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Parisian
Oct. 17, 2008, 04:43 PM
I bought my 9 yr old unraced TB mare in march with high hopes. She is lovely with outstanding movement. She has a free shoulder, great reach and impulsion from behind (until recently), an exquisite comfromation, legs and feet... She didn't have a lot of training and had the mind of a 4 yr old really. I bought her as an upper level dressage prospect. I had her vet checked and she "passed" with flying colors.

She went straight into training with an FEI trainer and was doing beautifully but about 3 weeks into training she got a sore back. Ever since then she had a relatively sore back... She had developed ulcers and we did a course of gastrogaurd and I attributed the soreness to that.

A month ago I had the vet out to look her over again bc her back was sore...again. She wasn't lame but wouldn't use her back at all. We had a nuclear scan done and her hips and SI lit up.

We did steroid injection 3 weeks ago and she is on Robaccin (excuse the spelling). We are contemplating injecting again but before we do, I wanted to see what other people have experienced with this...

If your horse has had SI problems and you have had them treated (or not) could you please tell me your experiences and possible suggestions?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing your input!

mjhco
Oct. 17, 2008, 05:00 PM
The ones I am around with SI issues get lots of chiropractic work and acupuncture. It does help with them. And lots of suppling and strengthening exercises.

Equibrit
Oct. 17, 2008, 06:20 PM
She went straight into training with an FEI trainer



.........is probably the problem.

grayarabpony
Oct. 17, 2008, 07:18 PM
I have a pony mare who had a SI problem. Had the nuclear scan before I knew that ultrasound does a better job of displaying the nature of the problem (using the right ultrasound, in the right hands). Her right SI lit up but what the problem was besides inflammation I did not know. Put her out 24/7 for 6 months and she was able to go back into work after that. She has been sound ever since.

Others may disagree but I think quiet 24/7 turnout (not in a large group where they'll all start running) and time off is very important to recovery. Even if I'd had her SI injected, which as it turns out I didn't need to, I still would have given her the time off. Chiropractic work (she had two chiros work on her, one of which was a vet) did not help her. So in her case I don't think the problem was misalignment but a strain.

DennisM
Oct. 17, 2008, 07:36 PM
A dressage mare I own had, as a 4 year old, a similar strain to the one described by grayarabpony, above. I also did the nuclear scan to diagnose. I stopped all riding for 4 months or so; gave daily turnout with the mare band; then, brought her back with lots of slow strengthening work, including lots of walking hills.

eponacelt
Oct. 17, 2008, 07:36 PM
I've been through SI problems with my youngster. Vet thinks he got a stain from playing too hard (because God knows I'm not riding him all that hard!) The vets recommendation was regular accupuncture and steady work, focusing on a good stretching warm-up and using cavaletti.

What I've found is that my guy gets less sore the more days he gets work in a row. So on the fourth day of work, he's hardly sore at all. On the first day after a day or two off, the more sore he seems. Over time though, he is improving and using himself better. He's less cranky and generally happier.

Good luck. SI strains are really no fun and can be frustrating.

PiaffeDreams
Oct. 17, 2008, 07:42 PM
I have a gelding who after I bought him just wasn't quite right. I took him to my local vet and he thought he was foot sore. He abcessed out and seemed better, but later I realized it was the rest he had. Back into training and he would go fine for a while then, NQR again. We showed some at training level and he got scores in the 70's so I figured I was being overly protective and hypocondriac about it all.

But, 1st level he was markedly not engaging in canter and different on each lead. By then, a vet check resulted in positive flexion tests and we rested him even though x-rays showed nothing. He was better after rest.... then he'd go back to training and NQR.

We thought ulcers and scoped, but that wasn't it. The whole time I was trying different trainers because most just wanted to draw-rein him up and make him go forward. I wasn't willing. Finally, I tried a different person, and he saw it right away. He said it was his back and/or neck which I had always suspected but even with chiro it just never seemed resolved.

This led me to an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Tom Yarborough who grinned when I gave him the story and told me to jog out my horse anyway, but he already knew what it was. I jogged him out. I even rode him and he felt very confirmed that we need to ultrasound the SI.

Severe tears, subluxated pelvis and a very wait and see progrnosis. Dr. Carol Gillis did the ultrasound and gave the recommended stall rest and rehab program that I followed to the letter! Dr. Yarborough injected the SI to help it along as we began our stall rest. It took a full year of stall rest and beginning with hand walking, gradually building up to ridden work first at walk, then adding trot by 5 minutes at a time over two week intervals before he was able to do a full hour of regular w/t/c on straight lines and circles without starting to look NQR again.

It took another year to get him fit enough to try to move past 2nd level and this year we developed third. He's got his changes and doing working pirouettes. At our last clinic we rode the trot work of the PSG, started some half-steps and he can now do 2 clean straight changes on a quarterline.

