One Week Post Injections Meh Fest

One Week Post Injections Meh Fest

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.

31 thoughts on “One Week Post Injections Meh Fest

  1. ugh 🙁 mystery lameness is seriously the most stressful and sometimes expensive thing ever. I hope you find out what’s going on soon!

  2. Have you thought about trying a different farrier? I wound up chasing a mystery “NQR” and met a lameness specialist farrier at the vet, completely coincidentally as he was there on a social visit. He worked wonders and my horse went back to 100%. Not all farriers are the right fit for all horses. Just a thought…

    1. That’s on my list of options. We’re going to experiment with a shoeing change and maybe barefoot, but at this point I’m not ruling out a new farrier even though I personally like my current one a lot.

    1. Not sure what you mean? I am not at the barn usually when my trainer riders him. When I saw Jen ride him, I didn’t visually see very much but she mentioned feeling it a little. I think it’s easier to feel than see sometimes.

  3. Just a thought (and you may have already explored this but I don’t remember), have you looked at his SI?

    Two years ago I had a vet come out and just do a general lameness exam and she felt he needed hocks and stifles injected. He wasn’t lame but just needed a little maintenance (freaked me out). Anyhoo, I did as she suggested and noticed zero difference. About 4 months later, my friend’s husband (who’s a vet) looked at him and said it was his SI that needed a little help. Injected his left SI and I had a totally different horse. According to him, lots of vets ID hocks and stifles as the problem area but the origin is really in the SI joint.

    Hope you figure this out! So frustrating – hugs to you both!

  4. That SUCKS. But I do agree with your decisions…keep him in work so you can see what helps and what does not.

    Question: does he drop that hind leg on a lunge?

    1. Oops… I totally commented on the wrong blog *head desk* I certainly have a case of the “Mondays!”

      I wanted to say, I’m sorry to hear that he isn’t 100%… My own mare isn’t 100%, but has been Vet diagnosed as well and is managed with arthritis medication. She can’t compete to the higher levels, but schooling shows and smaller venues are ok.

  5. That can be so hard to decide sometimes! It’s like a vicious little circle…. I agree, listen to your horse. If he’s happy and continues to be happy in work, keep giving him that. 🙂

  6. I’ll shoot you an email later when I have more time 🙂

    I will say in personal experience removing shoes from a horse that was already having hind end stability issues has never helped. My vet has actually suggested shoes in those cases not pulling them. And they did help Houston a lot. I would be worried about how he’d feel about being barefoot behind now since I know how much the support and stability from hind shoes helps him. Definitely good to get the vets opinion. 🙂 I have a few more thoughts but can’t type put at work.

    1. I second this…. Henry hasn’t had any hind end issues but I tired to take off his hind shoes and it was no bueno. That support was necessary for him.

      But you know your boy best and i know will do what is best for him 🙂

  7. I know it’s super stressful, but he looked really good on Saturday. Hopefully Sunday was just a fluke and he’ll continue to improve.

  8. Would you be willing to give him more time off? I know Penny was doing similar, and the bunny hopping. The three months off I gave her did her wonders. I started her back lightly with lots of long and low, long hacks, hill work, now after 5 weeks she is in tip top shape and no longer doing that or the bunny hops. Plus chiro and massage were added, plus a new saddle. Maybe a mini vacation is what he needs?

    1. Would definitely consider it at vet’s advice. Problem with just giving him three months off (or something similar) is that the hocks fuse MUCH faster with work. So just turning him out goes against the treatment needed to keep stifles strong and hocks moving.

  9. Nothing to add. Just sending good vibes your way. NQR is the most frustrating place to be. YOU know you’re not crazy, but it can be hard to convince the rest of the world. Keep on keeping on. :0)

  10. My suggestion is find a good lameness vet to give a second opinion. I had a slight lameness issue on two different horses within the past couple of years. I went around and around with my “normal” vets to figure out what was wrong – months of non-riding, about $1000 of exams/tests/injections each and not much change. I finally got fed up and went to a lameness specialist vet. Both horses were back in work within no time after a correct diagnosis and proper treatment. I finally learned my lesson!!

  11. Gogo had a jammed stifle that was causing her to drag one toe ever so slightly – no lameness but she’d drop out once in awhile on that leg and the toe would square itself off just a little. We injected just that one side and she was a brand new horse! I generally associate that dropping out feeling with a bad stifle – has that been ruled out?

  12. Awww. I’m sorry to hear this. At least you still have a few more tricks up your sleeve though. Maybe the shoeing will help, and at the very least, it’s good that he doesn’t seem to be in pain!

  13. I think your plan for moving forward sounds like a good one. Sometimes making the NQR-ness just a little bit worse makes it easier to figure out and saves everyone a lot of time and headache in the long run.

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