Monday, February 04, 2013

  Bella seems to be fine today.  Not that I asked her to do anything very strenuous.  And I am giving her bute for a few days.  If I fell down like that I'd be taking ibuprofen, so I figure it's the least I can do for her.

We went for a bit of a walk to stretch and warm up, then we saddled up, walked some more, and I felt pretty confident it wouldn't hurt her to ride her at a walk. 

I wanted to try out a sidepull I made.  I don't think I like it on her.  It's too much, especially with my heavy reins.  I put it on and she just kept dropping her head lower and lower, trying to get away from the pressure.  Once I move the nose knots farther away she was more comfortable, but I feel like it's just way more pressure than she needs.

She thought it was funny that I was laying on the ground taking her picture.
We did some circuits around the front field, trying out the new headgear, then rode down to the grain bins and back. Then she kept insisting that we head up the driveway, so we went along the flat part, came back, and headed into the trees.  She had a couple very slight stumbles, one on the driveway and one in the dead grass, and I decided not to push it.  I want to slowly condition her, not make her lame or cause her to be scared.  The first stumble clearly shook her confidence a little, after her fall yesterday.

You might notice my shiny metal stirrups.  I'm not sure if they look stupid or not.  I think they're alright if you don't notice that my saddle has all brass hardware and the aluminum clashes.  They're slanted stirrups, which I've heard a lot of good about, but these particular ones are maybe too slanted.  I need to try them on a longer ride.  They're supposed to help with knee and hip pain.  My hip was hurting today even with the short, slow ride we did, so that's not a great start with them.  Darn it.  But then again my whole body has more aches and pains than usual today, so who knows.

I've made the decision to try a supplement for Bella rather than chasing a diagnosis at this point.  I feel like she's not really lame enough to be that concerned about.  We're going to try Recovery EQ, which I've heard a lot of good things about.  I ordered it from SmartPak because I noticed they have a satisfaction guarantee, and free shipping if you spend the right amount.  Nice.  It's pretty expensive stuff, especially in the beginning when you're doing a loading dose.

At the patience post
I'll probably also continue to trim her conservatively.  I did trim her hooves last night, but I left a lot more wall and bar than I normally do, and I didn't touch the sole or frog.  I don't want to break what seems to be fixed.  And I'll take her to a real farrier later this spring and get some feedback.


Kara said...

I just had another thought - after commenting on your past post - I bet she might show increased lameness if you tried a flexion test on her hind legs if it is due to something with her stifles. They are easy to do but require help...someone to hold the horse, and someone to flex the leg and then watch as the horse is trotted away...and it might also help to have someone to the side video as the horse trots away because the increase in lameness due to flexion usually only lasts a couple strides...easier to pick it up on video.

If you want to try it, Probably have John hold her at her head, you take her hind at the cannon bone or the hoof (you can include the fetlock flexed if you just want to localize to the limb and not a particular joint...the hock and stifle have to flex together so you have to evaluate them together and if you detect a lameness can't say without further tests which joint it is...but if you don't flex the fetlock too, you can say it is one of those two joints - stifle or hock). Anyway, so hold her leg up with those joints flexed as much as you can get them without throwing her off balance and just hold for 60 seconds...though you can also hold for only 30 seconds and get the same results (based on some recent studies) hold for 30-60 seconds, then coordinate with John that you are going to let her go, and IMMEDIATELY have him trot her away from you on a straight line. Have Liam to the side to video her from the side, while you also watch from the hind and look for differences in her hip height or for extra motion (they call it excursion) in one hip versus the other...the lame side usually has more hip excursion (moving higher and lower)...but this is all very subtle...I think you might actually see it better if you have a video from the side...and maybe another from the back. When a lameness is subtle it is very difficult to pick out and localize a leg...Good luck!

Oh, and you could do this for her front legs too, and in this case, you can just try to localize it to a leg by for the first 30-60 seconds, flex the knee, then immediately switch to the fetlock for another 30 seconds...then immediately trot her off. If it increases lameness, one of those two joints was involved...A good way to try to figure out which LEG it is can do this...I think video will really can analyze it later and analyze it to death to see what you can. Of course, if she is not lame right might not see anything!

Kara said...

But if she might be a little sore (but undetectable at the walk and trot) it might throw off your evaluated because you might see it if you do a flexion maybe give her a few weeks to "heal" from her fall to do this. Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention too is that hard surfaces will exacerbate the lameness, so when you are doing this test, try to trot her off on the hardest surface you can driveway? If the rocks are too big that they alone would cause her to gimp.

shadowlake2005 said...

She looks happy to be out, and doing something.

Marissa said...

I swear I commented on this post...but maybe it didn't go through?

She is so cute, she looks just like the mustang I ride, I love the wide blaze with the strawberry blonde mane.

Is that a McCall saddle? It looks just like the one I ride in.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I'll try flexion test sometime, maybe in a few weeks. I didn't know that hard surface was preferable.

You're right, she loves to get out and see the sights.

Thanks! It's not a McCall, it was custom made by a guy near here, but McCall does make a lot of saddles in this style.