Well its beautiful weather down here in Devon and I cant really ride Tully. On Wednesday the horse that loves to canter decided to buck when asked to canter on one rein and resolutely refused to canter. She felt what I can only describe as tense immediately afterwards as we walked around the school. Got off and we warmed down by walking around loose absolutely fine. Checked her back and no pain so wondered if a saddle refit might be in order as its been six months or so since the last one. Gave her a day off and then lunged on Friday and she bucked on the lunge when asked to canter. She appeared to be cantering with her front legs but not with her rears!! Cue a vet visit. It appears that she has fluid in the joints of her hocks So my beautiful little (17.1 !!!) lady is now off for x-rays on Wednesday and cortozone injections. Fingers crossed for Wednesday guys as at the moment the vet is not sure why, given that she has only just turned seven. Suffice to say I am a very worried Dad!
5 hours at Holsworthy Equine Hospital today! Tully was a laid back little angel again. First time travelling today in 14 months and walked straight into the new trailer no problem Had lots of examination in walk, trot and canter then a sedative and x-rays (fell asleep in my arms during the x-rays!!). It turns out that she has early onset arthritis Worse in her right rear hock than left, which is causing her to overcompensate and giving back pain - hence the buck as she goes into canter. The vets were surprised we noticed the lameness as it is really subtle. The joints in the meta tarsels (?) just below the hocks have some strange bone growth which id causing the pain. She then had another sedative and a cortozone steroid injection into each joint, followed by another injection to help as well. She also needs a Glucosamine supplement daily initially and another type of injection each week for the next 3 weeks. The hope is that the steroid injections may stop the arthritis dead at this stage but we will see. Once the next 3 weeks or so of light work are done and she is looked at again I shall then look at perhaps having her barefoot as percussive shock can worsen the condition (the vet is not convinced about barefoot but I would like to give it a try as I have been researching it for weeks and was about to have her transitioning to barefoot this week!). The long and the short of it is that she is still rideable and may not get worse for years given correct treatment, although I think her show jump career is over before it has started which is a shame given her show jumping breeding lines. Whatever happens she is never leaving our place and will have all the care she needs.
Thanks for all the comments guys, and Indigo, perhaps Jo and I can pop up to the dptc one weekend to meet you all?
Quick update. Treatment is working well and Tully seems to be feeling fine. Vet and physio are more than happy with her, and even the swelling due to fluid around the affected joints has gone (much to the surprise of the vet!) ;D Tully is presently on walking (ridden) only at the moment to bring her slowly back into work. However, realising that impact would not necessarily be a good thing for joints I have decided to try her barefoot! So, Clive came out today to have a look at her hooves and the result is that Tully is now transitioning to barefoot - no shoes and a brand new pair of hoof boots for riding out!
More updates to follow as she progresses! The 17.1hh bitless, barefoot experiment continues - and at present she seems a very contented young lady!