When to give up due to soundness issues?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by RedBranchRun, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. RedBranchRun

    RedBranchRun Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    47
    I’m struggling with this question regarding my gelding.

    I bought him August 2017. He was/is just an honest and quiet confidence builder I really needed. He was 14 years old, but passed his PPE (including x-rays) with flying colors.

    In the 3rd month of ownership, he came up lame in his right front while riding in an indoor arena. We were walking on a loose rein, and he suddenly began head-bobbing. There was heat in the beginning, but no swelling of any kind. I'm sure there were warning signs prior to this, but I did not catch them in time.


    Since this time we have done everything SHORT of an MRI:
    (The horse was not insured at the time of the incident unfortunately.)
    • 4 rounds of x-rays. Ultrasound. Found nothing. X-rays actually look “fine” according to vets.
    • 3 new farriers – 1 ELPO certified barefoot farrier. Tried everything from eggbars to completely barefoot to boots.
    • 3 months of stall rest, multiple months of hand-walking, followed by multiple months just turned out.
    • Switched to a low starch and IR diet due to him being a bit cresty, and overweight. (blood work came back normal)
    • Custom saddle fitter
    • Chiro/acupuncture/ magnawave
    • Back on Track sheets/blankets, magnetic hoof boots
    • Injected with Pro-Stride. Did not work.
    • Equioxx 1 tablet a day. No real change. Bute, slight change, nothing significant.
    • 3 different vets, one the lead lameness vet in the state. Instructed to do MRI, or turnout and cross fingers.

    After all this, all I know is the pain is near the coffin joint in the right front. We assume this is probably a soft tissue injury. No real diagnosis.


    My main vet told me the MRI could tell me something, or tell me nothing. So I decided to turn the horse out and not do anything with him all summer. Let him just be a horse. We did barefoot trims during this time.

    He got better. So much better that he actually came up sound this September. My vets couldn’t believe it. I was told to start under saddle at a walk. Unfortunately, he was slightly off after ridden work in October (no canter yet, just a lot of walking and a little trot), so I turned him back out. He came back sound within a week. He is still sound, but i have not been back to riding him yet. I just feel like I'm stuck in the cycle of being hopeful, and being put in check every time i bring a saddle back out.

    Some tell me ride him through it, some tell me to back off. Some tell me to shoe, others tell me to stick it out with barefoot, boots. Some tell me to go back for the MRI, some tell me its just not worth it.

    My friends/family/husband want me to move on and start looking for a second horse. Let this guy just be and retire him. He always has a home here with us, but I am having a hard time letting go, and letting that happen. He was just SO much fun to ride, and he is so happy to have a job.
    I have the money to start shopping… but I just keep putting it off. I have been taking lessons.. i just miss riding in my fields and around home.

    What would you do? Is it time to move on?
     
  2. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,501
    Likes Received:
    8,258
    You are sure that the problem stems from the rf coffin joint?
    Did one of the vets talk about PRP or stell cell therapy?
    Other than that - if you can do it, put him out on pasture rest for a longer time. Maybe whatever is going on there needs more time to heal...ongoing magna wave appointments are probably benefitial if it is a soft tissue issue.
    In the meantime - can you lease another horse? That way, you don not make a long-term commitment...
     
    RedBranchRun likes this.
  3. RedBranchRun

    RedBranchRun Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    47
    We actually did talk about PRP/Stem cell, as i had another horse that had gone through PRP with success before. Vets told me to try ProStride instead. After Prostride failed, they did not want to go ahead with PRP/stem cell as they did not see how there would be benefit.

    Leasing is a great idea as well. I have joined some leasing groups on Facebook, and have some friends looking for me. Options for leasing are unfortunately few and far near me. Maybe one will turn up!
     
    ginster likes this.
  4. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    18,091
    Likes Received:
    22,386
    are you in an area where Lymes if common?
     
    manesntails and RedBranchRun like this.
  5. RedBranchRun

    RedBranchRun Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2018
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    47
    Yes, actually we are in an area where there can be a lot of Lymes....

    And i thought i had him tested for it in the very beginning.. but now i am not so sure.... I'm going to call my vet.
     
    manesntails and ginster like this.
  6. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    18,091
    Likes Received:
    22,386
    It can have some crazy, all over the place symptoms.

    mare in my profile photo tested sky high chronic numbers. saw a change in her in a week or 2 after starting treatment.

    ask for the Cornell test
     
    manesntails and ginster like this.
  7. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19,948
    Likes Received:
    17,232
    Is there any chance it could be rein lameness?? Or that they aren’t looking in the right spot for the issue??

    If you’re ready to give up, I think ginstersnkdea is likely best. Lease something for a year and kick your guy out for a year. Then reassess & decide.
     
  8. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    19,932
    Likes Received:
    48,460
    You’ve done so much and tried so hard that there is no shame in saying that enough is enough and it’s time to retire him.

    But I also understand the desire not to give up.

    Leasing a horse seems like a potentially good middle ground. I wonder how he’d do if you got another horse and ponied him off of him to bring him back in shape? The started back riding once he’s more fit? (Assuming he stayed sound with ponying) or ground drove him?

    As I bring my horse with fussy soundness back into shape, it seems like lunging her, rather than riding, is helping her get in shape and stay sound. Which seems counterintuitive, since lunging “isn’t good for them” but if it’s working it’s working. *shrug*
     
  9. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    19,948
    Likes Received:
    17,232
    sometimes being on the ground lets us really see what is going on with our horses - sometimes they "fool us" in the saddle. We think they are working well & correctly but really they aren't. When we are on the ground, we perhaps aren't fooled?? Plus it allows the horse to work without additional weight on their back, which can sometimes help them build the muscles we want (assuming we are good at lunging & have a good eye for correct work). Heck you don't have to "just stay on a circle" there's nothing that dictates you can move around while lunging! hahaha

    I have a student who told me her horse can't canter in the indoor - not on the lunge line, not under saddle. I was shocked, as she cantered the horse under saddle with me on the ground instructing her......it wasn't anything that would win in a test, but he was cantering and he wasn't a llama. Apparently it all disappeared when I left......and I was told she wanted to lunge him and work the canter that way. I said, ok, I'll watch you lunge before your next lesson. I watched her lunge the horse - yeah she hasn't the foggiest idea how to lunge a horse properly, she was making him rein lame on the lunge and yup, he wouldn't/couldn't canter. I took the horse from her, lunged him for less than 5 mins and had the horse cantering in balance without any issues in the indoor and on like a 15m circle cause they had jumps set up. I handed the horse back to her and instructed her how to do it, and she was also successful - required many reminders, but the horse did do it. So knowing how to lunge and what to watch for, where to point the whip. when & how to aid with the whip, how to hold the lunge line, how & when to aid with the line, where to stand, where to NOT stand, where to face, how to hold your arms, etc. All those things makes a MASSIVE difference in how much "detriment" one does while lunging a horse.
     
    ginster, mooselady and Arem like this.
  10. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Messages:
    8,280
    Likes Received:
    14,977
    I'd like to see feet pics of what they're like now please before making other recommendations
     

Share This Page