We think he'll make it to FEI. His injury was severe. When the ligaments began to heal the subluxation of the pelvis leveled out, but the left ilial wing is flattened. He obviously fell on it, but not since I've owned him that I know of. I bought the horse days after he was imported and he was banged up. No one really could have known and a standard pre-purchase was not going to show it up as he was never actually lame as a result.

As a result of my experience with him I know for myself
1. SI is WAY to important. You simply can't inject it and ride on. You have to rest and rehab.
2. Ultrasound is a good diagnostic in this case and can let you see improvement and/or regression in the fiber pattern and density of the ligament as it heals
3. If I feel my horse is not quite right I will investigate it aggressively. I won't let a trainer try to push me into not taking it seriously. I am SO glad I stuck to my guns. Even as it is, my horse lost confidence and developed a pretty hefty rearing evasion about asking him to engage more, get active and sit behind.
4. Take the time to heal it thoroughly and rehab/rebuild properly. My horse is 10 now and we started this process when he was 7. I have friends who think I should have given up on him long ago, but I couldn't replace him for what I had in him. He'll be showing 4th next year easily. My goal when buying him was to have a horse to train to FEI. I think he can do that. How long that was going to take is just ending up longer than I planned, but I've probably learned more. He's the right horse for me, so the time factor has never mattered.

I hope that helps. Please, if its SI- really get it ultrasounded and know what soft tissues are involved the extent of the damage and get a baseline to follow a healing protocol and tell if its working.

Here's a video of me and my boy in August.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vdLUBqPbv8

humbledagain
Oct. 17, 2008, 07:44 PM
Once a bone scan confirmed my horse had a "hot" SI and stifle, my vet asked me if I was willing to think outside the box on a course of treatment. He asked me this becuase he knew I had been dealing with a "cranky" horse for a long time before I did the baone scan.

His reasoning was that even after you do the injections, which they know provide pain relief, the horse mentally may not know his back no longer hurts. In other words he may continue his current behavior, which in my case was violently opposed to picking up right lead canter, maintaining the canter and then he really got pissed when collection, even a small amount. Let me make this cllear, in my case the horse was becomming dangerous. So.....after the injections we sent him to the VA swim center for 6 weeks of swimming. The price was reasonable, compared to full dressage training. The idea of swimming for a dressage horse, is it develops all the muscles you try not to develop i.e., hollow back, under neck muscle etc. When he came back we started work on a loose rein in a big field just asking for walk, trot and canter. We did this for 4 weeks before we brought him back in to the ring and asked him to work for us. The story goes on and on and on but as of today he has a strong back and does not appear to be in any pain. We have had him in for one more set of SI injections 6 months after he returned form the swim center. When I brought him in recently just for a follow up, the vet said at this time he would not recommend doing the SI injections because after a thorough exam he could not find any area of soreness. He also said the horse's back appears so round and solid that at this moment if he is sore we need to look at other areas. A long story but with a happy ending.

TropicalStorm
Oct. 17, 2008, 09:17 PM
what were the symptoms you all found with SI problems?

grayarabpony
Oct. 17, 2008, 10:50 PM
My pony would swing her hind leg out while holding the croup level, but still manage to track up and use the hind leg below the hip well. The more activity the worse she got, indicating that she had a soft tissue injury. Had vet out, all flexion tests were negative but her back was extremely sore on the right side just behind the saddle. Testing accunpucture pressure points showed a lot of soreness in her croup. So she got two weeks off with bute and muscle relaxer, then to vet partner who was also a chiro. The vet/ chiro worked on horse and pronounced her cured. By the third day of work she was off again. So we went to NCSU. She got a full lameness work-up by Dr. Redding before the scan.

Sabine
Oct. 18, 2008, 01:26 AM
what were the symptoms you all found with SI problems?

SI- is major- my guess now is that at least 20% of all dressage horses have some SI issues...not diagnosed of course. It can manifest itself in many ways:

Horse launches you after 30 minutes of peaceful riding - sudden sharp pain- and reaction...
Horse is NQR in the rear or front if there are already damage points in the neck...
Horse absorbs with the front- NQR in the rear and very short in the front
Horse SURELY can not really sit or lower croup...
Horse has crankiness that is not really explainable at all...
Horse's weak side/strong side tends to switch

You can tell I have had some exposure to this...I believe the SI is the core of the dressage horse...the neck is the result of issues in the SI- and the lack of health in the SI can manifest itself in MASSIVE and MANY issues...sudden explosiveness that is not explainable, sudden shutting down- not going forward, weird offness, etc.

My recommendation is assuming unlimited funds- go downwards from there:

full body scan
ideally ultrasound of SI area
if neck inflamation is diagnosed- go back to the sacrum-
get 1st class chiro - usually skeletal issues are part of the problem (i.e. hips are uneven- old injury created uneven hips that ascerbate the problem)
get first class body worker- someone who has training in most all disciplines, physiology, muscles, connective tissues, etc. then get specialist for acupuncture, massage, Feldenkrais etc...depending on what supposedly caused the injury. This is like reconstructing a crime- it takes patience and constant attention to the problem- but you can heal it and work with it and make a great athlete after all.

