Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Questions and Answers and Questions

No time for a long drawn-out post at the moment, but I wanted to write a quick update on Sofie. After the lesson, she started resisting going into the trot when I rode her. At first it was minor, and we worked through it, but then it started to escalate. She was fine at the walk, although she would occasionally trip a little behind, like she didn't want to pick up her right leg as much as the other. At first I thought I had ruined her training somehow, but then I said wait a minute, that's what everyone else thinks, but they're wrong, I know my horse. She is honest, and when she feels good, she is the best little horse I could ask for.

I had her vet checked, and she failed both her hind flexion tests. The vet recommended hock injections, and my mom had them done (I wasn't there, I had to hold down the fort at home that night). No x-rays were done, so I don't know the extent of what's wrong with her hocks, but I'm assuming she has mild arthritis that was stressed by recent trauma (blowing through deep snow, falling, being ridden in an hour lesson and getting ridden way too hard).

I'm not sure if the injections were a good idea or overkill (I don't really like or trust this particular vet, and I never have, but he was going to be at the barn that night and I knew he was good at evaluating lameness), but either way, we are never doing them again. It was too invasive, too expensive and way too stressful for Sofie. We are going to get her on a better supplement (the vet said her current supplement had inadequate levels of glucosamine AFTER he injected her), I will be mindful of her hocks when I ride her (no tight turns, no seriously long rides, no more charging through knee deep dense snow, and definitely no lessons with an overzealous instructor who does not listen to me when I tell her my horse is off and I want to go easy on her) and we will do some comfrey poultices on her hocks (I've heard great stuff about comfrey from Sofie's farrier, and we've got comfrey growing all over our field at home, might as well use the stuff).

At this point I don't know what the future holds for Sofie. I am hoping to at least enjoy her for another year or so. She may be fine for many years if the problems with her hocks are not severe, and we find the right management program for her. Either way, the lesson I must take from this is that I need to stay in the moment and enjoy every moment I have with her.

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