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  1. #21
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    Dr Joyce Harman is: local, very, very good and usually starts at $250.

    Compare to x rays.

    Google her and you will come up with a lot!!

    If you haven't already, make sure you rule out Lyme and EPM. From your description, it sounds like lyme.

    Try leaving the back on track blanket off for a while.



  2. #22
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    I use a heating pad in lieu of a hot towel. 30 minutes prior to work on cold or damp days. This works if your horse will tolerate standing quietly while you navigate around the pad's cord. If he doesn't, obviously, use the towel. Tip carries tension over his SI and this improves him immensely.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG



  3. #23
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    After having a horse that would twitch the saddle pad off her back before I could get the saddle on because she was so reactive, I think it's really unfair to just call these guys "jerks." Horses are pretty honest creatures, and they're not going to throw a fit just to be a pain in the ass (well, usually! ) If the horse is telling you that it hurts, listen.

    Once I put my mare on gabapentin and saw the night and day difference in her, I felt *terrible* about continuing to ride her and getting after her for crankiness. I am a lot more careful now to listen when the horse is telling me something.

    OP, whatever you choose to do, be sure to give your horse a bit of a break and tell him he's really okay. Go slowly, tread carefully and listen to your guy. It sounds like you're certainly looking for solutions, and I hope you're able to find something that works for him.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
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    Aug. 30, 2011
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    Hey YB sounds like you ruled out most of the common causes of sore back ie feet, subclinical (not limping) hind limb soreness. Have you done a round of pop rocks on him?

    The reason why I suggest that is ulcers can manifest in sore tight backs, and one of the ulcer meridians is on/by the trapezius muscle. The accupuncturist (sp?) might be helpful to use meridians to pin point where the issue is originating from.

    And, I'm sure you know this, but there is differing opinion on the significance radiographic evidence of KS - for example, one fabulous sport horse vet I use is very concerned about radiographic evidence of KS, the other fabulous sport horse vet I use is of the opinion that almost all TBs have KS, and its only relevant if it impacts their performance, meaning he sees many horses who don't read their xrays.

    FYI the vet who I use for chiro does not automatically recommend weekly adjustments, she does them as needed (my call).

    Have you considered meso therapy + injecting the SI? I've done that with a few horses, its been very helpful. Not cheap, was about 900ish. Best of luck



  5. #25
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    Dec. 5, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by davistina67 View Post
    I would not bother with xrays. If xrays do show some sign of KS, it doesn't really matter that much if you aren't going to explore treatments. I personally know of several horses that have been diagnosed with KS. I am not a big believer in that diagnoses as every single one of the horses I know is still showing and doing very well with chiro, acupuncture and proper riding. Those are treatments often done when a horse has a sore back so it doesn't really matter what the xrays show as long as the horse gets better with treatment. If you think $700 is expensive to treat a horse you may want to just put him in pasture and move on.
    Wow. You are SO out of line! At no point did she say that the treatments were too expensive--she said that she can't afford them.

    OP you might want to try using an electric blanket as well. Like the one on your bed. My KS horse wears one while tacking up in the wintertime--he LOVES it!

    Another thing to consider when you do have some spare cash (but who ever does!) is mesotheraphy especially if you think the pain is muscular. It would help break the pain cycle and help get you through to some warmer weather! Still pricey but much less so than shockwave.
    Quote Originally Posted by EquineImagined View Post
    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.



  6. #26
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    Jul. 25, 2003
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    Best $$ I've spent on horse stuff is Jim Masterson's DVD on acupressure. He has a larger selection now than when I bought mine. Once you know how to do this you have the tools to treat your horse as needed.

    I use his techniques pretty much every time I ride and it's helped my horse a lot. It's a great way to release tension and to feel exactly what's going on with your horse. I bought the DVD several years ago and still pull it out for a refresher.

    My horse also gets acupuncture (which I think works better than chiro) but I have it done by a friend so she does it as a favor. The acupressure achieves similar, but not as dramatic results.

    He also has some videos on his YouTube Channel. Not the whole story but a good way to peek under the tent for free.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie19 View Post
    Wow. You are SO out of line! At no point did she say that the treatments were too expensive--she said that she can't afford them.
    You are right oh great board god! LOL It all depends on how you look at it. Afford is a relative term. A rich person can easily say they can't afford something.