GiGi
Oct. 18, 2008, 07:18 AM
My mare has this. Its because her pelvis; especially on the right; wants to tilt forward. I have had her since she was 2 and she's always had this issue. Her SI was so bad it caused her back over her loins to hump up and a huge deep dip to form at the top of her croup. Its gotten much better with lots of chiro adjusting and a lady here uses electrical stimulation (tens unit) to help quickly strengthen her muscles after she is adjusted to keep the pelvis in place. One excersise in particular has seemed to REALLY help.
I have her walk over vertical jumps that are just under the height of her knees/hocks. She really has to reach up, stretch out over and down. Not alot ever like maybe I take her twice over 4 of them after we work. Hill work done collected has helped as well. Then of course very correct dressage work.
When she is starting to get sore I loosen her back up before we work with a heating pad.
WalMart has a wonderful one with a 9' cord and the pad is 2'x1'.
We started in April doing treatments as I call them every week then the end of May we were doing them every two weeks and by the middle of June it was just when she needed them. Since June she's only needed to be adjusted 3 times so a little less than once a month now. The adjustments are not as major as they used to be and we don't need electrical stimulation afterwards.

Cubs
Oct. 19, 2008, 01:19 PM
I bought my 9 yr old unraced TB mare in march with high hopes. She is lovely with outstanding movement. She has a free shoulder, great reach and impulsion from behind (until recently), an exquisite comfromation, legs and feet... She didn't have a lot of training and had the mind of a 4 yr old really. I bought her as an upper level dressage prospect. I had her vet checked and she "passed" with flying colors.

She went straight into training with an FEI trainer and was doing beautifully but about 3 weeks into training she got a sore back. Ever since then she had a relatively sore back... She had developed ulcers and we did a course of gastrogaurd and I attributed the soreness to that.

A month ago I had the vet out to look her over again bc her back was sore...again. She wasn't lame but wouldn't use her back at all. We had a nuclear scan done and her hips and SI lit up.

We did steroid injection 3 weeks ago and she is on Robaccin (excuse the spelling). We are contemplating injecting again but before we do, I wanted to see what other people have experienced with this...

If your horse has had SI problems and you have had them treated (or not) could you please tell me your experiences and possible suggestions?

Thanks and I look forward to hearing your input!

With a new training regimen you can expect sore muscles. The ulcers, or anything else your TB may be experiencing now may be coincidental and can mistakenly be thought of as the cause. That still could be, but it's not likely.
What you should do is first rule out musculo-skeletal disorders with both superficial and deep digital palpation and range of motion (ROM) evaluations (i.e. carrot tests for the cervicals) flexing each hind leg up to see which leg comes up less, and SI joint ROM tests. The SI ROM tests are only good until age 10 since the SI joints are fused by then.
Daniel Kamen, D.C.
The Well Adjusted Horse

SBrentnall
Oct. 19, 2008, 02:04 PM
My horse tore his SI ligament last year and no amount of rest would heal it. I ended up doing stem cell therapy in January of this year, and it's worked perfectly. We combined the stem cell with a regimented program of work in hand and under saddle, daily treadmill sessions, and doses of fluphenazine to control the crazies. At the end of July, his second bone scan didn't light up at all and the vet clinic pronounced him fully healed.

We've brought him back to fitness very carefully and he's now comfortably doing 3rd level work. I'm careful to inspect his back every day and if he starts tripping (one of his earlier symptoms), he gets a little bute and a day off.

Margaret Freeman
Oct. 19, 2008, 08:40 PM
Good overall mover (often 8 on gaits) but cranky on canter departs and resistant when not in regular work. SI lit up on nuclear scan. Two rounds of back injections, no prolonged rest but steady slow building up of condition. Eventually showed upper level on no maintenance. I agree that horse doesn't easily forget the resistance issues associated with the pain, but again steady progress in the training and conditioning are key.

pharmgirl
Oct. 20, 2008, 11:45 AM
My boy is in month 4 of rehab for a subluxated right SI and inflammed hind suspensories (diagnosed by scan, ultrasound and blocks). For us, it seemed that once we started treating the SI the suspensories were fine. I'd say the biggest key is patience. It just seems to take time for everything to really heal. It is always a balance between bringing them back so that the ligaments and tendons can stretch and build correctly, and not overdoing it and reinjuring.

We injected his SI in July, and that made a noticeable difference right away. It was so inflammed, however, that both the regular vet and chiro figured he would need to be re-injected. So far, things are going well and we haven't done that yet. He has been gradually increased with workload and turnout (just in case b/c of the suspensories- if it were just SI, he probably would be back out 24/7 by now). He also has had regular chiro visits that I coordinate after certain treatments like the SI injection (things seem to "hold" better once you've had a treatment for the inflammation). He is not quite 100% yet IMHO, but he has definitely made a lot of progress and I still notice improvement.

