Thursday, January 31, 2008

Make it or Break it

Dr. B came out yesterday to ultrasound Kaswyn's leg. He started by watching him walk, then trot on the lunge line. He agreed that he could see some anomalies in his walking strides, but he thought he looked great at the trot. I agreed, but kept telling him how concerned I was about the walk. He came up to me, put his arm around my shoulders, and said,

"Listen, I don't deny that we can see something in the walk, and we're going to ultrasound the leg to rule out the suspensory, but the horse looks great and I'd be surprised if we find anything. Bottom line is you've got to get him working again. I know you don't want another heartache, and that we've been struggling with this for two years, and I know we've had a little setback, but I think you've got to ride him, and get him back into training. And that training is either going to make him or break him."

I don't know if he heard my stomach go thunk down into my feet, but I sure felt it. With a big sigh I took Kaswyn to the washrack and he got his ultrasound.

Dr. B saw nothing of any significance. What happens now is that the scans will go to Dr. G, who will put them into a computer program which will measure the differences between the right leg and left leg suspensories. Any difference of more than 10% is considered significant, and Dr. B admitted that it's possible that his eye could not discern that small of a difference. What he did think he saw was the opposite of what you'd expect - that the right front was actually a little bigger than the left. He feels that this is probably from Kaswyn compensating for pain in the left front, but doesn't think it's anything to worry about.

Without seeing the computer's numbers he's 99% sure that the suspensory is not injured in any way. Then he said "So, you have got to ride this horse. He can be turned out and just continue on with the riding program you were on to bring him back. We maybe lost a little battle here recently but we're going to win the war, you know what I mean? Regardless of this little setback I think the prognosis is excellent for this horse to return to full work, training, and competition. So stop worrying and ride him!"

I believe what he's telling me, so we're going to go back to work. However, I'm moving Kaswyn back to his old barn today, so I won't ride today. Then we'll be having guests at our house Friday and Saturday, so no riding then. Sunday will be the first time I've ridden in over two weeks. I hope he's sound and feels good.

I'll get a call on Monday with the results of the computer analysis of the ultrasound scans. Not that I expect it to show anything, which I'm not sure if I'm happy about or not. It would be nice to have an answer, but it's not like I'd be happy if he had a suspensory injury. Again I'll just have to wait and see.


Mrs Mom said...

Hang in there Dressagemom.

Hope your move back to the old barn goes smoothly, and that your first ride is also a good one!

Beth said...

ooh. I was hoping you would get some more concrete answers. Just hang will figure this out.

Do you have him on a daily joint type supplement that might help?

Hope the move goes smoothly. Sam loves his new house!

Beckz said...

It will be a similar situation with Fred when he comes back into work. It's absolutely the pits. Hope it works out for you though. I would have given up long ago, you are very strong.

Rising Rainbow said...

Well, is is possible that what you have been seeing is Kaswyn compensating for the old injury really expecting that it is going to hurt instead of that it does?

I know that Dandy did a lot of that after his EPM. He wanted to use himself the way he had learned to compensate instead of correctly and it took a while to work him through it. And he didn't do it on the easy stuff, it only showed up as we worked for greater collection. There wasn't anything wrong with the horse, it was just that old muscle memory hanging around from pain that was no longer there.

My friends horse is currently going through such an issue. He is guarding one particular leg not wanting to reach with it as he should when he is asked to give a little more. The trainer wanted to give it a little time to see if he could work the horse through it. And it's beginning to look like he is getting that done. The horse is striding better and more correctly all the time.

Hope your move went smoothly.

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