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need some words of wisdom

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  • #21
    Fharoah, I've been reading this thread and nodding in agreement to so much of what has been said. My horse is almost back after 6 months of difficult-to-diagnose metabolic issues. We would almost get him back to "normal", and he would come up with yet another set of symptoms that necessiated more tests, and more questions about what was really going on. This is a horse who should be doing the 1st years right now. Last week, he was (finally) happily jumping around a 2'3" simple course. With every setback, my heart ached for him because we couldn't seem to get him well, and I finally packed away all my show stuff because I was getting too depressed looking at it. I thought about just getting out altogether. Wasn't sure what that looked like, but it scared the you-know-what out of my family because they don't want to know what I would be like without my horse. Anyway, I am hanging in there on the uphill climb back to something, not sure what, and constantly trying to keep my Type A Perfectionist I Can Fix This personality from getting in the way.
    For what it's worth...

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Dutchboy! I am glad your horse has improved! Your story is inspiring. I have to think Positive!

      Comment


      • #23
        Think like a runner

        Ever done a long run where you wanted to quit? You start playing cajoling tricks with yourself that keep you going.

        Calculate the distance you have come versus where you have to go. In this case, you *have* come a long way! You are certainly beyond the half-way mark. Enjoy that!

        Really cherish the easy, "downhill" parts of the run. Like handwalking and TO as opposed to post-op kicking the walls. Remember that "uphill" part?

        Make deals about quitting-- "I'll just run to that lamp post and then walk... well, no not this one, but just to the next one and then I'll quit..." for a while. So you make a plan for the next hand walk, the time you finally get to put away Fharoah's winter blanket, the next time you groom off some of the shedding coat.

        Don't plan to suffer until August.

        When you get tired of the mental games, just put your head down, let your eyes glaze over and don't ask about how you feel or when it will be over. Go to the barn whether you want to or not. Don't worry about what you want, just let your horse be the reason you go so that you don't have to decide.

        This is how long runs of all sorts get done.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by mvp View Post
          Ever done a long run where you wanted to quit? You start playing cajoling tricks with yourself that keep you going.

          Calculate the distance you have come versus where you have to go. In this case, you *have* come a long way! You are certainly beyond the half-way mark. Enjoy that!

          Really cherish the easy, "downhill" parts of the run. Like handwalking and TO as opposed to post-op kicking the walls. Remember that "uphill" part?

          Make deals about quitting-- "I'll just run to that lamp post and then walk... well, no not this one, but just to the next one and then I'll quit..." for a while. So you make a plan for the next hand walk, the time you finally get to put away Fharoah's winter blanket, the next time you groom off some of the shedding coat.

          Don't plan to suffer until August.

          When you get tired of the mental games, just put your head down, let your eyes glaze over and don't ask about how you feel or when it wil l be over. Go to the barn whether you want to or not. Don't worry about what you want, just let your horse be the reason you go so that you don't have to decide.

          This is how long runs of all sorts get done.
          That is very wise! Thankyou for sharing! This is super scary for me, but as mentioned some have it worse so I really do need to count my blessings. I was very lucky to be able to give him this chance at being sound, as he was lame. First and second opinion both say good chance at soundness, they think it is just going to take longer.

          I appreciate everyone's stories, you are all very kind and having someone to talk to is very good.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            My horse may have some very mild coffin joint changes on his radiographs. My vets say no but because I have been concerned lately a second opinion says yes. I am not realistically sure at this time will know more during re-check early June.
            Last edited by Fharoah; May. 12, 2010, 07:01 PM.

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            • #26
              can't help with the most current news, but as boarder of two lame horses, one that has been for 10 years now, and the other frustratingly perpetually nqr, I agree with everyone who says you have to constantly find creative ways to rekindle the joy of ownership, otherwise you really can start questioning your sanity!

              with my old man, I learned massage, taught him tricks and took him for exciting adventurous hand walks. We'd pull things, ford raging streams together, beat new paths in the woods, go birdwatching together, I shot archery off his back, cast a flyrod. I'd invent a creative goal and then work towards it. It kept the fire lit, kept his fire lit, and I didn't feel too badly that the rest of the world was passing me by.

              With my younger boy, when we can't ride, I teach him a trick, investigate new areas to enjoy him like driving or side saddle, I've learned about nutrition, saddle fit, myofascial release. Just this past weekend I did some advanced despooking in hand during gale force winds in the woods, and taught him to chase a large ball and roll it on command.

              Anything I can so when I show up to the barn I'm excited, busy, and think "yes! today we shall do this!". With imagination lame horses still can be fun.

              I have always had a problem riding other's horses while my own was laid up, in a stall, etc., and I feel like I could be (*should* be) doing something for him. I feel guilty, like I'm having an affair. I currently have two lovely horses offered to me to ride at my leisure, but I cannot bring myself to make the time. My own time at my barn, though daily, is very limited... I have to make the choice between working my own, or someone else's, and every day I choose my own. Even though I'm very far from reaching my riding goals, I am enjoying the company of my horses and feel for the most part we're accomplishing something together. Though, I do really miss riding sometimes.
              Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

              Comment


              • #27
                Truly.. What is his quality of life right now? Will you feel that all of this was justified if he is still lame come august? Realistically, if you continue doing what you are doing now, what are his chances of being sound -by august or anytime thereafter? I always have to be sure the end is going to justify the means, but that me. Horses live in the moment, he has no idea that august is coming.. Or what that means.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  I am sorry I should not have posted this prematurely.
                  Last edited by Fharoah; May. 12, 2010, 07:12 PM.