DownYonder
Oct. 20, 2008, 12:34 PM
My mare had an SI injury several years ago that manifested in a grade 3 lameness in the left hind that did not improve with three weeks of stall rest. The worthless vet I was using at the time would not block the leg because he "didn't want to get kicked" (sorry excuse for a vet, if you ask me). I ended up sending the mare to UGA, where they started blocking at the foot and ruled everything out until they got to the SI. She also had a nuclear bone scan, which was mostly negative. They injected her SI, she went to a different barn for another week of stall rest, then started light turn-out and was back in light work two weeks later. She has had no chiro or other body work for the past two years but is staying sound in a 5-6 day/week dressage program with daily turn-out.

Gigi, who are you using for chiro and body work? We are a bit disenchanted with a certain chiropractor who works in our area.

Mozart
Oct. 20, 2008, 01:00 PM
Can you elaborate on "damage points in the neck"?

I have a horse that has had lameness issues for the last six months (although fingers crossed, he is starting to look sound again)

Three vets have had three different opinions as to what was wrong with him, ranging from SI to nerve damage in right shoulder to damage in the neck.

Your comment is the first time I have heard anyone reference the neck in an SI issue

To the OP,
my horse's issue seemed to come on suddenly, we believe he fell in an icy paddock. The vet who thought the SI was the issue did two courses of shock wave therapy and acupuncture. He was, upon examination, back sore, in addition to being off in front and his hips seemed to be unlevel. After the shockwave courses he was no longer back sore but he was still NQR in front.

No result with any flexions and he did not block out sound, no other diagnostics done (as they are not available anywhere near where I live).

Carol Ames
Oct. 20, 2008, 03:21 PM
good holistic vet:yes: acupuncture and chiro; massage therapy, /:winkgrin:telligton touch,:yes: or laser to quiet the:eek:muscle spasms.

DGF
Oct. 20, 2008, 03:41 PM
My horse took a bad fall after a fence accident and damaged his SI. His symptoms showed up as balking and eventually rearing. Once diagnosed, injections into the SI joint took care of the problem. I think it is probably one of the most common missed diagnoses.

smithywess
Oct. 21, 2008, 12:20 AM
I agree Equibrit. All this lameness is unbelievable.I thought a well conducted,and intelligently applied,gymnastic programme ( aka Dressage) was meant to keep horses fit, and build their longevity,not to contribute to veterinarian's,chiropractor's and massage therapist's pension plans.

JB
Oct. 21, 2008, 08:33 AM
.........is probably the problem.
Why "probably"? Shouldn't an FEI level trainer understand how to start a greenie, regardless of age?

Perhaps it is an issue with the training, but that shouldn't be "probably because it was an FEI trainer", right? That's simply an issue of poor training, which could just as easily, if not more so, happen with a lower level trainer.

Sabine
Oct. 21, 2008, 11:44 AM
I agree Equibrit. All this lameness is unbelievable.I thought a well conducted,and intelligently applied,gymnastic programme ( aka Dressage) was meant to keep horses fit, and build their longevity,not to contribute to veterinarian's,chiropractor's and massage therapist's pension plans.

True in concept and it actually does. However - we neglect to acknowledge that horses can get injured in pastures, in trailers and during turnouts. We also are not schooled enough to recognize 'slight offness ' in the rear- uneven hips, uneven musculature and irregular muscular development. Because we are not trained and aware of some of the issues that come along with an underlying SI issue- we can not expect proper dressage training to 'fix' that issue.

I think mainly that the veterinary training should place more emphasis on the diagnosis of SI issues, upper rearend issues...and not just focus on legs....

Parisian
Oct. 21, 2008, 02:22 PM
Thank you all on your imput, it is really appreciated!

Obviously there is a lot more to the story than I explained above and I wanted to defend my trainer a bit :D When I bought my mare she had been bred and owned by a hunter/jumper trainer but had had a year off due to the trainer having 12 of her own horses, her own barn she did everything herself at and training horses to boot (hence the sale of my mare). I had ridden her 3times before I bought her and she showed tons of potential but had no real dressage training. I wanted to put her in training with my trainer, just for a month to get her going and then I would continue with lessons...My trainer was very good with her. She didn't push her. It was walk and trot. And we had no reason to belive she wasn't able to do that.

My mare started rearing two weeks in (I had owned her two weeks). I had the vet out and he pulled her wolf teeth (they were broken) and the rearing stopped. She had a week off to heal and then went back to work and after that week she was sore. We gave her another week off and had her worked on (massage) and she was good to go. A week after that, she was sore again... I took her out of training and gave her a month off. She was fine again... This went on until about two months ago. I didn't have the vet out again bc she wasn't lame or off at all, just sore, so I just figured she needed time off. Oh, and I did have my saddle checked and it's a perfect fit. I had been having her chiroed and massaged with no prevail... She is so sweet but had started to get that look and attitude of "back off or you won't have a head anymore"....

