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annikak
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:39 PM
Many know that my "great" horse (Woffords quote summed Taco up for me) has moved onto Cookiepony, and she also has my other " really good" horse that she is helping me sell as many things in my life have changed, and, well, so be it. The 3 here are green as can be and all have "that special something" that makes them really not quite sales worthy. :lol:

Introducing Tahoe. (Came with the name...never would have picked one so close to Taco....) He has been growing on me during the past 2 years he's been here. An OTTB, part of a package, he has some interesting movement issues. Not really lame, or at least outwardly so, but something more non-specific.

He also "twists" in his head and neck- esp when lunging. Undersaddle, I think I have that fixed...forward into a quiet hand. But, I might have a clue from todays ride.

When we started, he was not off, but it hurt to ride him (My hips and legs, and I already had ridden one already so it wasn't me, at least today it wasn't.) Suppled as best as we could. Walk, trotted, spiraled, move away from my leg, the usual. Then, I tried Walk, Halt, Back, walk, trot. Wouldn't you know...he got taller, and dare I say.."loftier" at the trot. It did not last for long, but he is only pasture fit, really. So, I kept it really light.

So, my thoughts are back and or stifles. Not sure which, nor do I know if this is just a strength issue, or a real "need to deal with" issue. Our local vet has seen him, and we have done a course of bute (1 gm BID x 2 weeks) which helped but not a lot.

To know...He has had his teeth done, and the saddle fit to him. He does have stomach issues, but those are under control. He has front shoes on, and I am going to put back shoes on him in case that might be contributing.

He is willing, not nappy, sweet natured. He was sensitive to being saddled, but that is better. He is really smart and clever. Clever Pony... (http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=454589065499) If you can see the above video, you can see how smart he actually is. :cool:

But, once he figured it out, the boy can jump. Day 2 (http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=460173685499)

I am taking him for a full workup in about a month just to see if there are things I need to know about and deal with. But in the meantime, any ideas or thoughts? Other then how LUCKY I am to have this horse, and how good it is that I own these videos???

The many faces of Tahoe (http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.461244035499.377124.767705499&type=1)

jen-s
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:22 PM
No thoughts, but he's cute! I loved the first video--he was just so proud of himself!

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:48 PM
I'm NOT a vet...but something looks wonky behind...maybe left hind. Not lame lame but not right either.

My guy with Kissing spine looks a bit similar but hopefully this guy just is weak. He's very cute. It's hard to know how to treat them until you know if something is wrong or if he just has weak. But it looks more like back or SI to me. Good luck with him...he looks worth trying to find it out.

CookiePony
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:03 AM
I wish you didn't have to wait for so long for the workup-- though I know that the clinicians are the best of the best and worth waiting for. But in the meantime, how about experimenting with walking some hills and raised cavaletti? I am a huge fan of those hind-end strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week. The key is to walk them (a nice long hill, or the same one several times; or cavaletti on the "middle" setting, 3 feet apart). They are Jo-Ann Wilson's go-to exercises.

frugalannie
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:04 AM
Hi Annika!

How wonderful that you have time to ride! Yay!!!

I couldn't access your videos (no Facebook in this house), but I don't think you mentioned how old Tahoe is and what his background was before you got him.

FWIW, I had an OTTB I got as a late 3 yo who just needed time and turnout (to the tune of 3 years) to grow up mentally and physically. She is now coming along beautifully, but was a crooked tail-twisting gimpy disaster before.

If it feels like it is more on one side than the other, try hill work where you zig zag side to side up and down the hill at a walk. Tiny hill at first, and then bigger/ steeper. I had one with a wonky left hind tht this helped with a great deal.

But I know one thing for sure, that horse is lucky to be with you!

