Monday, May 25, 2015

Fingers crossed.... test ride

Well... so far so good. He definitely feels better on the front right. And he seemed quite happy to be out and about. In fact, he was quite the wild man. Considering how hot and humid it was, he was raring to go! There was lots more spooking than usual. He still isn't 100% but that's okay. It's only the 4th day after the injections.

Work up

So...I had made the decision to take Fleck to the vet in Aiken. I wanted him evaluated by someone who didn't know our history and someone who was removed from the situation. Someone who would tell me "he's done... let it go" or "we can fix this and he'll be good to go". Or even "he's got issues, but let's try to manage them". And honestly, I wanted to go to Aiken because I just didn't feel like dealing with the locals and the "gossip". Not that they gossip, but... I just wanted a fresh set of eyes without any baggage. So off we went. Luckily Kathryn was able to meet us there, which was helpful.
When we got there I told the vet what he was doing and what my thoughts were - he wasn't abducting the right hind and seemed scared/painful when he had to do it, how he wasn't pushing from behind, and how recently he was really lame but I couldn't tell where. So we watched him go and he was a bit off but not enough to really say where it was originating from. I did tell him that Wayne found a bruise on the front right two days ago when he was shod, and that he was still a teeny bit sore on it. Dr. Carter palpated him and agreed that it was not his stifle. He did say he thought he was a bit hock sore, but didn't push the issue. He noticed that when he pressed down on his ilium wing, Fleck was sore. Really sore on the right. He tried to isolate the hip and keep the hip joint from moving and Fleck was still sore. But it was hard to say whether he was really isolating the hip. We did some flexions and he was barely a 1 on any of them until we hit the right fetlock. Ouch! Yep... there was some arthritis there that I IRAP'ed originally but not since then.
So.. we decided to inject his hips because Kathryn and I still felt like that might be the issue, or at least close enough to the issue to help him. She said that while it's not necessarily THE issue, it allows THE issue to resolve for a lot of them because they tend to hold it in their hips. And because he was sore when the pelvis was pressed down on. We also injected his right fetlock. 
So..Fleck gets a few days off and then we see! I'm sure he'll feel better with that right front fetlock. I'm thinking that (or the stone bruise) was what was bothering him for my Beth lesson. But I'm hoping I'll notice a big difference with the hip injections. We're also starting him back on Adequan and we'll see. 

I really hope so. I miss riding the big guy. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lazy ride with Kelli

So.... Fleck woke up with a swollen eye this morning. Seriously? Horse! We're falling apart! But it was just the lid and he seemed comfortable. I think he was stung. So he got some bute and within an hour or so it was down. So we went for a ride. Because.. .why not?! :)

It was just a nice leisurely hack, with a few trots, and then some lake splashies. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cindy lesson

So... despite the issues... it was good to be back! And God Bless Cindy....

She knew Fleck isn't feeling up to par but we got some nice work. She helped me to ride him therapeutically. Instead of trotting on the icky diagonal, she had me swap diagonals every 3 strides to help keep him and me from bracing. She had me focus on lifting my seat bones instead of sending them (and thus his shoulders) down. Even at the canter, I need to almost alternate lifting my seat bones. I'm not sure that's exactly what she wanted but it was what I was doing and she was saying yes.

Then we isolated it. He doesn't want to bring his right hind laterally. I know this... Cindy saw it. Even leg yielding and tracking and standing, he wants to hold it medially. (almost like a dog with a dislocated hip). When I tried to get him to turn on the haunches to the right (which is always his tough side) he spun. When I sat to the right, instead of letting him fling me to the left, he panicked! BUT.... he did do it after a tantrum and realized he could.

So I'm still thinking right hip or some abductor muscle injury.

But it was good to be back. And he was going quite nice when he could. :) We got a bit more sit and lift than usual. :)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trails with Kelli

Fleck and I had a fun ride with Kelli. I did his hip stretches and worked on his shoulder/neck. And he felt good. We did a bit of trotting and just had fun hanging out. He felt forward and even. yay!

However, when we got back I put him in the ring for a minute just to see. And he was still lame. Not nearly like what he was at Beths, but not normal. It was worse tracking right again and extra noticeable on the downwards. Dang it... Sigh.. good thing we've got an appointment for Friday.

But at least he feels happier. He's not withdrawing anymore and seems happy to work.

