Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Better, but not fixed

And today we hacked with Kelli and Jessica. We got to trot today. Still lame, but better than he was. Hoping the stifle injection works more in due time. 

  Ummm... why do I have butt foam mom!?  So.. interesting... This was our first day of trotting. And it was super hot! As you can tell, was super sweaty. (He's getting more fit now, don't worry!). However, I noticed that he had legitimate butt foam. He's NEVER had butt foam. And sure, maybe some of it is fat, but he's been fatter before and still hasn't gotten butt foam. And while he's been fatter before, he's never quite filled out in his butt like this before. I honestly think that he's finally able to use himself properly now and is building proper muscles. Of course, he's still lame. And perhaps the lameness is secondary to having to work properly??? But.. butt foam!!!

 I got up extra early this morning to get this ride in. Worth it!! Fleck and I are so much happier on days we ride.

And then there are days we ride at home because it's the only time we have OR we want to be able to use the new barn and let Fleck be the first chiropractic and acupuncture patient treated in the new barn. And the first pony to get hosed off. :) Cause he's special. :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rehab rides

So... It's amazing how much just being back on my big guy can improve both of our mindsets! I'm complaining that we are on the 30 day back to work schedule and don't really feel like we need to be. It's not like it was a soft tissue injury. BUT.. it's a good thing. Because I'm already pushing it. ;) Poor Flecky... it's a shame he has to suffer my "be the best you can be" itis... We're walking up hills instead of on flat surfaces. But I'm limiting it to 15 minutes... Like I'm supposed to.

We're on day 4.
This was Sunday, day 2.

Sneaking in our ride this morning. Tomorrow, we get to trot. Though he trotted off after dinner tonight and still looked a bit off. :( 


Friday, May 20, 2016


Today I took Fleck with me to Dr. Browns to work. We were going to re-ultrasound his hock ligament from 2 months ago and see how he was, but then when he went super lame, we changed it to just evaluating that. Of course I panicked and had another vet appointment first. But I still wanted to see what Dr. Brown thought. 

I didn't have a chance to trot Fleck to see how much sounder he was with the stifle injections but he did look a bit better at the walk. He's still twisting and pivoting instead of moving his hind feet when you turn him though. 

Anyways, Dr. Brown looked at him and said that he wasn't finding much in the stifle, which could be because the injections were helping. He did find trochanteric bursitis on the right side. We ultrasounded it and then he let me inject it. It was pretty cool. Fleck was so good for me. We didn't sedate him because we didn't need to. I had to put a 3 inch needle to the hub into his hip muscles and my first attempt I sort of chickened out and only got the needle bouncing into his skin. My second attempt went much better and I got the needle in. I felt it hit the femur and backed it up a hair and injected. We looked with the ultrasound and I was right on it. Neat!! Of course Dr. Brown showed me exactly where to go. But I was kinda proud. :)

Anyways... he said that trochanteric bursitis typically occurs when in work, but can randomly pop up. He said it could make you super crippled lame. So... maybe that's it. I was also wondering about his stifle. I really think that he needed it, but I wonder if it wasn't the main problem. Only because there was no effusion, there was some evidence of scarring, and we didn't check the other side. Fleck is tough enough that it wouldn't entirely surprise me if we looked at the other one it would have been as bad. So I did have Dr. Brown look and we found the meniscus on the right and it looked pretty good on his ultrasound. He said it looked normal to him. ???

So I have no idea. I'm guessing that either one ultrasound was a bit less sensitive and missed the lesions and/or the other ultrasound had some artifact and made it appear worse than it was... I think Fleck really needed the stifle injections and I think it's going to help. Whether that was why he's been sooooo lame, I don't know. Maybe it's the bursitis. Maybe it's a combination of both. Maybe the bursitis isn't bothering him and it was all stifles. 

The tough part is that it gave me a little bit of hope back. I had decided that with his trashed stifle, his bad knees, his bad fetlocks.. there was really no reason to compete him, even at training level. It just wouldn't be fair. But... now that there's a possibility that his stifle isn't trashed... there's a little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, if he feels good... But... there's no reason. Danny is ready to start showing. Fleck owes me nothing...quite honestly I'm not sure I'd be happy running him training, especially when my friends are running prelim. And I'm thinking that the stress of worrying about him is making it not even fun anymore. So... I really don't know that I'd be as tempted to show him again as I think I might be. But it is nice to be a bit more optimistic about him feeling better and getting back to work, even if it's just for fun. And he seems to be feeling a bit better. 

