Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So I say, "My horse is so lame...."

...and the crowd responds,"How lame is he?"

Then I say, "He's so lame that, um, well, he's not lame!"

Wait, you didn't think was funny? Neither did I, when the vet came out today only to find my horse not lame anymore. Well, just a teensy bit off, hardly noticeable, and much more sound than he has been.

Here is how it went down - as you recall, Dr. G saw a video last Friday (taken Thursday) of me riding Kaswyn that clearly showed the horse was off on his left front leg. I got specific instructions on what the game plan was. I stopped all medications and worked him every other day, admittedly not hard because he felt terrible and I didn't have the heart. But he was ridden, and continued to get turned out every day. This was presumably to keep him lame enough that Dr. B could have something to see and treat today.

Well, I started off at the trot and Kaswyn felt much better than he had on Sunday. Loads better than Thursday. In fact, he didn't feel hardly off at all. He took a few funny steps to the left, and then when I went to the right he just felt like he didn't want to go but didn't feel off. Dr. B watched me go for quite some time, and finally I stopped and said, "So, what do you think?"

He said "What do YOU think?"

I said "Well, this is the best he's felt in a month. He feels better to the left, which is weird."

He said "Really? Because he looks better to the right."

I said "Well to the right I just can't keep him going, and he doesn't feel like he wants to work. Actually it's kind of hard for me to tell a difference between the sides."

He said "Yeah, he doesn't look off today, except for a slight favoring in the left hind. He just looks like he's protecting it but I can't even call him lame. You really have to watch him go left and right and watch the left hind and how it travels slightly differently than the right. He's just not bringing it up as high and as far forward as the right."

"So what do you want to do?"

"Well I don't need to do anything to the left front because he's sound and even there. I don't know what was going on Thursday but it's not going on now. But lets go ahead and block the left hind and see if he improves."

So he blocked the left hind, then I rode again. I got more energy, but he took a few funny steps to the left. He felt better to the right because he actually was okay with going when I asked him to.

Dr B said "So? What do you think?"

I said "I think he's better except for those funny steps every now and then to the left."

He said "I agree." He also commented that Kaswyn looked good in the hocks and didn't seem to be having any hock issues today.

Then we had a discussion about how to proceed, what caused it, and the prognosis. First, since Kaswyn has improved Dr. B thinks I should keep him on a light work schedule, keep up with the Surpass on the left hind, ice after working, and use bute if needed. We discussed shock wave but he thinks that Kaswyn will continue to improve if I keep doing what I'm doing work and medication wise. He does not want to inject the joint.

Then we talked about how this might have happened. Basically what Kaswyn has is a very slight case of ringbone, the common name for arthritis in the higher pastern joint. Since I started working him hard in February I probably aggravated it. Dr. B said that laying him off could cause other problems when I try to bring him back, so I need to work him to keep him in shape while allowing him to heal. Working him lightly to moderately every other day, with at least one light day a week, plus the Surpass, ice and bute should work out well.

Lastly we talked about Kaswyn's future. Dr. B says that ringbone typically gets flared up by one thing or other (the horse takes a funny step, gets overworked, or over stresses the joint) and it takes a while for it to calm down. But once we get it under control he should be able to train moderately and show without a problem.

So I'm going to take it easy with him for the next few weeks and see where that leads us. Like I've said before I don't need to do any hard core training on him because he knows his job. I just need to keep him in shape and practice small bits of the tests. And keep him sound.

In other news, Skyy and Albert are both doing well. Skyy is really making a nice connection with the bit and the canter departs keep getting better. I get more good ones than bad ones from him lately. And Albert is working on shoulder- in and half pass. Since the show we've had some issues with the trot lengthenings. I feel like he got a chance to really move out at the show where we had a lot of room, and now in the small arena he's not relaxing his back and coming through. I'll have to get him outside or in a big arena and see if it's mental or if I'm doing something wrong.

Another show for Skyy in less than three weeks! And hopefully continued healing and soundness for Kaswyn! And, er, big kisses for Albert!


michelle said...

Aww...glad to hear your horse is feeling better now. Dontcha just hate it when they pull the "I'm fine" act as soon as the vet comes? Great blog, looking forward to reading more! =)

Stacey Kimmel-Smith said...

I thought it was funny. But not in a ha ha way, more like EMPATHY. My own boy is lame, but my grandma could spot it from across a football field.

Well actually it's better but with lingering issues. Horses are such heartbreakers arent they?

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