RunForIt
Aug. 7, 2011, 11:28 AM
I wish you didn't have to wait for so long for the workup-- though I know that the clinicians are the best of the best and worth waiting for. But in the meantime, how about experimenting with walking some hills and raised cavaletti? I am a huge fan of those hind-end strengthening exercises 2-3 times per week. The key is to walk them (a nice long hill, or the same one several times; or cavaletti on the "middle" setting, 3 feet apart). They are Jo-Ann Wilson's go-to exercises.


Hi Annika!

How wonderful that you have time to ride! Yay!!!

FWIW, I had an OTTB I got as a late 3 yo who just needed time and turnout (to the tune of 3 years) to grow up mentally and physically. She is now coming along beautifully, but was a crooked tail-twisting gimpy disaster before.

If it feels like it is more on one side than the other, try hill work where you zig zag side to side up and down the hill at a walk. Tiny hill at first, and then bigger/ steeper. I had one with a wonky left hind tht this helped with a great deal.

But I know one thing for sure, that horse is lucky to be with you!

No more to be said...tincture of time, hillwork, cavaletti, and your lovely way with a horse are the best suggestions. In all fairness to Tahoe, he hasn't had that last remedy - YOU - fulltime since he arrived at your home. HUGS! :cool:

RunForIt
Aug. 7, 2011, 11:30 AM
A bit of a detour from the main idea here, but what are possible reasons that could make a horse twist its neck? I've seen one do this a lot lately...timely. :cool:

frugalannie
Aug. 7, 2011, 11:33 AM
According to my dressage guru, it's crookedness through the back that causes a front end twist. The crookedness can be at the withers, the rib cage or the stern.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 7, 2011, 11:38 AM
According to my dressage guru, it's crookedness through the back that causes a front end twist. The crookedness can be at the withers, the rib cage or the stern.


ditto...most of mine that twisted had some sort of back issue.

RunForIt
Aug. 7, 2011, 12:26 PM
According to my dressage guru, it's crookedness through the back that causes a front end twist. The crookedness can be at the withers, the rib cage or the stern.


ditto...most of mine that twisted had some sort of back issue.

and the treament was...???

whicker
Aug. 7, 2011, 02:10 PM
Osteopathy should release the problems, from my experience with my horses. Osteopathy picks up internal and skeletal issues, such as displacements or adhesions. It has been extremely helpful for my horses. Think of it as another method in the holistic approach. It is also frequently much less expensive, too.

Pm me for more info. My vet has been trained in it, and there are other vets around the country, too.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 7, 2011, 03:29 PM
and the treament was...???


A good work up by a good sport vet and depending on what they found we treated it. Sorry...not helpful. But it really could be a lot of things.

I've had a couple with different sort of back/hind end issues and they have been treated differently depending on what my vet found to be the source of their discomfort.

injections, time off, strenth work, shoeing changes etc.

retreadeventer
Aug. 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
Treat him for EPM.

frugalannie
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:09 PM
RE: crooked horse coming from back.

Again according to my dressage guru (I think he's the best: he believes dressage is physical therapy for horses under saddle), it's a matter of riding the horse straight. If it's striding shorter with one hind leg, use spirals to teach it to bring that leg up and under. If its dropping a hip, work at getting it to stride more evenly with the hind legs following the front. If the rib cage is popped to one side or the other, use your legs to help straighten it out. If its dropping a shoulder in or out, ride the withers straight.

OK, this is a gross simplification, and it assumes that the horse has no physical issues that are causing pain. And it isn't easy to do: I have one mare that is lovely when she's straight. If she gets crooked by 1/2 an inch, it's a crap shoot, and I can't always feel that. But with Annika's patience and great riding skills, it'll work out.

annikak
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks everyone. Despite my best attempts, the other nasty threads cont. Oh well. But this is a real issue here so... :)

Background. He is 8, and has almost 2 1/2 years off/very light work. He went to a trainer for a month, and was off for a lot of it- directly attributed to shoeing, which I got figured out. Happy me, Happy pony. He was really good there when she was able to work him, but strangely, never actually jumped anything...just kind of hopped over. I honestly think he did not get the job description. Hence, the videos. Once he "gets" something, he gets it, and good.