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                  • #29
                    I agree with eqtrainer, but I wasn't going to be the one to bring it up. If a prey animal is lame at the walk, then that raises some serious quality of life concerns to me. Have you sent the follow up rads to the second opinion vet? Did he see significant progress? My horse was also lame in the pastern joint, and I was told that surgical fusion is not a sure fire surgery. If I were in your shoes, I would sit down and make myself a date by which the horse needs to be pasture sound without medication. I hate to be the wet blanket, because I know that rehab sucks, and I have had a very similar lameness right alongside you. My guy went out for 6 months and has come back much better, thankfully, but I know that for him, if he was still as lame as he was at his worst, I would be facing a big decision.
                    -Grace

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Yes this is all under consideration. Second opinion did see current films and said no further progression of changes.

                      My horse is mostly sound at the walk now just not consistent, he also trots and canters at liberty as my surgeon has cleared him as we have bony union.

                      I am sorry I should not have posted this thread at this time. I appreciate you all taking the time to respond.
                      Last edited by Fharoah; May. 12, 2010, 07:55 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Of course you should have posted it. That's why we are here. my questions were sincere, not any sort of accusation. There's a lot of things to consider in circumstances like this.
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        ---
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                          Of course you should have posted it. That's why we are here. my questions were sincere, not any sort of accusation. There's a lot of things to consider in circumstances like this.
                          All I can tell you is never would have considered surgery had anything else been wrong with him. I was told with total confidence that the pastern was the only thing wrong with my horse he was given a good to excellent prognoses for being 100%. I am still told this by my surgeon.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                            All I can tell you is never would have considered surgery had anything else been wrong with him. I was told with total confidence that the pastern was the only thing wrong with my horse he was given a good to excellent prognoses for being 100%. I am still told this by my surgeon.
                            And your surgeon is the one who has seen your horse and has much much better knowledge of your horse's problem and prognosis than anyone on this board. Listen to him not us.
                            You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              My surgeon considers Fharoahs coffin joint to be normal, second opinion thinks he has some minor changes in his coffin joint and navicular region which may or may not be causing him lameness (that depends on the clinical correlation).

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Can your vet block the foot and see if he is less lame? Coffin joints and some navicular issues can be treated with injections, sometimes quite successfully... This certainly could be muddying the waters as to why he is still lame. And if he has arthritis standing in a stall is not helping it at all so it seems to me that iti is important to figure out why he is still lame.

                                I know you must be very frustrated. When dealing with medical professionals always try to remember that they are going to deal with each thing from their specialty perspective and not think out of their own box. As nice as it would be to be able to do as one poster says and just trust your vet and do exactly what they say and ignore all other information, IME that is not always wise... We have to sort thru the information, often demand further information be gathered and in the end honor whatever our horses say about it all.

                                Medicine is not an exact science. It would be great if we could just turn it all over to them and take a nap but as you see from all the posts on this board about horses under medical care who are still lame it just doesn't work that way. I am not bashing vets, just pointing out what is now obvious to me after many years with many horses. When you factor in that horses cannot talk, you begin to,realize how inexact it really all is.

                                The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, right? Personally I'd want my vet to give me a solid reason why this horse is still lame at a walk (a huge red flag) or begin looking for other answers. If he refused then I would let him know that I would be conferring with other vets and I would let him know what happened. If I could not get resolution in a reasonable amount of time I would turn the horse out and pray. Stall rst, while it might allow something else to heal, often breaks down other things. Horses were intended to move almost constantly and when you remove that you open the door for a host of other problems.
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                ---
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Thank you all for your thoughtful replies

                                  Fharoah is currently turned out in a 30x60 paddock with attached stall he is never locked in. He gets 10 minutes daily hand walking and 20 minutes hand grazing as I am trying to get his weight down that is all the grass he gets now. He gets groomed and has an altering buddy at least 21 hours a day. We are slowly increasing his turnout by about 10 feet each month while the joint fuses. Once the joint is fully fused he will have a very large and long flat turnout about 200 to 300 feet long with attached stall buddies around him but my horses have there own large turnouts side by side. I will not let him suffer but am hoping once the joint is fully fused I he will be pasture sound or hopefully sound for some very light ridding as he likes a job. If he has some minor changes in his cofin joint I would be inclined to try IRAP and legend adeqaun loading dose and see if I can get him comfortable. I would be willing to inject if it would make him comfortable. Even my second opinion said navicular changes do not correlate lameness well all depends on the clinical exam, nerve blocks and films there are just some slight changes on films which may or may not be meaningful. Fharoah will be pastern lame until his joint is fully fused, his last films showed partial fusion but recheck is in four weeks and hopefully we can help him then. I had requested a recheck sooner but was told to wait and be patient. I posted this thread becuase I am very concerned about him a bit heartbroken seeing him lame. I too cannot stand my horse lame and cry allot lately. I still have to get the joint fully fused before I know where he stands.

                                  I really appreciate all your kindness and listening to me any further thoughts are very appreciated!
                                  Last edited by Fharoah; May. 14, 2010, 02:38 AM.

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