I took her to a barn near my house where I could keep a closer eye on her and I was riding her very lightly about 3 days a week and lounging her the rest with one day off. And she was still getting sore. We found out she had really bad ulcers and did a course of gastrogaurd and her attitude improved greatly but she was still back sore (right behind the saddle as some of you mentioned). That's when I had my vet come out to check her again and we had her scanned.

I have insurance on her and they are giving me until Nov. 21st to get it figured out. As of right now, they are paying for everything but the farm calls. So, since I'm on limited time. I wanted to see what everyone said worked best... sounds like rest, injections and acupunture... yeah?

Thank you again and I will keep everyone posted on how she does!!

kkj
Oct. 21, 2008, 02:47 PM
I am so with the people who say for SI problems you need a good ultra sound with a specialist like Carol Gillis. The regular vet really will not cut it (usually) and a nuke scan can not tell you what exactly the injury is. I have seen a lot of horses with SI problems just injected and kept in work when there was no real diagnosis of whether there was a tear. Usually these horses go on to have chronic problems. And if there is a tear, it is a long and careful rehab to get the horse back to 100%. We have rehabbed a couple from this injury and if it a nice horse it worth the trouble of doing it right.

Parisian
Oct. 23, 2008, 12:50 AM
Before and during her first injections she had an ultrasound done. The vet I am using for her is a lameness expert, not a regular vet. She is only sport horse lameness and treatment. So, I trust her and she says there is no tear and she should recover if we can get her comfortable... :)

I did, however, have an accupunture treatment done on her yesterday and she was much improved today! Yay! She was happy and was moving 80% better!!

If I can afford it, I will continue to have it done through out her recovery :)

Thank you all again for all the imput!

lstevenson
Nov. 30, 2008, 12:43 AM
I am so with the people who say for SI problems you need a good ultra sound with a specialist like Carol Gillis. The regular vet really will not cut it (usually) and a nuke scan can not tell you what exactly the injury is. I have seen a lot of horses with SI problems just injected and kept in work when there was no real diagnosis of whether there was a tear. Usually these horses go on to have chronic problems. And if there is a tear, it is a long and careful rehab to get the horse back to 100%. We have rehabbed a couple from this injury and if it a nice horse it worth the trouble of doing it right.


I just had a conversation about this with one of the best lameness vets in the country. And he said that in his opinion, horses with SI problems should not have extended rest, but need to be kept in work while the area recovers. The idea is to remove the inflammation (via injection) and then build up the strength through proper excercises. Strong muscles in the back and pelvis give support to the SI joint to keep it healthy and pain free. Extended rest may eventually make the inflammation go away, but the surrounding muscles and ligaments will be even weaker from lack of work, which makes them easy to re-injure.

Sabine
Nov. 30, 2008, 02:22 AM
Before and during her first injections she had an ultrasound done. The vet I am using for her is a lameness expert, not a regular vet. She is only sport horse lameness and treatment. So, I trust her and she says there is no tear and she should recover if we can get her comfortable... :)

I did, however, have an accupunture treatment done on her yesterday and she was much improved today! Yay! She was happy and was moving 80% better!!

If I can afford it, I will continue to have it done through out her recovery :)

Thank you all again for all the imput!

btw- its almost always like peeling an onion- there are more layers after you fix the first and the second and the third...but there will be an end to it- and after you're through one of those experiences - you will realize the depth of complexity that exists around a horse's health- and that sadly most vetcare that is offered is not enough to diagnose a problem in its entirety or the effects of it on other body parts. I hope things improve fast for you- and your horse!! Best of Luck!

slc2
Nov. 30, 2008, 07:08 AM
"horses with SI problems should not have extended rest, but need to be kept in work while the area recovers"

This is a general trend today with a lot of vets and a lot of injuries. The idea is that the extended rest itself causes loose, soft muscles, tendons and ligaments, and in and of itself leads to injuries. Loosening everything up can actually injure other areas that years and years of built up muscle fitness protected. Ask me how I know - LOL. By long rests we might heal the injury, but then the rehab period is very, very risky, even if only because the horse is very eager to move around and hard to control, but the added problem of lack of fitness has its own whole set or problems.

The idea is to get very specifically at exactly what's wrong using imaging techniques, treat the injury very specifically as well, with a very targeted treatment (shock waves, anti inflammatories, etc), and put the horse into a kind of activity that doesn't strain the injury, but keeps the other muscles, tendons and ligaments fit.

egontoast
Nov. 30, 2008, 08:10 AM
I just had a conversation about this with one of the best lameness vets in the country. And he said that in his opinion, horses with SI problems should not have extended rest, but need to be kept in work while the area recovers. The idea is to remove the inflammation (via injection) and then build up the strength through proper excercises. Strong muscles in the back and pelvis give support to the SI joint to keep it healthy and pain free. Extended rest may eventually make the inflammation go away, but the surrounding muscles and ligaments will be even weaker from lack of work, which makes them easy to re-injure.

