Time to catch up on the Stampede saga! So last Saturday (not yesterday, the week before) when I got on Stampede for my flat lesson I thought he felt a bit strange, and when I started trotting he was pretty rough. So I walked a bit longer then trotted again for the barn manager to see (she was teaching the lesson). He gradually got better as I went. Never really wanted to move forward at the trot but was even, and his canter felt pretty good really. So he worked pretty lightly and I was hoping he was just stiff since it was cold.
Sunday I rode P then got Stampede out to see how he looked on the lunge. It was pretty similar – looked like he was maybe off on the left front but it wasn’t obvious and he could have been stiff. Barely did anything and put him away.
Tuesday I rode him during the day since I was off work. He felt a little stiff but sound other than a trip where he took three or four bad steps before resuming an even trot. I was feeling pretty good that maybe it was just because his back was sore. My regular vet came in the afternoon for shots, and when I went to pull Stampede out of his stall he was practically three-legged. Didn’t want to leave his weight on the left front and my vet thought the pulse in that leg was elevated. She was concerned he was sore on both fronts since his front hooves have gotten ugly lately. So I used magic cushion and wrapped up both front hooves for the night.
Wednesday I got out to the barn late and just unwrapped his hooves and walked him a bit. He was a bit ouchy turning left but was pretty good on a straight line. I thought about canceling his vet appointment, but it had taken a lot to get everything together and I was tired of waiting for answers.
Thursday dawned and Stampede was ridiculously off when I pulled him out of his stall. Wrapped him up and put him on the trailer anyways.
I found out lots of great information from the vet, and I’m feeling pretty positive about his initial analysis and his plan for rehab. The problem is, we can’t start until Stampede is sound on all four feet. The vet looked at his bad foot a bit – the beast wasn’t sensitive to hoof testers, didn’t seem to have an elevated pulse or heat, and didn’t respond to the first flexion test the vet did. The second flexion test the vet did was a rotational one, and the beast *may* have been slightly more off. So we decided to hope it’s an abscess, particularly since Stampede wasn’t responsive to hoof testers with his huge abscess last March. If it’s not that, then it’s bad news, because the vet was concerned about the beast’s collateral ligament on the inside of that foot.
I think the most interesting part of my conversation with this new vet, was learning that kissing spines is a symptom not the issue itself. There are a couple causes of the kissing spines symptom, and the one that applied to Stampede is facet arthritis. This arthritis causes the horse to avoid using their spine properly, hence the bad muscling on the top line and the kissing spines. Stampede’s rehab will involve some injections into the facet joints most likely, followed by some anti-inflammatory drugs and some specific exercises. In the beginning all of his exercise will be done in the lunging rig, and later move to under saddle exercises.
As of today, Stampede’s hoof has been soaked every day for 15 minutes for 4 days. He is walking sound in a straight line and maybe just a slight strangeness to a tight left turn although I may be imagining it. The farrier is coming tomorrow to trim him and check out his hoof, so I will see what I have tomorrow night.
So here’s hoping Stampede is feeling better soon so I can take him back to the vet and learn the full details on his rehab and get things going!
One more reminder about my monogram contest with Relatively Stable which ends this coming Friday, October 31st. Go to the contest post here and answer the question to win. Since I’d rather have more entries, if you share the contest on your blog I’ll give you a second entry. Please comment on the contest post and let me know if you shared!