He moves almost like he has stringhalt but holds his hind end up no problem for being worked with by vets or farriers. It's actually a lot of "push" which makes the canter dreamy (and huge, BTW...) and if he decided to buck, God forbid. He can toss his hind end easily. HOWEVER- he is pretty much a good boy. So, it's not really that, but to be sure, a very animated hind end. This is good, right? So, he has had time, and lots of it. He is out pretty much 24/7.

So I have tried several times to start him, and have had a few almost month long times during school where I could give him that time. No jumping, just easy flat work with no pressure. And he always just can't stay 100%. The vets have suggested the bute regimen but, honestly, that is not solving the issue, because it keeps happening.

Today, I worked him for about 15 min. I am attaching a link to a Picassa video (for you, my dear FA) and it was still there- I can feel it more then see it. Pardon my riding please...1) fat and outta shape and 2) trying to let him move his head as much as he wanted to so assess movement. (https://picasaweb.google.com/annikasvea/Tahoe?authuser=0&feat=directlink) And whatever the H*ll I was doing to soften his jaw at the end..egh...Gross.

But, it was enough to call the vets and I am taking him there sooner rather than later. He did NOT want to walk up the hill from the indoor, and that indicates to me, since he is such a willing kind of guy, that there is more to this then just being out of shape, or lazy. I also have a video of his head twisting a bit- it's amost like a flounder eye- he tilts his head enough to look back at me.

I really like this guy a lot- he is quite special and really a lovely horse to have in the barn when he feels okay. When he feels off, however, he is pretty neurotic, which is kind of good, because he lets you know not all is well.

Thanks for the advice. I really think this forum is a lot better then the threads of late have indicated!

ETA- I will upload a better video tomorrow- connecting with the cell phone will not allow the video to upload- unless we waited 3 years, and I'd better have an answer before that!

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:50 PM
Yeah..like stringhalt was what I thought on the first video but it really is more stabby.

There is definately something physically going on....and if he is like ANY of my horses, it is probably more than one thing.

Have you flexed him at all? Just to possible rule out hock or stifle--more joint issues. Hopefully your vet will have some suggestions. I would really wonder about SI or the deep muscles in his back right before the croup.

My one horse with front sore heels and KS moves a bit like your guy. Surprising, I think it was more his sore front feet that caused him back pain than the KS...right in loin area. Vet did an injection (with a REALLY long needle) and he was 10x better. FWIW--my horse with significant KS went up through training level before we started to have significant issues and got it diagnosed. For him it was the combo of sore front feet and KS that put him over the edge. Otherwise he was a good boy to ride, just never felt really in front of my leg and was a bit reluctant to adjust his length of stride....though he was very good mover and jumper. When sore, he gets a bit stabby behind.


Anyway....how does he move on the lung line with out a rider...better or worse or the same? For my horse with Kissing spine....there was significant difference with and without a rider..he was much more easily forward without the rider. For some other issues (like SI or just loin muscle injury) I don't think there would be much difference.

If bute didn't make much difference...only other thing that pops in my head is I had an OTTB that had a partial tear of his miniscus in his stiffle (that wasn't diagnosed for a long time). He also moved a bit stabby like yours and bute didn't make a super big difference. I never did get him right...and one day he fully tore the miniscus out in the field....hopefully this isn't even close to your boy. Just thinking what get's that kind of movement.

Let us know if you get it sorted out....he certainly does look worth putting in some vet time to try and get an answer.

annikak
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:59 PM
Worse on the lunge- twists his head horribly. I too think it might be sore heels- hence trying shoes behind. My farrier is a-maz-ing so I'll have him watch him lunge to see.