Yes, that's my understanding as well, having been down a similar road , but with some pelvic injuries such as those involving torn or strained ligaments and fractures, a period of healing is needed, often with stallrest and handwalking, before commencing the controlled exercise and strength building which is so essential for recovery. The vet is the best person to recommend a regime for a particular injury.

smithywess
Nov. 30, 2008, 12:52 PM
This type of activity is a very short hop away from injecting

tails to keep them quiet,using draw reins to get a 'head set' and

hobbles to train piaffe. Anti-inflammatory drugs, Tranquilizers,Joint

injections, Massagetherapy,chiropractic,accupuncture/

pressure,thermography,electrotherapy,herbs,food supplements

and e.t.c...e.t.c.Anything to escape the time and work

involved, and the intellectual knowledge, honesty, and discipline required to

learn how to ride correctly. It is these last things that prevent horses from

being uncomfortable.

lstevenson
Nov. 30, 2008, 12:59 PM
but with some pelvic injuries such as those involving torn or strained ligaments and fractures, a period of healing is needed, often with stallrest and handwalking


We didn't discuss fractures of that area, but he said even with ligament injury, the recovery is best with the horse kept in work. I was kind of suprised to hear this, but he said the SI shouldn't have very much movement, so keeping that area strong was a priority even with an injury.

lstevenson
Nov. 30, 2008, 01:01 PM
This type of activity is a very short hop away from injecting

tails to keep them quiet,using draw reins to get a 'head set' and

hobbles to train piaffe. Anti-inflammatory drugs, Tranquilizers,Joint

injections, Massagetherapy,chiropractic,accupuncture/

pressure,thermography,electrotherapy,herbs,food supplements

and e.t.c...e.t.c.Anything to escape the time and work

involved, and the intellectual knowledge, honesty, and discipline required to

learn how to ride correctly. It is these last things that prevent horses from

being uncomfortable.


What on earth are you talking about???

nhwr
Nov. 30, 2008, 01:53 PM
I think it takes longer than most people think to start training "dressage".

IME, it takes about 1 year to get a horse fit enough under saddle to start real dressage work; asking them to always push from behind, lift and carry their shoulders consistently and always reach for the bit (last being the most important aspect of training, IMO). A better trainer than I could no doubt produce results faster. But even for such a trainer, it takes time to develop the muscle mass needed to execute the work.

I don't bring horses along for the BuCha so my training method is; go slow at the front end as you establish the basics.

That done, things go faster and come easier :yes:

egontoast
Nov. 30, 2008, 02:10 PM
We didn't discuss fractures of that area, but he said even with ligament injury, the recovery is best with the horse kept in work. I was kind of suprised to hear this, but he said the SI shouldn't have very much movement, so keeping that area strong was a priority even with an injury

Hmm, well , obviously the vets don't all agree about everything. I thought you intially said extended rest not good and that's what I was advised as well but for torn or even badly strained ligaments certainly some vets still say there needs to be a time for healing which may include stall rest before exercise is begun. Not saying that applies to OP's horse.

FLeckenAwesome
Nov. 30, 2008, 02:15 PM
hmmmm...thanks guys!!! it seems like suddenly there are tons of SI post... and it might be perfect timing for me!!

my pony boy is suddenly have a bit of issues that *could* possibly be this... the tripping (which...i just assumed he was clutzy as he's always done that), but now he's not wanting to bring his right hind under, and he does have the little *hump* that GiGi mentioned that does go away after his chiro care. But i've been pushing him a bit more recently, and though he's certainly super fit, perhaps i've pushed a bit too much.

good food for thought! i'll bring it up with my vet! thanks!

slc2
Nov. 30, 2008, 03:14 PM
Stall rest/confinement vs a guided exercise program - I have never found this really varies that much from vet to vet. What it varies by is what the injury is, not just where and what, but how serious.

Example, my pony.

Horse with very mildly strained (boy were we lucky) peroneus tertius, cuts, bruises from getting caught in fence. 10 days stall rest with Surpass, cold hosing, and tranquilizers when needed to guarantee a quiet 10 days. Quie soon, starting walking in hand. Gradual return to work over the next few weeks with a very planned and structured program of exercise. Perfect recovery, totally normal on all imaging and perfectly sound with no further issues.

This kind of approach is not something I am advocating for every injury and every situation. What I am saying is that quite a few vets do now prescribe a very structured activity program gradually leading back to full work, depending on what the injury is, and its severity.

grayarabpony
Nov. 30, 2008, 03:40 PM
We didn't discuss fractures of that area, but he said even with ligament injury, the recovery is best with the horse kept in work. I was kind of suprised to hear this, but he said the SI shouldn't have very much movement, so keeping that area strong was a priority even with an injury.