Fingers crossed. I'm praying for him to make a recovery and not be painful and to take his semi-retirement well. And I'm desperately praying that God will guide me in the right direction with Fleck and help me not make decisions I'll regret. And enthusiastically thanking God for giving me all this time and all those great memories with Fleckopotomas to begin with. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

broken.... broken hearted.... broken....

Oh how I love him! If this is all we get to do from now on... we'll still have fun because we'll still have each other. But I'm not going to lie. It's breaking my heart wondering if we'll be sound enough to play again. He owes me nothing, but he wants to work and he wants to go and he wants to play.

We went on another long hack and just enjoyed each other. Tuesday we had our vet appointment with the vet. He watched him go and you could hear how lame he was trotting down the concrete aisleway. We flexed his lower joints on the right hind and didn't notice much change. But when we flexed his stifle, especially by taking his right hind under, he became more lame. So then we ultrasounded his stifle. Basically... it looks awful. The meniscus is trashed, the medial and lateral collateral ligaments are trashed. And he was so sore on it. The vet thought it might be an acute injury as they typically are in a horse his age. However, he's always been a bit weaker on the right hind and he has always been prone to hyper-extending that stifle due to his conformation. We did just change his shoeing too, as it's only been two shoeings with the new farrier. But... there was some scarring in the ultrasound that would indicate previous trauma. And there was very little effusion in the joint. 
I honestly don't know how long he's been this lame though. I swear that this is the worst he's been ever, but I haven't ridden him in 2 months so I really don't know when it started. And the few cheat rides I did were not long enough to really tell if he was that lame or not, as when he first starts and is straight it takes a few strides to notice. 

Regardless, whether it was acute or chronic, his stifle did not give us a warm fuzzy feeling for a full recovery. So we injected it and are crossing our fingers. The good news is that he's a tough cookie and we thought his fetlock didn't give us a warm fuzzy feeling either but hes' been going well on that for the last 8 months after we injected it. The bad news is that it looks pretty rough, it's a high motion joint, and... the injections may not work. Or if they do, they may not last.
But you know... God has prepared me and I *think* I am okay with accepting the fact that he really is getting to be an old man. I'm pretty sure I'm okay with having to retire him from competing. Quite honestly, even if he does get sound and feels great, he's got so many chronic issues and is at max capacity that prelim isn't an option anymore. It's just not fair. And to be honest, I'm not sure that it'll be as much fun to run training. Although I say that every time but we have a blast when we do run it. But even then, I'm not sure it's worth the risks. With Dan coming along, I think I'll be okay with just having fun with Fleck. I'm not saying that we won't jump or gallop. I'm not saying that I won't take lessons on him. I'm not saying that I won't even do a few fun shows with him if he's feeling good. But I am saying that I'm taking competition off the table for him. He deserves that. (Although I really think he enjoys showing... the adventure, the friends, the showing off)

The hope is that the stifle injections will help him feel great and we can go back to playing. The vet did say that the fitter he is, the sounder he will be, as he needs the muscle support to help stabilize that stifle. And when I asked about jumping and whether stopping jumping will prolong his soundness, he said that it may actually be better to jump him as that will keep him fitter and help stabilize his stifle more. However, that's assuming he's sound enough and comfy enough to jump. And obviously I'll be much more discreet about it and not do the big prelim and intermediate stuff.

So... here's to hoping and praying that the injections work and I get my pony back. And that I can rein myself in if he feels really good and not fall back on my word. And that I get to keep him for a long long time and that we both enjoy our "retirement" of trail and beach riding.

Well that's not good...

Well crap!! :( 
I was so excited to get back on Fleck. I was home from Rolex, Home from Kansas... and ready to ride. He got new shoes on Monday and then I had to work, so I didn't get a chance to ride. I took him with me to my lesson on Tuesday, knowing it would be a tight squeeze, but determined to ride. 
Yeah..not so much. Flecky was lame. SOOO Lame. Like lamer than he's ever felt lame. Clearly lame and so lame I couldn't even tell where... It felt like every leg. :( :( After I got over the tears, I had Cindy watch him go. She thought the right hind was short and that he was sore and mincy on both fronts. Sobs.....
He was still happy to go but oh so lame. So... we meandered around the farm and then I got a quick video of him so I could send it to Dr. Bob and Dr. Stan. 

Then on Thursday I couldn't help myself. I took him with me to my lesson at Silverthorne, thinking that we could at least hack around the farm. I sort of thought that perhaps some of it was stiffness from being out of work, some of it was lack of stifle strength from lack of hill work, and that maybe, just maybe, walking hills would help and not hurt. So we did. It was nice to be on him and spend time with him. And the goats weren't out, so we survived. :) 

But man.. I really hope we can fix him. I'm going to miss this.....