Dr. Brown zeroed in on his left hind and palpated his medial collateral hock ligament. Fleck was painful there. So we ultrasounded it and... no tear or anything, but a very unhappy inflamed tendon. He said that it was the problem. Rest and laser. Sigh.. I did some research and unfortunately bad issues tend to be career limiting. However, mild sprains/strains can be fine after 6-8 weeks of stall rest. Ugh... Dr. Brown told me rest and laser and no riding. I just can't do stall rest. Fleck would go bonkers, my barns not done, I would go bonkers... So I decided time off with turn out and lasering daily. So... we have.
Well then I was adjusting a horse at Ashland and ran into Freddie Garcia, another farrier. I was still wondering if Fleck's negative plantar angles were contributing to his neuro signs and troubles. He still seemed like he was mechanically stuck at times. And I figured it might have aggravated the hock ligaments too. (Although now... I'm sure that jumping him at the Vista that day was probably what did him in... shame on me). So I asked Freddie and he went into a long discussion about how awful that is for them and when I asked how he would fix it, he basically said what Dr. Bob wanted to do. So... I went ahead and made an appointment with him. I feel awful about Wayne... he was doing a great job. I just... really wanted to make sure we ruled out biomechanical before we went to fenestrating Fleck's stifles and such. And Fleck is just struggling so much... I want to fix him and I want to fix him now! Luckily Freddie agreed to come shoe my horse.
So... we got him shod yesterday. Freddie is pretty amazing to talk to. He watched Fleck walk and he agreed with Dr. Brown that it's in the left more than the right. He seemed to think it was biomechanical and we pulled his shoes and he took off some flare on the lateral wall and tweaked some stuff and Fleck was already walking better. Even without his wedges. He took about an inch of toe off and put the wedges back on. Fleck looks better already! Ther doesn't seem to be that little catch and he's not hesitating. It's just a smooth motion. YAY!! Freddie felt like we could even get him out of the wedges in a few shoeing cycles. Then we did his fronts and he adjusted those slightly. Fleck looked better already.
I had him do Dan too and while the difference wasn't quite as dramatic, it did look different and better. It's fun because the more biomechanics I learn, the more intriguing it is.
Then this morning... Fleck was a pistol!!! Granted, I was later than usual feeding and it's chillier than usual, but Fleck was going after Dan and Roany and bucking and backing up and all sorts of nonsense. He even slipped in the mud and fell on his butt. Poor guy. He played it off well ;) So after I fed, I checked his ligament with the sticks.... it BARELY moved!!! When two days ago it was swinging around. :) :)
I'm really optimistic that this will get Fleck back on track again. Luckily I'm out of town for a week so I can't ride him. I'm going to try VERY hard to still give him those 6-8 weeks off, but I can't promise it. If he feels good and the sticks don't move.. it's going to be very hard not to get back on him and just trail ride. :)
Look at the changes...
Left Hind 2016 Before Shoeing Changes
Right Hind 2016