  8. #28
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    Simkie, since I assume the "jerk" comment was in response to my comment about my horse, please understand that I love this horse. He's practically my intellectual equal, and definitely my equine soulmate. That said, he really can be a jerk and I'm very certain it is not always pain related (I definitely listen to him and he gets the benefit of the doubt re: physical issues). I have never seen a horse so intent on systematically identifying weakness in humans and exploiting it. There are certain barn employees who can't lead him in because he learned how to dominate them. With others, he's a perfect angel. I think he keeps spreadsheets where he maps out weaknesses, lol.

    Anyway, please don't assume I don't know what I am talking about with respect to my horse. I know him well, I go to great lengths to track down physical issues with him, I believe him when he says it's physical, I've defended him to trainers on physical vs. just a jerk issues...but it doesn't change who he is...and who he is sometimes is a bit of a jerk. He's from the Halo line if that gives you any perspective on his personality.



  9. #29
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    FineAlready, I wasn't pointing my comments at any person in particular, just addressing the "jerk" sentiment (which has been mentioned by a few people, I think?)

    I've been there with a horse that was out of this world sensitive and reactive, and I was frustrated, thinking it was behavioral instead of really a problem. I'm grateful that I had a vet that was able to identify wind-up in her and come up with a plan to treat it. I'm just trying to share my experiences.



  10. #30
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    We are cool, no worries. I think I was the first one to use the term "jerk" in this thread and just wanted to clarify what I did and didn't mean by that.



  11. #31
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Thanks again, for those who've offered real insight and thoughts. Funny, a friend and I were discussing this thread last night, and she (rightly) guessed someone would at some point suggest that I just not ride the horse....she'll be happy to hear she was so spot on!

    Simkie, my "jerk" comments are said very much tongue in cheek. I am well aware that a lot of his sensitivity issues are things he absolutely can not help. But, this horse has a HUGE personality, even without being sensitive and hyper-reactive. Think of some hotshot rockstar with a big ego....then you have Toby He's quite the character and I adore him, but he can be a little frustrating at times.

    So, onto some of the ideas.

    We've discussed (and tested a couple of times) for Lyme and it just isn't this issue.

    Never discussed EPM.

    I LOVE mesotherapy and have used it a great deal in many other horses, including my old horse, who reaped major benefits from it. The one time I did it with Toby, however, was a DISASTER. His skin absolutely can not tolerate it. We were left with bigger issues than we started with that took a couple of months to resolve. He lost all his hair along his topline and could not be left out in the sun without a cover all last summer, for fear of getting sunburn on his back. So, unfortunately, we're all a little gun shy about meso and this horse now. I never want to deal with that again. Ugh.

    His SI is a rock. Absolutely no pain in it whatsoever. I'm actually always amazed at how well it palpates!!! I've never known a sport horse that works as hard as he does without ANY complaints back there (knocking on wood). I am always grateful that, while his back is a tricky point on him, his limbs and feet and SI region are all in good shape.

    Re: pop rocks/ulcers, etc. I always have this in mind. He's been on and off some form of omeprazole, more as a matter of course (hard working, big personality, opinionated horse that competes and travels a lot). I've never had amazing differences in him when I have give him solid courses of it, but have had little ones (boosted appetite kinda thing). That being said, a friend and I were discussing him yesterday, and I'm going to do a test run with some aloe for now, and I think, since I get paid today, I'll order some pop rocks (something I've been meaning to do, anyway). I can definitely see how it can make him more sensitive if he's ulcery.

    Bogie, thanks for the heads up on the Jim Masterson stuff!!! I almost think that would be BETTER than acupuncture for this horse! Like I said earlier, he is needle shy and because he is so touch sensitive, I do wonder if acupuncture will just freak him out too much.

    Will give a hot towel a try today. What do you all think- before or after the magnetic blanket?

    I hope it warms up soon! I think both our moods will improve remarkably once we're not both swaddled from head to toe constantly!!!



  12. #32
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    I'm not against x-raying his back, but rads add up and my vet (God bless him) does not feel they are necessary right now. And I see zero point in doing rads on any other limb when he has great flexions and moves well under tack, on the straight, and on the circle. His last x-rays were 2010.
    I also have your horse's twin, athletic, great mover, looks sound as a dollar, incredibly flexible and even... seemed for all the world like just a jerk to ride and very fussy and sensitive. Throwing himself in the dirt over flies too, etc.

    I spent almost 3 years trying to ride him despite suspecting back pain, chiropractors, acupuncturists, magnesium, uclers, PSSM diets, fitted saddles, treeless saddles, therapeutic saddle pads, pain killers, massage, back on track blankets, myofascial release. Checked his hocks, his feet, his neck, his TMJ... the list goes on and on and on.

    Everything seemed to help a *little bit* for a *little while* and then we'd slowly backslide again.