Hopeful at Harbins!

God is so kind! And he makes amazing people! So... Liz and I met for a trail ride at Harbins because I had told her about Fleck and how I was worried. She and I both looked at him and between the two of us, we were able to figure some stuff out. Liz is talented! She can really see "energy". She felt like his front end was pretty good. She said he wasn't tight and just felt good. He did have a little tight spot on his front right shoulder line, but I can work that out. So then we went to his back end. Sigh... Liz agrees with me. She thinks it's his hips too. And I'll be honest, Kathryn mentioned it first. And awhile ago. I wish I had listened to her earlier. Fleck just feels really tight and painful at his hip. Both hips! I was able to adjust his back and we looked at his lines and energy and stance. I then adjusted his hips again, but differently this time. He looked like an old man trying to hold his pee in. He's always been narrow behind but he was super narrow and cow hocked. And he was almost standing with his hind legs up underneath himself. Almost like he was stuck in lumbosacral flexion, which is odd.. because he tends to be stuck in extension. So... I showed Liz how he won't let me pull his right leg laterally. So we palpated his hip and again looked at anatomy... We pulled his hip/hind leg back, behind his other hock, and then medially. Fleck got into it and seemed much more comfy. Then we did the other hip. Rather than pushing it cranially, I went more cranial and pushed it more caudodorsally. And that seemed more helpful to him too. So then Liz showed me how to open up Fleck's hips. Basically I put my fist in between his butt cheeks and slowly push. He was tight! Then once I get "in", I can turn my first and essentially be a "thigh master" and help him push his thighs apart. It was not easy and Fleck was a little pissy at first. But after doing that a few times we noticed that he started to stand with his hind legs more spread and with his back legs more behind him. And he just seemed more comfortable.

So we went for a ride and Glory Be!! He seemed HAPPY! He was more outgoing again and more happy and forward and happy to be moving! He even kept breaking into the trot! And the other day, as soon as I took my leg off, he'd break to the walk. He seemed to be moving out better and more evenly and smoothly. Liz agreed. YAY!! So... I don't know what his issue is, but I'm embracing the fact that he feels good today :)

Happy Flecky = Happy Mommy!

lesson with beth

Well crap! Darn, darn, darn. I knew something wasn't quite right with Fleck. But I took him to my Beth lesson because I thought she could help me figure it out. And it's subtle. So I got tacked up and in we went. And we started warming up and suddenly... Fleck was LAME! Like really lame. :( What?!? He wasn't like this before. :( Wahh.....

Beth thought it might be right hind. I felt a little right front but more right hind. Tracking right is worse. And then we cantered, in case it was SI and the canter might perk him up. And ugh... what was happening?!? He was like... really... wrong! It was bizarre. I couldn't tell what he was doing. I think he may have been bunny hopping behind. Sigh. We went the other way and it was better, but still not right. So... Back to the trot we went. He did get a little better with some stretching. So we decided to keep going but to work on specific stuff that wouldn't make him worse.
So we set up three or four ground poles and trotted in a circle through them. We worked on getting lift and sit without racing. I had to slow his gait down. He felt SOOOO slow! (Hee hee... especially after riding Dan). So we did it in both directions and figure 8's. It was helpful for both of us. And Fleck seemed happy to keep going and his lameness improved a good bit. So... sigh...

It was so humid though because it was about to storm. I rode Dan next and Fleck was in the trailer. It started to rain on Dan and I and then lightning too. So we headed for the barn but we had to go and rescue Fleck first. He was grateful. :) 

So.... I'm so sad. I want my big guy back and feeling better. :(

Mothers Day

I'm such a lucky momma! 
We hit the trails and just enjoyed our time together and the glorious weather.

We're soaking up the magic!

Riding at Home

I loaned Missy my truck so she could take Zhar and Indi to the Arabian show. So... while I had my trailer, I had no way to tow, so Fleck and I were stuck at home. But I wanted to ride, so... off we went. :) We toured the property. We did some work. We had fun.

See... we accomplished some good work. But... Fleck still feels a bit wonky. Nothing I can pinpoint.... He still seems a bit sore in his hip area. When I go to adjust his SI on the right, he clamps his leg down and pulls it in. He won't let me lift it up and out. So... I'm wondering if it's SI joint or hip.... ???