Sunday, July 23, 2017

what's next?!

Ever feel completely defeated?
What next?! is all I can say sometimes.

I thought things were going really well for us back in early June - Prophecy was willing and happy, moving nicely without tension or bucking.  Then it fell apart again.  Things have not improved with the hoof growth later in the cycle, so I'm not convinced the trim was the culprit - just the happenstance of timing, or maybe the catalyst?

Something is NQR...and I don't think it is all training related. Don't get me wrong, he IS green and needs more miles and confidence building, but I am also re-questioning if his issues over the right hind for trims is something actually physical (vs. trust), leading us down a path of scheduling a lameness evaluation.

Google is not your friend when you are researching the various possibilities!  I can only hope it is something "simple" like corrective shoeing needed... but the words kissing spine, fibrotic myopathy, stifle or hock arthritis, Degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD), various ligament and tendon tears, have come up too.  Things to set your mind spinning...

We have still been riding, but I am not pushing him; pretty much walk only with a few trot spurts when he feels good.  His weight is looking great, his body is just needing more muscle tone, but I can't ask much of him in my opinion till I know he is doing it without pain.  Saturday morning's ride was not one of our better ones.  First half started out pretty well, until I asked him to trot where he normally loves to move out - his answer was ears pinned, tucked under rear end, threatening to buck... He became head tossy again, prancing and bucking on the latter half of our 2.5mile stroll with barn buddies, but we held it together. He also seemed to trip a bit more - going downhill especially.  I lunged him upon our return a few circles and confirmed his was tripping without me on and I couldn't see why, but he had a little head bob.  He is now overdue for a trim at 6weeks due to scheduling changes, and has flared pretty strongly upfront so that could be the reason for tripping  - though that has not been an issue before.

I hope the next two weeks gives us answers between Sandy's visit for CST work on him, farrier, and finally the lameness eval if needed to investigate more if the previous two items don't find a culprit.

Where this will take us next, I don't know.  We will keep on keeping on and find it together.

Ears up leading the way Saturday am
I "published" the above post Sunday, but decided not to share on FB, just with a few close friends to bounce around ideas...So I pulled it back to update with our findings from today/Wednesday between the farrier and Sandy - It just so happened they ended up on the same day, so I took a day off to be fully involved this as my thoughts have been a mess of questions and considerations.

Sandy was first up this morning.  I had her work on him & me this time - my right ankle the mess that it is, and my crummy sleep lately has left me with lots of headaches and some TMJ issues, I could use some relief. Plus if we are trying to overcome his emotional hangups riding, we need to get me straight in that equation too.

Overall Prophecy was in much better shape than Sandy's last/first visit.  Right away she pin-pointed this issue that was causing the buck at the canter - psoas muscle - deep down tweak. It took quite a while to get it released, and just a few other minor spots and then we saged him.  I had heard of doing this to houses, but never tried it, nor heard of it being used on horses!  It worked its magic around his withers, shoulders and girth area, and apparently a few spots related to the breast collar too - so I'll have to check the settings of that.  She did not note anything on his hocks or stifles, so that is at least good news.

I enjoyed my CST work after putting him out in the round lower back was out and my neck and shoulder tension was strong.  No more TMJ issues and I don't feel locked up on the right hip! I almost fell asleep in my epsom soak this evening...hoping my mind slows down and I can sleep a little easier now.

Next up with the farrier - a new one today.  Despite the huge chip he took out of his front left somewhere Sat afternoon to Monday eve when I found it, and other than being long and flared again up front, he thought he had good growth, no WLD, good concavity, and his soles are sloughing off on their own well.  Prophecy is still ouchy on rocks, so he suggested a hoof hardener for the soles and using boots when we ride.  If I feel he is not improving, we will go to front shoes next time (or sooner if needed).  Prophecy was extremely chill for his trim...except the RH, which Sandy said he would still be a little sore in the rear, but he was definitely better than he had done previously - and if the psoas muscle is an ongoing issue it would explain why he didn't want to have hinds done in general.

Watching Rich work on his back foot 

So, the question still exists, what do I do next?

24hrs rest then see how he I guess I will try and hop on Thursday night if it isn't storming. I also must make sure to use his scoots so he isn't worried about or feeling the rocks so much. After a nice long talk with a good horsey friend to say out loud all my questions and answers we've gotten so far, I am going to go ahead with his lameness eval on 7/31. I need to make sure there is nothing underlying causing the recurrent SI area pain and RH stiffness. It will give me the piece of mind I need, and hopefully answers, to keep planning on how we move forward.


  1. Griffin, Journey and I had really bad (and dangerous) front tripping issues. She went down with me once, and flipped me over her shoulder another. This may or may not be relative to what you are going through with Prophecy, but know you are seeking feedback. Journey has very low action. Her hoof at the trot just b-a-r-e-l-y clears the ground. If she gets any, and I mean any excess toe she starts tripping on things. Boots (gloves in her case) exacerbated her problem as it added bulk at the toe. She did run well in Renegades on the front but couldn't keep them on the backs. Next try was aluminum shoes on the front with an aggressive breakover. It totally resolved the problem until the nearing the end of the trim cycle. Then my farrier got to stringing out the time when he would come (6-10 weeks totally unacceptable in this case) so I had to pull shoes, and we've been on hiatus since.

    The Psoas muscle release video might help!

    1. Thanks Jacke - Alum shoes are the next step on the fronts if needed. This is really the first time he has been trippy. Sometimes he 'over-reaches' (more like lazy walk), but generally speaking moves nicely. All stuff to consider and discuss with the vet next week!

  2. Griffin: I am far from an expert, but have observed a couple of things with my horses. First, if I am stiff, my horse doesn't do as well and I can't get the responses I want from him as well. A couple of Advil a couple of hours earlier than I ride and then some stretching exercises just before I get on seems to help us both. Second, long toes on my husband's TWH mare will cause her to trip. And I don't mean REAL long toes, just getting close to trims. The last time I rode her she was in such a state, tripped onto her knees, actually landed on her face, and threw me off. So we watch her trimming status closely. Good luck!! I am sure you will figure Prophecy out and get out on the trail soon. :-)

    1. Thanks Diane, I will def try an Aleve before riding and keep an eye on his toes!