Saturday, September 06, 2008

Progress, but still in the dark

I've been trying to ride both Kaswyn and Albert four times a week. I thought this tooth issue was going to slow everything down, but riding Kaswyn in a halter has gone very well. Amazingly I'm getting much less resistance from him when I use the halter. It makes me suspicious that this tooth thing has been causing problems for a while. Maybe I'm just imagining it, but Kaswyn seems much more willing to go to the "bit" when in a halter.

Most everything I ask him to do has not been a problem at all. There have been a few little miscommunications on some things, however. Just little things here or there where he thinks I'm asking one thing but I really want another, which I think are due to the fact that he's used to a little input from my hands to tell him what to do. For example, we were coming through a corner and I wanted him to do a shoulder in down the long side. When I turned my body and his shoulders onto the diagonal for the shoulder in he didn't have the supporting outside rein to tell him not to go across the diagonal, and he headed that way. I stopped him, and restarted the trot and shoulder in on the quarter line, which worked out fine.

On the upside, since I can still ride Kaswyn I feel like we're making progress on getting back in shape. Yesterday was the first day that I rode both horses that I didn't fell like I was going to fall over. Sure I was tired, but it wasn't the winded, gasping kind of tired, only the "I just finished riding" kind of tired. Susan watched her horse go and asked what level I was showing hin next year. I told her that she was the owner, what level did she want him to show? She said "Fourth!" I said ah, no, he's not ready for fourth. After four or five moth months he could do first level, but he's not ready for second, let alone fourth. But he can get there eventually.

On the downside (because there is ALWAYS a downside when there is an upside) I still haven't heard from the vet about what the tooth specialist said. I have some questions so I really hope they get back to me on Monday. I called on Friday and left a message but nobody called back. What I want to know is how long could this have been going on? Do we have to pull the tooth or not? If we don't pull it what do we do? Can we do some kind of filling or banding to keep the cracked part from moving around and causing pain? Yesterday I talked to two different people who had or knew of horses with cracked teeth. One person said they pulled the tooth and it resulted in them having to do a lot of mouth maintenance because the missing tooth was no longer there to meet up with the opposing tooth, so the opposing tooth needed frequent filing to keep it in line. The other person said that pulling the tooth was the best solution and not a big deal. So I need more information from the vet before I can decide what to do.

But I do know one thing. I'm not going to rush into this tooth pulling business. I think I went too fast and nerved my horse because everyone was telling me it was the right thing to do. Now I suspect that if we'd just looked a little harder that we'd have found the knee problem and I wouldn't have needed to nerve him. Pulling that tooth is a permanent as the nerving was, so I'm going to make absolutely sure that it's the best thing for me to do.

Does anyone have any experience with this that they want to share?


Anonymous said...

No experience, but pulling it might be the best thing. If the crack is down to the root it might give him troubles off and on forever. If the tooth is gone, then you'll just have to make sure you keep an eye on the ones around it so you don't get the sharp edges (as you've pointed out). Do you want the Tooth Fairy's phone number? He's being a very good boy about getting back to people.

Also, do you want to borrow my hackamore? It doesn't have a curb chain on it anymore (Hen needed it for his cross country bit), but that's an easy fix- The Paddock carries them and hangers pretty cheap. I used to ride Simon here and there bareback in a hackamore and he was great. I'm not brave enough to get on Hen bareback though (not to mention he doesn't look like he has a nice back to sit on). Since I'm not using it, I'd be happy to loan it to you. Let me know- I leave for the American Eventing Championships Tuesday morning and will be back that Sunday. We can try to figure out a way to get it to you.

Glad to hear Bert is doing well too! He's mighty cute. Sounds like you are doing well in your new and improved footing!

Katee said...

My mustang came in from the wild missing a tooth. He was 2 then and he's 10 now and that missing tooth hasn't caused him any problems. I float his teeth once a year or every other year as needed. Certainly not the same situation you're dealing with, but his missing tooth doesn't seem to bother him.

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