My gut says SI, with some other issues. Thing is- I usually think the DX of SI is a catch all for 'I dunnoitis' because it's hard to disprove or defiantly prove for that matter. But in this case, big muscley ottb, big moving and busy playing with his buds makes me think...uh oh.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:05 PM
Worse on the lunge- twists his head horribly. I too think it might be sore heels- hence trying shoes behind. My farrier is a-maz-ing so I'll have him watch him lunge to see.

My gut says SI, with some other issues. Thing is- I usually think the DX of SI is a catch all for 'I dunnoitis' because it's hard to disprove or defiantly prove for that matter. But in this case, big muscley ottb, big moving and busy playing with his buds makes me think...uh oh.


I agree. There are some vets that can ultra sound the SI. They go in rectally for it.....so it is something that can be actually diagnosed. I just don't think that there are that may vets with the ultra sounds skills for it though.

VCT
Aug. 7, 2011, 11:28 PM
In the video of him trotting under saddle I think he looks sort of funny and unwilling to move his pelvis/hindquarter. It's like all the movement of his hind legs happens from the stifle down. Maybe S/I? I dunno... but to me it looks like it's in that area. Good luck, he looks like a sweetie pie!

KellyS
Aug. 8, 2011, 12:47 AM
I don't know if this will help much but when we got our hackney cross driving pony he was so "off" behind that I thought he was possibly gaited. The fix for him was shoes behind (amazingly better almost immediately) and 5 to 6 days of work to keep his stifles strong. You can tell when he's been off work because he moves wide behind when driving; when he's fit, he's much tighter behind.

However, he's never had any issues with twisting his neck or body. But he does have other similarities--neurotic at times, which ended being a manifestation of ulcers. He needs his life set up a very certain way--turnout with the one donkey he likes...stall in our lower barn with the 2 donkeys where there is less activity and he doesn't have to deal with barnmates leaving (our other 2 ponies are in the other barn).

Two and a half years later of work and competitions, we are still figuring him out but he's worth it! He's our high maintenance pony. :)

Oh, and we have a bodywork specialist come out and work on him, which has also made a huge difference.

TB or not TB?
Aug. 8, 2011, 02:06 AM
I agree with the above suggestions. The other thing that comes to mind is a nerve type issue, where he is exaggerating the movement because he can't feel it properly or it feels funny to him. A friend of mine had a horse with a pinched nerve that made him intermittently, inexplicably lame, and his movement reminds me of that horse a bit.

EventingJ
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:28 AM
My mare sounds very similar story to yours. I bought her at the end of her 8 year old year (Oct) in 2009. She had been out to pasture (no job other than being a mommy once) for 2ish years, so was in no condition at all. She could not canter to the right at all and was very disconnect to the left in the canter. When she traveled she wanted to go left hind out right shoulder out crooked (oh, she STILL wants to do that) and she also would prefer to go strung out instead of collected. She occasionally traveled short on the right hind, and looked slightly uneven. She sometimes gave a funky hop-step going into the canter. I originally attributed it to just being super out of shape, and not having the right hind strength needed when we were straight. Her teeth were also in great need to being done, also I think helped her be crooked in the scheme of things. I also felt like it was "stifles or SI" something "higher" - not her hocks.

Here are the things I did -

Chiro, several times, has helped tremendously. After the first chiro appointment we could now pick up our right lead canter almost like a real horse instead of running into it. Shes on a 4-6 month schedule with the chirp

Teeth getting done once every 6 months (really probably not needed if I had access to fantastic dentists... but this last guy I used seemed fantastic, so hopefully she can go back to yearly).

In late December 2010 I finally had a lameness eval done. Vet watched her lunged and than had me ride her (a lot of transitions) and said she was about 1/5 to 2/5 depending on direction (can't remember specifically). Flexions were great except for the right hip, she showed soreness when he lifted the right hind up and out. Recommendation was a hip injection.

January I had her hip injected (and ultra sounded). There was a very slight thickening of the hip joint on the right vs left. I would say hip injection helped a bit, it was easier for her to maintain a canter on a circle and get that right leg under her.

