Thursday, 31 October 2013

vet visit update

Remi looked good. Picture the look on my face as he trot and canters round for the vet, looking very pleased with himself, and looking very damned sound, and moving pretty well behind. Vet doesn’t think he has a suspensory / hock / stifle problem, as he looks pretty active behind. He hasn’t looked like this for a good two months.

Could have knocked me down with a feather.

We knew when E and I lunged him wed 23rd he looked good through neck, shoulders and front legs, and underpowered and out behind. On following Tuesday (vet visit) he looked reasonably active behind, and inflated over his loins / SI area / quarters – better than he has looked in months.

My vet (also a physio) pronounced him to have no soreness in his back / SI / loins / quarters. Vet said his muscles over back and quarters were beautifully soft and loose (as good as he has ever seen them). Pelvic tuck good etc. He was v complimentary about Remi's recent bodywork .

Vet said too sound to block. No treatable soreness. No muscle soreness. Said need to build him up, discussed giving him some muscle building steroids. And said can revisit re medicating his SI later if issue comes back.

Hmmm Good I guess. Am still a bit confused.

Shoes to stay on, farrier not to change balance to leave as is. To keep sufficient protein in diet. To return to pessoa work / raised poles / hill work / faster work on gallops etc. taking it slowly, and checking he isnt sore the next 2 days, but building him up.

Vet said could be linked to suddenly having sore feet. Vet physio was day before shoes back on. He has only had one bodywork treatment since shoes back on and that is the one that seems to have held. Vet said had never seen him as soft and loose through his topline and quarters muscle as yesterday.

The mad thing is looking at him tuesday he looked different - really different. His back loins / SI area look to have reinflated. He wasnt hugely stepping under in canter, but he looked so much more connected. He looked different to even a few days ago. Mad!

Vet suggested that he has slowly improved since his body work last Wed. (Which is the date the video I posted was taken).

One suggestion is that he was in pain from sore feet, slipped in field and wrenched SI area, and then everything hurt and he dropped weight and muscle like a stone. Has taken time from his feet not hurting to lose the spasm and soreness in his SI area.

So tentatively positive. But will see. Remi doesn’t like to be predictable!! Hoping this is the start of some improvement. Interestingly, he was calm in stable and yard yesterday. Has lost the agitation that appeared a few months ago – the not standing quietly, not settling in a stable etc.


Looked really good again on lunge and in pessoa last night. And was looking so happy and pleased with himself. And then lay down in stable with Equissage on (first time he has laid down since July – he used to do it all the time – so really interesting he is looking better and is calmer in stable).

Will stop rambling. Keep your fingers crossed for us – that he stays feeling good. Have lots of fun plans – hacking, boxing to hacking, pub rides, beach rides etc. If can keep strong, and muscled and enjoying life.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Remi 11th bodywork session post Rockley
Email:                                                                        Mob:07815 310568

Remi notes 23rd October ‘13

Remi was lacking power behind, especially left hind. His neck was not braced and he was less inclined to fall to his left shoulder but his croup looked flat and lacking mobility.

Palpation and massage:
He palpated sore left glutes and SI region, left and right lumbar back. Not happy to have left hind stretched cranially. Not wanting to flex haunches when provoked, especially left side. Generally fidgety and distracted.

 Again he freed off relatively well.

2nd lunge session post massage

Better movement behind and a little more ‘sit’ in quarters. Left hind stepping through better but not looking really free flowing. Just looks to be holding back.


Pip has vet booked for Tuesday 29th October for further assessment.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Remi update

Remi update

He is so - so. Not a bad weight, but could have more weight and muscle. He seems to enjoy hacking. But he isn't quite right behind- out behind and lacking power . . .

I had good lesson on Remi Monday night – he is weak through his back end, but he tried really hard. Lots of walk lateral work (leg yield convert to half pass convert to leg yield and shoulder in to quarters out to shoulders out to quarters in) and then got him stepping under more for a much better canter. He was every so pleased with himself afterwards. <Love him>.

