Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Partial Answers

Knowing that I would be taking Suzie to the massage therapist and chiro on Monday evening, I decided to pull her off of her Previcox. So, Saturday night I ceased administering the pills to ensure that any lameness the two specialists saw would be real and there would be no pain masked whatsoever.

^ A reminder of what I had on March 24th.
Look closely and you can see that no matter how hard she trots, she doesn't even
come *close* to tracking up. Also, pay special attention to her hind right and then read
the rest of this post and come back and watch again...

I arrived about 40 minutes prior to the appointment and brushed Suzie out and cleaned her up a bit. The massage therapist (MT), showed up on time and I went into a bit of a speal about Suzie's lameness and how she's had shoulder issues in the past (this MT has seen and treated Suzie when I first got her).

MT went straight into massaging and there were a few things she found:

- No heat, bumps, lumps, etc on any of her legs or hooves. No suspicion of an abscess, although that is a possibility that this could be an additional problem.

- Upon beginning to massage, it was found that Suzie is quite tight in her scapula; specifically, the "back" of her scapula. She is also tight along the front and due to her "Quarter Horse beef" it was hard to really get into the tissue and massage it.

- Hips seemed crooked upon MT's inspection. Suzie confirmed this by swaying her hips back and forth, redirecting the MT's hands to her right hip.

- Suzie was short-striding with her hind-right (which I already knew).

Mare is displeased she is the only horse at the entire fairgrounds.
As the massaging progressed, Suzie was quite a star patient - she gave a lot of long releases (yawning, blinking, licking, chewing) and redirected the MT to her problem areas by shifting around or walking/moving to make the MT's hands move to the "trouble spots". The MT was great and really wanted Suzie to express herself (moving around, etc) and allow herself to "show" what she wanted.

At one point, Suzie literally just started to walk away from the MT and myself, and she went for a good long roll. The MT was pleased to see this, as it is seen as a good thing? Was neat to see, nonetheless.

After the MT appointment, the Chiro showed up and he had me walk Suzie and trot her out. Immediately, he saw a huge problem area, followed by a few more:

- A huge "hip hike" (the right side of her pelvis had rotated downwards and made her right hip "hike" upwards). A hip hike means there is strain on the sacroiliac (SI) joint and the pelvis is "caught" so when the horse tries to track up, they simply can't. So remember how I was saying that Suzie was short-striding on her right hind? Yep, totally related to this hip hike/SI issue.

- Because horses are quadra-something (I can't remember), when they have a hind-end lameness it'll affect the diagonal pair leg. So, in Suzie's case, because she had a hip hike on the right hind, she was over-compensating on her front left.... Her bad shoulder. So in addition to a hind-end lameness, she was over-straining her already messed up shoulder.

- Four adjustments were made to Suzie's lower lumbar and one to her mid-back. She was VERY ouchy and "out" in her back. The Vet asked me if my saddle fit - this puzzled me, because yes, my saddles do fit. (We'll touch on this in a second).

- Three adjustments in her poll/neck area. This tied together the whole "issues with bending to the left."

- The bulge I see on her left shoulder is due to the overcompensating and is overmuscled. It isn't that her shoulder is actually out, but rather overly-muscled. Good to know.
So, that left us with trying to figure out what the hell Suzie did to royally fuck herself so bad.

Remember how three weeks ago she colicked? And thrashed around on the road?

That's literally the only thing that has happened and was that violent. So why did it take so long for her to go lame when she colicked on March 2nd?

Well, Suzie was given a week and a half off after she colicked, which brings us to March 14 being her first ride "back". I rode her March 14 (schooling), 15 (schooling), 17 (trail ride), 19 (trail ride), and 20th (schooling). She started to "go lame" on March 20th and went quite lame March 21st. I tested it out to see if she'd come out of her lameness, but decided to schedule an appointment with the MT and chiro for the 28th.

So, that brings us to right now.

^ March 30th, just before our ride.
She isn't tracking up here (she isn't trotting nearly as fast as she was in the other video), but you can see a swing in her hips that was not there before. She is still, unfortunately, off.

^And going the other direction. 
Keep in mind there isn't really a good place to lunge and this was
a 15m circle.

I started Suz back on Previcox on Tuesday morning and this afternoon I lunged her since the appointment. She looks so much better, but there is still some residual ouchiness and I can't be certain if this is just stiffness or if there are still some adjustments to be done. She has another appointment this Sunday with the MT and chiro just to make sure there aren't any other adjustments to make.

I rode her today too, at the chiro's advice, and I'm not sure if I did the right thing as she was definetely lame at the trot. She didn't work out of it either, so I'm not sure if there are more adjustments to do or if she's just sore from all the work ups? I keep watching and re-watching the videos and everything just keeps muddling together. I've flip-flopped between "retire her" and "stick it out a bit longer" more times the last two days than I ever have...

^ This is after a 1hr ride which was mostly walking but had about 5min of trotting.
Also note that she is soaking wet because I gave her a bath and then poulticed her legs because
I am a freak.
The Boyfriend told me to give her time - she's old and it may take time for her to "come back" especially if she has been out since she colicked. If you think about it, that's quite a long time to be "out", and I'm sure it would take more than just two days to feel normal.

Still, I'm trying to not wear my heart on my sleeve in this, but it is so damn hard.

Thoughts? Ideas?

I feel like I'm just going crazy and I'm grasping at straws trying to figure it all out and process it all.


  1. I'm kinda w the bf here - give her time. The lameness took a little while to develop so it might take a little while to dissipate?

    1. That makes sense - kind of like a car accident or something.. it takes time to feel better.

    2. Agreed when I get hurt it takes me a while to get back and usually its a bunch of micro adjustments and proper work to get you really back into it.

  2. Sounds like she had some pretty significant adjustments. I guess I'm in the same camp as the boyfriend and Emma.

    1. She certainly had some pretty serious adjustments.

  3. I'm a big fan of wait and see. I think sometimes we want things to go faster, but when I think about myself (and some of the falls I've taken), things always take a lot longer to heal 100% than I think they should.

    I'll also say this, to give you some hope. My first horse was diagnosed with a bone chip in his left front, under the hoof. We injected, and turned him out for about 2 months to just be a horse. He came back for about a year, before getting a second chip in right front, which is when he was mostly retired. Time can do wonders!

    1. Too true - sometimes we have to just breathe in and out and give it some time...

      And thank you for the story :)

  4. I agree on the "wait and see" front. Sending hugs, lameness stuff is the worst. :(

  5. I'm with everyone else on this. Give her time she is an older horse and might not bounce back as quickly as a younger horse. She will adjust herself to what feels right for her. As long as she has turnout and can move around she will do what she can to help herself. The chiropractor and massages will help along with the Previcox.

  6. I agree with everyone else. Wait and see. She may just need a bit of time and possibly another adjustment. My horse and I have matching SI issues... speaking from experience it may just take awhile. Did the massage therapist or chiropractor give you any exercises to do with her?