, you are the best Patty!

  7. Patty says:

    Hi Doranna!
    Hi Lisa–I cracked up when I pulled up that page and there you were! See you on the trail!

  8. Pam says:

    A very sweet story! Happy New Year, Patty!

  9. Kathy says:

    Love hearing about this little guy! So glad his leg is doing better!

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  11. BlogPatty says:

    Hi Kathy and Pam!

  12. Ann says:

    Longshot is a great name. Hope he pulls through with flying colors. Ann

  13. Patty says:

    Hi Ann–Jim came up with that name, and everyone seems to like it, so it stuck!

  14. lynne says:

    I am a friend of your husband’s cousin, Pam…in Chicago.
    I want you to know how you inspire me!!!
    you are an angel.

  15. Patty says:

    Hi Lynne–well that just made my day. Thank-you!

  16. Marilyn says:

    Go Longshot! (grin) But how will you know if he sleeps through the training?

    • Patty says:

      As a foal he actually would close his eyes and literally go to sleep. As a young horse in training, he seemed to be mentally sleeping there for a while…but then after one particularily less than pleasant training day, he seemed to have an epiphany…

  17. Rudy says:

    Patty, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the blog. I’d really like to continue hearing about Longshot’s progress.

    • Patty says:

      Thanks Rudy! There are a lot of cool aspects to having Longshot here–i have trained 4 of his realtives, so know the blood line, his general demeanor, why I thought I could do what we did last week on so liitle training…I might end up with two blogs! or not!

  18. The Facts Don't Change says:

    I ahve a filly born 8 APR 2015 that is buckled over on both front feet after tetracycline shot..she has HUGE sores on one leg from pressure points I made her a she is walking on her fetlocks.and I cant afford more vetting..what did you use for a splint. I may try it on her NON PRESSURE Sored raw leg..its pitiful to watch her try to walk and it is ruining her legs..

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