 Having moved him to an indoor stable (where he seemed much better) and dug out two beds to achieve this, he was spectacularly adamant that he didn’t want to be stabled on Wednesday morning. I brought him in out of the rain whilst rode Mac and did jobs, and he decided he wanted to be back out NOW and was very impatient about it. Was still fidgety when Elaine treated him. Looking very bright eyed, and cheeky. Hmmmm

He improved with treatment - came up behind saddle area - looked less flat and strung out. Though still lack of push / step from his hind legs. And I think we are possibly treating the symptoms, and there is an underlying cause :-( We are following vet directions too.

He isn't unhappy on lunge / ridden and he does tell you if he isn't. He isn’t lame. But isn’t coming through behind, especially left hind.  There is a real lack of power behind. Video to follow. I am thinking SI /suspensories / stifle. Vet said to keep him in work, and will come and assess on Tuesday. 

My biggest worry is what is going on with Remi, and what the long and short term solutions are? I won't treat / rehab again if primary problem is suspensories / stifle. And I don't know what the metabolic issue is that upset his feet. Or why he doesn’t want to be stabled (never used to be an issue).

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Remi update

Shoes on and cushings blood test Friday 8th. Haylage analysis and none is over 8% sugar.

Hacked Saturday, and he was a bit stiff and generally short striding, but cheerful and got more forward on second half of ride.

Tuesday hacked out and was feeling very bright and a bit cheeky. Still a bit strung out behind.

Emily trying to catch Mac Tuesday night – and Remi was playing lots of high jinks, galloping and bucking in the field.

Wednesday schooled Remi. Was bright and perky. Walk felt good, as did the lateral work warm up. Trot and canter disappointing. Not lame per say. But nothing coming from behind. Hind legs out behind him. Leaning on contact or disconnecting. Little power behind. Happy enough.

Hacked Thursday and was good and happy, but still strung out.

Vet phoned - cushings result 22 when over 47 is a concern. Feels further testing is a waste of time. Unsure.

Spoke to him about lack of power behind. He said to up the work and give him longer.

Schooled Remi again Friday morning. Not naughty. Not lazy. But nothing coming through from behind. I could drive him together at times, and bits were okay. Not lame. He looks weak behind. Is not unhappy.

He hacked over the weekend, and seems better. I have booked lesson on him for Monday night, to see what instructor thinks, and to get help in trying to connect him better.

E can come and do bodywork Wednesday morning, which will be great – another pair of eyes on how he is compared to his normal, and a chance to treat anything muscular that might be affecting him before vet comes.

Have booked vet for early the week after next to come back and reassess. He is heaps brighter now, but it now looks possible there is something going on in muscles of hindquarters / SI / hind suspensories or similar.

Yard owner has v kindly offered to lend me an indoor stable for the winter, which means I can bring him in if want to / need to / to eat. As he wasn’t settling or eating in his stable round the back. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Oh Remi . . .

Remi was v reactive to farrier's hoof testers Thursday morning. Feet v soft as well frighteningly soft. Farrier suggested keeping him in. Only he won't stay in. Am getting stuck. Won't stable for more than short periods, and the short periods are with very bad grace and impatience. Sore soft feet. Sore SI and back.

Farrier said didn't exactly have laminitis but similar - itis of his feet. That he was compromised in someway that was effecting his feet. That his feet were weak,soft and looked like not getting nutrients. Suggested blood tests.

I need him comfy on his feet, to be able to do rehab work for SI and back. Which should remove pain and mean he puts weight back on. I need to find the underlying metabolic problem, but might take a while.

I feel desperately stuck in a cycle of horse that is sore and underweight - sore feet, sore SI etc. He needs to work to keep loosened up and build muscle to protect SI, and because he stiffens up not in work. But it isn't much good if he is footsore. I could probably boot him behind. But the implication is that he is footy in field too.

I really need his feet to be functional enough that he can hack and school, so that I can work on the other issues that are higher up. And it is likely that foot pain is causing tension which is linking to the back and SI pain.

I don't really understand - Thursday 19th he started adlib higher sugar haylage, Thursday 26th - he wasn't reactive to trimmers hoof testers, but was moderately footy. Wednesday 2nd he was v reactive to vet's hoof testers and v soft soles. Friday 4th he moved on to lower sugar haylage. Hacked him with front boots and pads Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Thursday 10th he was v reactive to hoof testers and v soft soles (both in front and behind). His hinds have been good, solid, hard, strong for last 4 months. What is going on? Field is fairly sandy and is not wet.

