One of the last things I posted was that I was starting to evaluate Tristan’s joint support and overall way of going. He’s 24 and in full work, and I wanted to have expert eyes on him. He’s always been a reluctant horse to warm up, and more recently he’s started kicking out pretty good when we first ask him to get going. Was it brain or body?
The vet who came specializes in lameness: evaluating and treating. It’s his entire practice now, and he actually first saw Tristan the last time we lived in Vermont, over a decade a go. He last saw him about two years ago for a chiropractic adjustment that ended up being kind of unnecessary, which is now what three vets/chiropractors in a row have said and I am officially calling it quits on chiro work for him.
The vet came out and I described some of what I was seeing – general stiffness warming up, some unwillingness to really go forward, left canter departs weren’t as prompt. The barn manager was there too and was able to describe some of what she sees under saddle – not inclined to truly track up, some weakness through the hind end.
The vet’s assistant put Tristan on the longe line and he was FIRED UP. Like, barrel kicked in at the vet assistant’s head and then motored around on the longe like a jackass for a minute or two. For the record: I had been upfront and said “he will probably kick out when you ask him to pick up a trot.” He did! They were still surprised.
But they liked what they saw on the longe, and then the vet flexed both hind ends, palpated his back, and generally did a pretty thorough hands-on examination.
- some sensitivity in his RH fetlock, and a verrrrrrrry slight lowering of both fetlocks behind
- some mild positivity in both hocks, left a touch more than right, but he was reluctant to call either of them even a 1/5 – even after a very strong flexion!
- generally pretty darn healthy; the vet kept shrugging and saying variations on “I mean, he’s 24…”
- no joint injections at all!
- get back on the Pentosan routine with a new loading dose (this will be week 3/4 of that) and then doses every 3 weeks going forward
- sport boots all around for work to support his fetlocks in particular but his legs generally
So, pretty darn good news, and no excuses for him! I’ve purchased and have been using (and hate with fiery passion) the sport boots, and we should start to see the impact of the Pentosan soon, and we’re ready to dig in and get some more work done.
I’ll post soon-ish on why I loathe the sport boots so far, but I figure if I paid all that money to a vet to give him his opinion I should follow it for a while.