Personally, I think it's better to keep the horse turned out 24/7. If the horse is hurting and only out with one other horse, it won't run (mine won't anyway). But they are moving around constantly. Walking is very good for rehab and horse turned out (in pastures, not lots) walk around all of the time.

nhwr
Nov. 30, 2008, 04:01 PM
Horse are not people. But with people, therapy for damaged (even completely torn) ligaments is more often work, in the form of a well thought out PT program, than rest. The reason behind this is that properly developed muscle will support the ligament as it heals. Trying to return to work with a ligament that may be technically healed but atrophied with muscles that are weak and atrophied too doesn't bode well for rehabilitation.

I totally severed my ACL and partially torn my MCL about 5 years ago. I was doing PT (including riding a bike and weight training) about a week after the injury. I was surprised that my doc did not want to give me any down time but he said I risked problems with a frozen joint and proprioception if I didn't start right away. I don't think it would very different for most mammals.

lstevenson
Nov. 30, 2008, 04:19 PM
But with people, therapy for damaged (even completely torn) ligaments is more often work, in the form of a well thought out PT program, than rest.


:yes: This was his point exactly. That intelligently planned work is better for the horse than simply turnout, even for ligament injuries. Dressage and hillwork as physical therapy.

egontoast
Nov. 30, 2008, 07:17 PM
:yes:
This was his point exactly. That intelligently planned work is better for the horse than simply turnout, even for ligament injuries

Yes and I guess the only variable we are talking about is that for some injuries there is an initial period of rest followed by an exercise regime.

in_the_zone
Nov. 30, 2008, 08:24 PM
Horse SURELY can not really sit or lower croup.

That was definitely my horse's big tell. What I thought was specific to this type of injury is that even though it was the left side that was sore and injured, it showed up most going to the right. My horse is also normally very forward and he was quite the opposite when we was sore. It was also only noticeable on circles or corners. On straight lines, he looked like a million bucks.

My horse was off for at least 4 months before we got it figured out. After 4 months of him being exactly the same, 2 treatments from the chiro (who was also a vet) he was moving his pelvis properly and was able to come back into work. She did skeletal adjustments, acu/aqua puncture, massage and the electric thing that you stick on the acupuncture needles. So the rehab is slow going and we do lots of hills and straight lines.

I am very pleased with the results.

Mozart
Dec. 1, 2008, 11:48 AM
This type of activity is a very short hop away from injecting

tails to keep them quiet,using draw reins to get a 'head set' and

hobbles to train piaffe. Anti-inflammatory drugs, Tranquilizers,Joint

injections, Massagetherapy,chiropractic,accupuncture/

pressure,thermography,electrotherapy,herbs,food supplements

and e.t.c...e.t.c.Anything to escape the time and work

involved, and the intellectual knowledge, honesty, and discipline required to

learn how to ride correctly. It is these last things that prevent horses from

being uncomfortable.

I do agree that correct work, including proper warm up and cool down, gymnastic work and proper conditioning work go a long way to keeping horses sound. However, equating therapeutic work with the short cuts you mention is neither fair nor accurate.

lstevenson, your comment is very interesting. I recently had the good fortune to do an exercise program with a Phd in Kinesiology. It was eye opening. I have a few accumulated "owies" and his Rx was "move it or lose it". The day after the first session I was limping. By the end of the 10 week session I had moving freely and in ways I had not for, literally,years.

Yes, horses are not people but I really think we have to try harder to treat even our amateur level horses as elite athletes when it comes to their schooling programs.

EqTrainer
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:20 PM
What Sabine mentioned about necks and SI's is true IME. Horses w/base of the neck issues tend to have SI issues. I suspect they hold themselves "up" with their necks to avoid sitting down behind instead. Ouch.

While I agree that ideally, a horse w/an SI issue would be rehabilitated undersaddle, seriously - how many people really ride this well? Not trying to be harsh, just realistic. If you are a training level/first level rider and your horse messes up their SI, you are probably best off turning it out for an extended period of time rather than injecting/quick rest/riding.

For the OP - riding a horse who needs it's wolf teeth pulled - well, it's a long shot but I am not sure that the amount of energy going back rather than forwards couldn't mess up a horses rear end pretty quickly. Perhaps the pain from the teeth created the ulcers.

Now you know, but always - ALWAYS - have a dentist do a horses teeth prior to putting it in training, particularly when you buy a new horse. I refuse to take horses in training whose owners will not allow my dentist to do their teeth. I am so done dealing with the issues created by dental problems. The implications are more far reaching than just a sore mouth.

Good luck w/your girl.

pharmgirl
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:27 PM
While I agree that ideally, a horse w/an SI issue would be rehabilitated undersaddle, seriously - how many people really ride this well? Not trying to be harsh, just realistic. If you are a training level/first level rider and your horse messes up their SI, you are probably best off turning it out for an extended period of time rather than injecting/quick rest/riding.