Now it could be the autumn grass? (gut says it isn’t and trimmer agrees). It could be that he has cushings? It could be he has another metabolic disorder? It could be a problem with replacement haylage. It could be that he has a virus (farrier said this could affect feet)? It would he has pain caused ulcers. I just don't know. I am desperately short of time, energy, and finances. He looks bright, and very opinionated about hating his stable.

Vet says shoes to relieve foot pain, to enable further diagnostics - but he doesn't  really believe in barefoot so, he is hardly objective. Though he does think letting him find his own foot balance has helped him and not to change that.

Farrier says tricky - would shoe if his as is so sore and feet weak. Ideally like Mac (Epona rubber shoes) but admits he doesn't pay for shoes £185 a set! Realistically - he would shoe him all normally all round to relieve soreness. Probably with some form of pads. He'd chose to significantly rebalance feet.

Neither of them are telling me what to do though - which almost makes it worse.

I know shoeing him wont hide there is an underlying problem. But might buy some time / space. He isn't right and I don't know how to fix it / if I can fix it. Mac is bright, perky, growing lots of foot and generally great. On an identical regime to Remi.


Have spoken to vet twice, trimmer and farrier. And yard owner.

Have booked for cushings blood test tomorrow.

Clear from all 3 there is an underlying metabolic issue. But probably not obvious normal cushings. (That would be too easy and he doesn’t have enough symptoms).

Concluded - shoes on (Eponas in front -, , normal behind).

If negative to cushings test but no better in few weeks discuss second more sensitive hormone stimulated cushings test or drug trial of prascend. (Can't test in October as not enough reference results. So have to wait til November.)

Bodywork ASAP if improves in shoes.

Shoes are a test. He may improve in them. Or they may be a temporary crutch whilst we get to the bottom of his metabolic issues. If find a problem and fix it they can come off.

Said 1-2 cycles of shoes won't set him that far back in terms if barefoot development. Vet and trimmer adamant – that is to be perimeter shoeing – shoes on existing foot balance – rather than feet rebalanced.

It may be he stays in shoes. Or it may be shoes buy him a bit more time but the end is in sight. I am struggling with the amount of effort, bodywork, rehabilitation, and extra stuff he is getting, it isn’t sustainable. 

I could stable him 12-24 hours a day, but he doesnt want to be in for 2 hours - never mind longer. Last time I had him stabled for a few day, he stopped drinking. And his other issues mean he is coping badly with being stabled - legs fill, joints stiffen up etc.

I could use boots all round to hack, and maybe hoof castes / pads taped on in the field. But lets be realistic, we are heading into winter, we have had 6 hours of heavy rain last night. 

Please keep your fingers firmly crossed for him, and me as I navigate the choices and decisions for him. 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

All go

Bought a nearly new pair of Old Mac G2's on eBay for £45 and some pads to go in them. Fab!! Very lucky timing.

Delivery £5 and arriving Thursday! Fingers crossed he can squeeze into size 9's. Size 10's look big. Fascinating, as on paper his wide foot is too wide for the biggest Old Mac G2s. Dont plan to rely on hoof boots, but will be useful as back up when he comes in from field footy, as current priority will be keeping is SI area strong and muscled. Amazed how easy they are to put on / stay on / canter on wet grass etc. Same model of Old Mac G2's on a different horse 5 years ago and I struggled and struggled!
Hopefully the impact of higher sugar haylage will wear off by weekend and he will be less footy. Seems okay, but still sensitive this morning.

Remi and I hacked by headtorch Tuesday and wednesday morning. Remi was good and felt bright. Vet said to hack all this week, and go in school at weekend.

Hay, haylage x 2 and grass analysis sent off.

Have finished the soaked haylage (have some to uneaten to clear from field). And onto lower sugar haylage.

Both horses have slight thrush which seems to be clearing up .

Have started painting legs with pig oil and sulphur for winter, once a week, for mud fever protection.

