Confounding horse continues to be confounding… but then again what else is new? Let me dive into some more detail.
Simon finished his 7 day rest and 2g bute/day on Friday. On Saturday morning, I headed out to the barn to give him a light walk/trot hack and see how he is. Now I realize he will still have some bute in his system at that point, so I expected him to feel amazing.
Overall, he did. Huge shoulder swing. Toe flick. I felt him relax over his back and really push from the hind end. It was like my horse was transformed into a Warmblood. He rarely feels like that!
Why the meh? Well, even feeling that good, he still did the dropping behavior a few times. I’d say it was 75% improved, but he still did it.
When I went to the barn late Sunday morning, we were closer to 36 hours post bute. I felt like there would be fewer residual effects from it on Sunday than there were Saturday. I admit he didn’t feel like my amazing Warmblood hack winner from the day before, but still he felt even and pushing and relaxed in his topline. Prior to the injections, he was a bit grumpy when you started asking him to move out on the flat… but I felt none of that either day.
Again, why the meh? On Sunday he did the dropping behavior even more. I’d say overall maybe a 50% improvement from pre-injections.
So where am I now? I don’t really know.
Going to call the vet tomorrow and give her an update. To me, the fact that he still is doing this after bute + injections makes me think that it’s not a suspensory problem. Then again, I’m no vet so I’ll be asking her opinion. If not suspensory, then what?
Back? Maybe. I palpated his back after my ride both days, and he showed 0 reaction. Last week at the vet’s, the reaction was very obvious. In my opinion, his back is not hurting. It might start again, but I’ll keep an eye on it.
Mechanical? Maybe. I asked my farrier to square his toes off as an experiment. I may also ditch the hind shoes and go back to barefoot on the hind to see if that makes any difference.
Really I’m stuck in that hard place that is in-between riding my horse and spending a small fortune (that I don’t have) chasing a very slight mystery lameness. We all know how expensive that can be.
After digesting this information for a few days, I’ve decided that I’m going to work him back up to where we were before which I would call moderate work jumping around 2’6″ twice a week. I know my horse pretty well, and the past few days he didn’t act like he was in any pain. Granted that may change, but I’m going to listen to what he tells me. Of course, I’m also going to listen to my vet. If she thinks working him is a bad idea, I will figure out what plan B is.
Hopefully this weirdness will either gradually go away or get bad enough to diagnose. I’m probably being over dramatic so I don’t want y’all to think I’m riding my horse when he’s 3 legged lame… that’s certainly not the case. Right now I just have to feel out how these injections help him (or don’t), keep him in work to help the hock fusing and try to rule out any mechanical problems with shoeing or saddle or footing. If I listen to what he tells me, we’ll reach a solution eventually.