    My vet too did not feel xrays were necessary, despite numerous vettings, horse presented sound sound sound.

    Finally after 3 years of struggling with a NQR horse and starting to feel as if I were loosing my mind, and certainly slowly emptying my bank account, I insisted my vet xray my horse best she could and we found broken withers. He is now my driving horse.

    I realize I've just went around my ass to scratch my ear, but I'm writing to say I agree with the others.... save your $$ for a diagnosis. Get pictures. Know what the problem is instead of guessing.

    I spent 3 years, put my horse and myself through a mild hell, and and slowly hemorrhaged thousands just pissing into the wind trying *stuff*.

    good luck

    eta, if you are interested in massage, as I am too, check out Jack Meghers book and dvd, Masterson as mentioned, and Mike Scott's book & dvd.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
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  13. #33
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    Oct. 24, 2003
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    Our horses must be related, just two different breeds! I have a QH gelding that has perpetual opinions about his very sensitive, tight back.

    Here is a list of things that have been done and their results:

    Three different saddles, most recent is a winner.
    Treated for Lyme (high, positive titers) no change
    X rayed for KS - beautiful back
    X rayed stifles and hocks - clean
    Robaxin and bute - no change
    Chiropractic and accupuncture - some change. Left rear ribs and left hip slightly out
    Magneisium & E & Se supplemented - some change
    Pop Rocks - no real difference
    Masterson Method - the biggest noticeable changes

    After really reading Jim Masterson's book and watching a lot of his videos, it was enlightening to learn that a lot of tight back issues stem from tightness or issues with a horse's neck. My horse can be a worrier and carries a lot of tension in his neck, TMJ and poll.

    I really practiced the Masterson Methods last summer and fall and found the meridian releases the most helpful. My boy is very receptive to these accupressure sessions, exhibiting huge releases of tension with big yawns, sighs and body shakes. I found if I were diligent in working on him about three times a week, there were noticeable changes in his back tenseness and attitude. His two biggest evasions are stepping sideways when going to place the saddle on his back and scooting off at the mounting block. He will work well under saddle and will try his heart out so there is no real issue mounted. But he clearly has opinions about his back. I'm sold on Jim Masterson. Not saying this has totally cured the problem but I do see an 85% improvement in my guy by doing his Masterson sessions diligently. This is something that can't be rushed and plan on spending upwards of an hour or more, slowly watching for slight responses to your lightest touch. The results for us were worth it.
    Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls



  14. #34
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    The horse is fantastic to ride. He has a silly streak, but it is directly related to not being mentally engaged enough (he is most likely to play up hacking to or from the ring or while out for a "relaxing" hack. He is fantastic when he is working...the harder the better). I think this is why we tend to seem to suddenly go south. Because he goes fantastically, and then all of a sudden I'm going "hmm...I have to work a lot hard to keep you straight, or to get you to sit in the canter, or keep you relaxed in your lateral work. What's up with you?" Then we go over him, and his back is a mess. Because he is so sensitive about touch and his skin, I avoid palpating his back between vet visits, and use his reactions to daily life (how he responds to grooming, how much he stretches when in the cross ties, what his massage therapist finds, etc).

    Outfxed, that is some very interesting info, and now I'm even more curious to give that a try. Also interesting to note about the neck. In dressage, Toby wears what tension he may have like a big red badge in his neck. I have to work VERY hard to keep his neck soft and long. If I can get that, our dressage scores show a marked improvement. If his neck is tight, it effects the whole picture.



  15. #35
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    I use Jim Masterson's techniques a lot, but I incorporate a laser on the acupoints. It seems to be more effective, and on a needle sensitive horse, it's the way to go. You can pick one up for around $100 on ebay. Make sure it's in the 650-800nm wavelength. Look for photonic torch, red light therapy, low level laser... they are all the same thing.

    You can use it on the acupoints, and you can also use it for general pain over the areas that hurt. I do about 10 minutes of slow back and forth over sore spots daily and it really helps for muscle soreness.

    Also, the ideas for a heating pad are spot on. I'd use it before and after riding.

    I would also look into a Mg supplement and massaging with a Mg oil. I use this oil: http://www.performanceequineusa.com/...nesiumoil.aspx

    You might want to take the BOT sheet off for a week or two. The mfr themselves suggests that horses not wear them full time because they get used to them and they stop being effective.