Currently light weight rugs at night, fly masks and naked in day. But forecast to be colder from wed, so have dug out medium weight rugs too. Matching Premier Equine red for both boys.

The irrepressible Mac modelling his red PE rug last winter!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Satisfying Sunday

Barrowed soaked haylage to ponies.

Large breakfast for Remi.

Remi rug off in sunshine

E  brought a sweating Mac in, and hosed him off before taking him on a long pub / hill hack. He clearly wasn’t too hot / tired across grass at top of hill! They had lots of fun.

She then bathed him and equissaged him :-)

I sorted new haylage, and bagged up 5 days worth for field

Skipped stables out, changed haylage and water

Some tidying up and sorting out

Hung rock salt licks

Swept and cleaned lorry borrowed Saturday

Made 30 days worth of bagged feeds (wont last that long as double up at times)

Remi in, equissaged, shampooed legs (runny behind, and on legs / heels) and tried Old Mac G2s on him. Size 10's good, 7's no where near. Think might get away with 9's.

Nice sunny evening hack with L. He loosened up as went round, and seemed to like boots

Sorted out getting 1/4 tonne of wood pellets as part of shared order

Back to field and picked feet out and packed with Redhorse clay / hoof paste.

Pig oiled legs x 8

Weight taped both - Mac 550 (down 10kgs) Remi 540 (same -looks much fatter though)

They had a mad five minutes running about field in the dusk!

Put rugs on

Monday, 7 October 2013

Remi update post vet

Vet came Thursday and said dropped weight and muscle. Sore over back and sacroiliac.
Front feet thin soled, reactive to hoof testers, and soft soled. I was surprised as was unreactive to hoof testers the week before. Was quite footy too.
Didn’t look too bad on lunge in school, but a bit of hip waggle behind. Vet agreed slip in field possible.
Vet did physio on SI and back. Said few days off, quiet hacking, and then take back in school next weekend and see how he feels. Said should consider putting front shoes on to rule out compensating from foot pain as contributing to other issues.
Did some talking to people, thinking and digging, and discovered that the most recent batch of haylage (Remi started 19th September adlib) is very high sugar (awaiting analysis results). So may be cause of soft, sore feet.
Have been soaking last of it to lower sugar, and have had a lower sugar bale delivered (awaiting analysis results). I am having grass, local hay, and both types of haylage analysed (sugar, protein, DE). So will see. Don’t think grass is an issue as have recent growth, but they aren’t that fussed about eating it, and were mad for the "sugary" haylage.
I have also borrowed hoof boots (hugely appreciated!) to do the post physio hacking in. And they have been huge success, so will try and buy some second hand ones. Borrowing massively helpful as on paper with his measurements nothing will fit but Old Mac G2s size 10 fit, and I think 9 would too. They are clearly a bit flexible.
Am going to get farrier to hoof test on Thursday, when hopefully will be less reactive after being off high sugar haylage for 5 days.
I am also treating thrushy frogs which have crept in with Redhorse - clay / hoof paste and athletes foot powder. Which may be contributing to the footiness.
He is looking a better weight, and he hacked out nicely in hoof boots yesterday evening.
I don’t want him staying in hoof boots, but I need him working and comfortable, and to built his SI muscle back up. So we will strive for a balance. I don’t have non much access to non stony hacking.
So fingers crossed he is back on the up after a rocky period. Watching him and Mac have a mad five minutes round the field in dusk last night, they dont look too bad :-)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Remi 10th bodywork session post Rockley

Email:                                                                       Mob:07815 310568

Remi notes 28th September ‘13

Lunge session:

Remi was much improved since last appointment but still stepping short left fore and not really stepping through from behind.


Palpation and massage: (see diagram)

Remi was less sore through glutes but still some tightness through lumbar and gluteal region both sides.

Main area of concern was left shoulder/left base of neck – subclavius region and unwilling to stretch left foreleg forward. Improved with massage but still not 100%. Query if left shoulder tightness is related to previous visit’s sore right hindquarters.

Overall responded well to massage but not as much improvement as usual.

2nd lunge session post massage

Freer movement and stepping out better but left fore still drops rather than steps through.


Pip has vet visit booked for Thursday 3rd October.

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