In the spring of 2011 (mid May) I put hind shoes on her. Wow - this made a huge, huge difference on how she stood and moved. She actually had some hind muscle spasms the first week or so because of the big change.

I think the biggest changes came from the chiropractor and the hind shoes. Just trying to ride her correctly and make her bend that pelvis is still a challenge, but we are definitely getting there.

I don't have many videos of her - here shes is a year ago (before hind shoes or injections, but after a chiro appointment or two) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdLO4lnL7fc

Here is picture of her cantering when I first bought her in October of 2009
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/edyyb8aREhLGPCyp0ykYIQ?feat=directlink

Here is May 2010
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lhTZE5-TB5bzwKg6J9C6Hg?feat=directlink

June 2010
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OR7oXI9Z8yNN2Bx1WV_5zg?feat=directlink

November 2010
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Z_VVrpET7aJutdMLWOrCOw?feat=directlink

April 2011
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pjo2pxRiKmpAAZj6J0Ynnw?feat=directlink

http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/216436_852536957102_16105534_41317057_4515170_n.jp g


The right hind is still a weakness, but shes no longer got that funky step nor does she feel or look uneven. My next step is I want to try some acupuncture, because I think its more muscle problem than anything else.

eventingVOL
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:44 AM
Have you tried chiropractic? I have seen it make an astonishing difference in horses that are not lame but just NQR. Usually not too expensive and worth a try at least once!

frugalannie
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:56 AM
Dear Annika:

Thank you for putting the video on Picassa! He is very cute: I can see why you like him.

The following advice is worth exactly what you've paid for it:

The Frugal rule of thumb is that if you can feel it more than see it, it's higher up. By your description, I was thinking tight hamstrings. But the visual makes me think SI. Knowing you, I'm sure he's dead level if you sight up his spine tail to neck, so I would get a good chiro/ vet to look at him. And get a Lyme titer pulled for grins and giggles. What the heck; it's only money!

annikak
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:57 AM
Great ideas- and I admit, somewhat scary, too, because these things seem hard to find. But I am seeing a great physio at MSU, and I agree with the thought this may be something neuro/nerve/strange.

The thought of the nerve damage and way of tracking behind is compelling, and I wonder if that is why its so...interesting. Knowing his personality, I can see that he might actually be be doing just that.

I really think he is straight in his body- from the jaw forward, not so much at times.

I am not sure there is a good chiro in our area anymore, but there are some in Tryon, which is our 2nd (and soon to be full time if I get a job there when done with school) home. Actually the vets there are excellent.

Anyway, here is the longer video, with some interesting moments. I trot him away and you can see his hind action and compare, and you can see him trot over some poles and see his reaction. I canter for a bit (bad transition from bad mom cues) and then you see him stumble on the left front...

Tahoe (https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7CHWpd9m4lcrfvJ3qjg2gA?feat=directlink)

Thanks everyone for the ideas. And please please please ignore the rider! It's horrifying to watch for me.

annikak
Aug. 8, 2011, 09:04 AM
My mare sounds very similar story to yours. I bought her at the end of her 8 year old year (Oct) in 2009. She had been out to pasture (no job other than being a mommy once) for 2ish years, so was in no condition at all. .

What a difference! WOW! Be proud- she is beautiful!!

frugalannie
Aug. 8, 2011, 09:08 AM
I think the rider looks GREAT!

Keep us posted on what you learn, please, and I'm not kidding about the Lyme.

annikak
Aug. 8, 2011, 09:09 AM
Dear Annika:

Thank you for putting the video on Picassa! He is very cute: I can see why you like him.

The following advice is worth exactly what you've paid for it:

The Frugal rule of thumb is that if you can feel it more than see it, it's higher up. <snip> And get a Lyme titer pulled for grins and giggles. What the heck; it's only money!

FA...MONEY! lol... :) No, I actually had thought of that- he has been on the track and came from PA, so it's certainly a possibility. I think I will have some labs drawn just to that is out of the way when we have our appt. Which, btw, I can't be at but Alice Stack and Lauren will be able to go to and do what's best for him.

