Warning: If you are a man, you may want to stop reading now. There’s nothing about the way I can explain this particular horsey problem without making you squirm. We decided to leave Skid keep his private parts this year, but now I think we may have to revisit that decision. Seems like his private parts might be causing a problem.
Before he went on vacation, Skid pulled up lame behind after a gallop on the fibersand. He walked off the track fine, but on the way home, his back leg slipped a bit, and all of a sudden he was on three legs. I hopped off, hand-walked him home (luckily not far away) and called a vet to come straight away, because I was afraid something might actually be fractured. By the time the vet came a little over an hour later, the horse was fine. Trotted out fine. Flexion test fine. Absolutely no sign of a problem. I thought, well, fine, we’ll turn him out for a bit over winter anyway, and see what comes back. He seemed perfectly sound since he’s been back, but last week, he walked out of the box with a funny step behind, and after about 10 minutes it completely went away. Hmmm, I thought, maybe we need the osteopath; maybe he’s knocked something out of whack rolling in his box. We were puzzling over this when Jean-Yves asked if we had taken a close look at his testicles. I admitted I hadn’t, except to notice that he had them, there were two and they seemed in the right place. Funny thing, though. When you pick up a back leg, the corresponding reproductive organ slips right back up into the abdomen. Ouch. That explains everything. A false move behind, or too high a movement, or stress while galloping can send that little puppy right up where it doesn’t belong. Now the question is what to do about it. I hate to stop for a full castration just when we’re only a month or so from a race, but there’s no point in carrying on if this is going to be a recurring problem. I will speak with my panel of testicular experts (meaning vets and anyone else who has experience with this problem) this week to see what must be done.