  16. #36
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    Years ago I had a horse with such a sore back that he practically went to his knee when the jockey got on. We tried literally everything and nothing helped so out of desperation I used an animal communicator. She said his kidneys hurt. Long story short, we ran a urinalysis, saw some evidence she may be right, treated him with antibiotics. Problem solved. Not saying your horse has a kidney infection, just pointing out how varied the causes can be.



  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    The horse is fantastic to ride. He has a silly streak, but it is directly related to not being mentally engaged enough (he is most likely to play up hacking to or from the ring or while out for a "relaxing" hack. He is fantastic when he is working...the harder the better). I think this is why we tend to seem to suddenly go south. Because he goes fantastically, and then all of a sudden I'm going "hmm...I have to work a lot hard to keep you straight, or to get you to sit in the canter, or keep you relaxed in your lateral work. What's up with you?" Then we go over him, and his back is a mess. Because he is so sensitive about touch and his skin, I avoid palpating his back between vet visits, and use his reactions to daily life (how he responds to grooming, how much he stretches when in the cross ties, what his massage therapist finds, etc).

    Outfxed, that is some very interesting info, and now I'm even more curious to give that a try. Also interesting to note about the neck. In dressage, Toby wears what tension he may have like a big red badge in his neck. I have to work VERY hard to keep his neck soft and long. If I can get that, our dressage scores show a marked improvement. If his neck is tight, it effects the whole picture.
    yb, it sounds like you have left pretty much NO stone unturned, so I will just weigh in to "third" (fourth?) the suggestion for trying the Masterson Method. I got the DVDs for Christmas, and have been utilizing the techniques on my mare, my filly, and my students' horses (some of the techniques, anyway--they encompass the "whole horse", so doing the Full Monty on more than one horse is pretty time-consuming! )

    I also incorporate TTEAM and TTOUCH techniques, and have used some of the groundwork exercises in this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Connect-Your-H...ted+groundwork

    It's really all about "unlocking" the horse, tapping into the thinking brain, and encouraging them to "let go" of tension. If done correctly, you will see very obvious releases with all of these methods, which is very satisfying (especially when one has a horse who feels the NEED to hold their body in a state of high alert, tension, and bracing, and to whom "over reactivity" is a religion.)

    Getting a true release from this type of horse is *very* satisfying, as is "HA! You relaxed in spite of yourself, sucker!" MwaHaHa...

    All of these techniques dovetail nicely, and once you've practiced some of them regularly, your horse will learn to enjoy them, relax on cue, and actually seek and go to the "happy place" sooner.

    If I am able to see BIG releases/responses in my weanling filly after doing a few of these touches and releases (and a changed state of mind afterwards, she is very "busy" and social by nature, and her brain is always working, so I usually go right to the bodywork when I start handling her so that I can calm and regulate those overactive brain waves--after which she becomes "putty in my hands"), then I know there must be something to this stuff.

    BONUS, all of this is pretty inexpensive, and doesn't require much if any special equipment. Pop rocks might also a good thing to try (just to cover your bases), and also the magnesium--which you are already looking into. (I'm thinking that I will put HRH on this regimen sometime this spring, since she has now been out of work for 18 months. If I plan to put her back U/S, I want her brain and body--muscles and mind--to be as focused and relaxed as they can realistically be. Gulp.)
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

    "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")



  18. #38
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    I have a horse that we all thought was extremely cold backed.....turned out he had almost No Vit. E in his system.....once on a large dose his back got Much Much better and most symptoms disappeared. This is an inexpensive thing to find out, you can either blood test or just put him on a large dose and see what happens....he will Pee out the excess. Large dose is 8000.00 to 10,000.00 IU's. After Bone scan showed nothing on my horse we "thought" to test for Vut E and were shocked at how low he was.
    Fingers crossed it could be something this simple for you.
    Last edited by Parrotnutz; Mar. 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM. Reason: bad spelling lol
    Adriane
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  19. #39
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    If you do decide to feed Vitamin E (I do because bloodwork showed my horse was deficient) make sure you feed natural E as the synthetic version is far less bioavailable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Parrotnutz View Post
    I have a horse that we all thought was extremely cold backed.....turned out he had almost No Vit. E in his system.....once on a large dose his back got Much Much better and most symptoms disappeared. This is an inexpensive thing to find out, you can either blood test or just put him on a large dose and see what happens....he will Pee out the excess. Large dose is 8000.00 to 10,000.00 IU's. After Bone scan showed nothing on my horse we "thought" to test for Vut E and were shocked at how low he was.
    Fingers crossed it could be something this simple for you.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


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  20. #40
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    Horses do NOT simply "pee out" excess vitamin E. It can be overdosed.
    Click here before you buy.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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