*If you were on FB, you'd see his active attempts to try to muck a stall...now that's a horse you want in your barn!*

annikak
Aug. 21, 2011, 08:59 AM
So, I began to ride him more, in preparation for the MSU visit. And on day 3, he made it VERY clear that this was not HIS idea, but rather some idiot's idea and it was not in anyones best interest to continue. Appt got moved up to the 17th.

My DH and DD#2 met up at MSU with the amazing staff, including my beloved Dr. Stack. She had really gotten the bells out, gathered the greatest thinkers and they were met with a posse of sharp minds and horsemen. Tahoe was good once he figured out the game, and the end conclusion was A) Not his back, nor SI, NOT lower limb most likely and was a functional lameness.

He flexed slightly off, but nothing to get excited about. DD rode him and he was cooperative. He played flounder a bit (what I call his head twisting as he lays his head on its side and trots around like that) but nothing too unexpected. Narelle (SP?) the Aussie physio saw him, and Tahoe enjoyed a lengthy massage. She concluded that the back was good, saddle fit was good, and there was some soreness of his TM, and the right side of his neck- his teeth needed doing soon, but overall, nothing was horrible. She saw more to worry about in the left front, but he did not block out- the only limb they tried this on- No x-rays even...nothing screamed "I hurt HERE!"

So, they saw something, but not sure what they saw. Bone scan was suggested in the end.

And then my farrier- my amazing farrier- came. I had thought he might need hind shoes, and so they were put on the next day. Yesterday I rode him for the first time. And I'd say that he was 80% better. The issues that were tough for me to ride to, (the changes of direction would throw my hips so far out of whack it was horrible) were gone, and he was happy....

So not sure what we will do next, if anything, but just wanted to update you all. If it's indeed his hind feel/heels, I will assume that there is a lot of un-muscling to be done, and new and better muscle to put down. I will expect some back soreness but I hope its minimal. We will go back for another visit, to follow up, but I am thinking a bone scan is just not necessary at this point in time. It's great news and I am so grateful for my farrier I can't begin to tell you. His wife posts on the CoTH *goodhors* I think.

I had a horse vetted last week that did not pass flexions, and a lesion was found- but he is happy and jumping around despite that finding. I had a horse that was NOT happy and nothing could be found. Horses...they frustrate you endlessly but in the end, I suppose it's all worth it. The small victories are really the most important thing in the end, aren't they?

frugalannie
Aug. 21, 2011, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the update. Sounds very encouraging!

RunForIt
Aug. 21, 2011, 02:53 PM
I had a horse vetted last week that did not pass flexions, and a lesion was found- but he is happy and jumping around despite that finding. I had a horse that was NOT happy and nothing could be found. Horses...they frustrate you endlessly but in the end, I suppose it's all worth it. The small victories are really the most important thing in the end, aren't they?

this is a slight detour to the horse that didn't flex and had a lesion...that's EXACTLY how I got have my dear now departed Buddy...BNR bred him out of her young rider horse; she started Buddy, took him to two events, and then needing $$$ put him for sale. Long story short, another up and coming BNR vetted him (Kent Allen DVM doing the honors), but DAMN, he didn't flex AND had a bone spur in his ankle, so she turned him down...I made an offer $12,500 less than his original asking price and Buddy came to live at RFI Farm...bone spur never bothered us ...NEVER! Hopefully, you'll get to ride and jump this lovely boy yourself..for many a year. You deserve the best and he sure fits that description! :) :cool:

CookiePony
Aug. 22, 2011, 10:51 PM
:shaking head in wonder:
Horses!

retreadeventer
Aug. 23, 2011, 11:08 PM
! :)

quietann
Aug. 24, 2011, 12:14 PM
well, I'm glad the news is good! My little mare with her suspensory/SI issues also was much happier when she got hind shoes on.