While I see where you are coming from, I still feel there is a lot that anyone can do to help with SI rehab (i.e. not some super great rider or pro). The one big thing my vet wants me to do with my boy's SI rehab is lots of hacking out. Nothing with big hills, but he said the walking builds up their muscles evenly. That is something that most of us can do well without worrying whether we are being detrimental to the rehab process.

EqTrainer
Dec. 1, 2008, 12:33 PM
While I see where you are coming from, I still feel there is a lot that anyone can do to help with SI rehab (i.e. not some super great rider or pro). The one big thing my vet wants me to do with my boy's SI rehab is lots of hacking out. Nothing with big hills, but he said the walking builds up their muscles evenly. That is something that most of us can do well without worrying whether we are being detrimental to the rehab process.


Walking does build up their muscles evenly... IF the horse is straightened properly and the quality of the walk does not deteriorate at all.

So if I were you, I'd be riding that horse very, very straight and stepping evenly up.

If you just hack along, they use their body however they wish. Walking only builds up their muscles evenly if they are ridden that way.

Mozart
Dec. 1, 2008, 01:09 PM
There has been talk here of the use of ultrasound to get a correct diagnosis. Forgive my ignorance, but in my barn I have seen ultrasound used two ways:

1. For breeding purposes
2. To diagnose and subsequently monitor a tendon tear

Would the kind of unit used to diagnose SI be a different type or grade of machine than the one used for the two purposes mentioned?

What exactly is the vet looking for with the ultrasound? Ligament damage?

Kit
Dec. 1, 2008, 04:20 PM
I'm interested in this neck injury associated with the SI problems. My horse hurt hers (I think) about 3 years ago. Not too badly but she got time off, chiro, vet etc and finally acupuncture which did the trick. However, ever since then she has had this little shake of her head every now and then during work which she never had before and when she has a chiro-reiki treatment, she is sore in the base of her neck. What sort of excercises can I do to help this? Any advice?

PiaffeDreams
Dec. 1, 2008, 04:34 PM
Would the kind of unit used to diagnose SI be a different type or grade of machine than the one used for the two purposes mentioned?

What exactly is the vet looking for with the ultrasound? Ligament damage?

Same as used to look at tendon and similar qualities are examined. Fiber pattern and echogenicity as well as dimension.

You see a blackish area without a clear set of white lines that indicate the fibers of the ligament. I'll see if I can scan and post some pics of my horse's SI ligament ultrasounds. (done by Dr. Gillis)

The computer program allowed her to map out the area, then it calculated its size. Each 8 weeks we rechecked and we could see improvements in the size, shape of the blackish area as well as increases in the filling in of fiber as well as how it was laying out smoothly. Interstingly, during my horses' rehab, I had a week where he was hiding in the back of his paddock when I came to get him, grinding his teeth on tacking up. We were doing I think 20+minutes of walk and about 20 mins of trot at that point. He wasn't off but he wasn't happy. Next re-check the areas of injury had enlarged again. We back tracked for a few weeks, then proceeded as his attitude told us. Next re-check and he was actually over 80% healed. It was funny how he re-gressed just before he had major progress.

From that experience I can say that what I saw in my horse's behavior change was backed up with empirical evidence in the change of the ligaments. Ultimately, once we felt he was in the 95th percentile of normal and on a full work schedule without any negative impressions in his movement and attitude he was determined healed. Since then has not needed any maintenance at all and is on a normal life with half-day turnout in a 2 acre field and full upper level dressage training.

Mozart
Dec. 1, 2008, 05:45 PM
Same as used to look at tendon and similar qualities are examined. Fiber pattern and echogenicity as well as dimension.

You see a blackish area without a clear set of white lines that indicate the fibers of the ligament. I'll see if I can scan and post some pics of my horse's SI ligament ultrasounds. (done by Dr. Gillis)

The computer program allowed her to map out the area, then it calculated its size. Each 8 weeks we rechecked and we could see improvements in the size, shape of the blackish area as well as increases in the filling in of fiber as well as how it was laying out smoothly. Interstingly, during my horses' rehab, I had a week where he was hiding in the back of his paddock when I came to get him, grinding his teeth on tacking up. We were doing I think 20+minutes of walk and about 20 mins of trot at that point. He wasn't off but he wasn't happy. Next re-check the areas of injury had enlarged again. We back tracked for a few weeks, then proceeded as his attitude told us. Next re-check and he was actually over 80% healed. It was funny how he re-gressed just before he had major progress.

From that experience I can say that what I saw in my horse's behavior change was backed up with empirical evidence in the change of the ligaments. Ultimately, once we felt he was in the 95th percentile of normal and on a full work schedule without any negative impressions in his movement and attitude he was determined healed. Since then has not needed any maintenance at all and is on a normal life with half-day turnout in a 2 acre field and full upper level dressage training.

That is very helpful, thank you.