Monday, November 12, 2012

Hips, hocks, knees and toes, knees and toes...

Oh, God bless antibiotics, ibuprofen, and the gross-sounding-but-so-damn-helpful-don't-care neti pot.  Seriously.  I feel oddly human today.  Well, odd human is normal for me, so all good.

And check it out!  I rode Tril today!  But first, let's discuss his chiro appointment.  Actually, I guess it's a pretty one-sided discussion, so, um...let me lecture about Tril's chiro appointment.  Don't stress; you won't be tested on this.

LOVE Dr. Butch.  He took one look at Tril's crooked back end and "Wow"ed.  He asked if I knew of any history of back injury, but, I don't (and I have access to all of his records), so Butch just shrugged and said we'd deal with What Is without concern of What Was.  He remarked Tril's misalignment was pretty significant: "He's walking around with his right hind leg literally about an inch shorter than his left."  And, honestly, ANYone could see how severe it is.

(Of course I just poured through my photos from his prepurchase exam and don't have a single photo highlighting this.  But I swear!  It's really obvious!)

The good news, Butch said, was the stumbling, cross-firing, and hind leg dragging I described all were mechanical issues, not pain issues.  When I responded to that conclusion with a "Whuh?" Butch clarified--Tril isn't lame or in pain, he is just so crooked and out of whack and atrophied in places that he can't move correctly.

I'm not convinced it isn't pain, as he seemed back-sore during the prepurchase exam:
...but, I have also since learned that Tril is suuuuuuuper sensitive to touch, especially by those he doesn't know.  He may have been reacting like this partially because of his apprehension over being poked and prodded by this stranger.  "Dude, seriously, what ARE you doing?  Don't touch me THERE!  Or, there, or, geez..."

I was surprised, though, to hear from Butch that Tril's hocks were also out (how could he tell is beyond me), but that it also may be due to Tril being a "high mileage vehicle," as he put it.  "This is a horse that has had a lot of work put into him," Butch observed.  When he said the hocks seemed a bit arthritic, I voiced my surprise as Ana's hocks didn't really become a problem until she was 16 or so.  "Well, that's the thing.  He may have the body of a 10yro, but from all of that use he has the hocks of a 15yro."  Phoo.  Well, I am pretty well versed in treating stiff hocks, so, fine.  I can manage managing him.

Several times Butch commented on what a nice horse Tril was, and I beamed.  Part of me does still feel like, "OMG...this is a NICE horse...and he's actually mine!" What admittedly goes with that is an occasional feeling of, "LOOKY WHAT I GOT!"  But what made me feel all warm and fuzzy was hearing Butch repeatedly say "I'm really glad you have him."  D'awwwww, thanks.  More on that later, though.

Butch adjusted Tril (still an odd thing to watch) and had quite the list of dos and don'ts for Tril between now and the next adjustment, which should be in about 3mos ("If you were in my backyard, I'd be adjusting him every month").  We need to slowly strengthen and realign that weak hip, and so I was told:
  1. No cantering under saddle ("I don't want him on one leg.")
  2. No small circles (lunging is out).
  3. No backing him up.
  4. No riding him on hills.
His notes said "until I say."  Sorry, Tril,, Butch didn't say.  Instead, it's lots of trot work.  Fine with me and my convalescing ankle.  We had fun going over poles tonight.  (He actually jumped obstacles in turn out the other day--I think he wants to be a hunter over fences.  I, who haven't jumped a horse in 20 years, am not so sure he really wants to do that.)

Here's the cool thing Butch does--Tril got a report card:
What the chicken scratch there is telling you is the area of concerns are left pelvis, left low back, and right and left hocks.  The diagram outlines the airplane-banking-right angle of his pelvis, as well as the other adjustments put into place.                Note all problem areas are on his left side--and that there wasn't much spasm.  
He ended explaining nothing but stall rest for 24 hours, with handwalking okay the day after that and return to normal the following day.  The entire prescription (the "No" list) and suggested joint supplements are on the back.  It will be really interesting to compare this to what the chiro shows in 3mos at the next adjustment.
So there you have it.  My lopsided boy is, uh, lopsided.

What again made this perpetual newbie feel good about herself as a horsewoman was Butch highlighting how Tril was in better hands with me. Cal Poly takes care of their horses, don't get him or me wrong, but there Tril was one of dozens of rideable horses, and he was made to fit the training program (all that lunging they did we now know is very bad for him, for one) rather than the training program designed to suit him.  As CPP has a state budget, there is no chiro care and no supplements (that's how they explained it when I asked).  When he'd get sore, they'd rest him and ride someone else without much thought because there are so many others.  With me, my "other" is 36" tall and unrideable, so he is going to get a lot more attentive care.

And that care includes a little equine chiro woo-woo.  :)

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