Thursday, February 3, 2022

We have a plan! (maybe for the millionth time)

Yoshi's chiro vet was out last Monday. I had planned to ask her to look at him again because when I sat on him at the end of 30 days he felt right hind off. LF was better, not there in straight lines, mild on 20m circles. But the right hind felt the same as it did right after his bone scan.  

So I got him out to show her on the lunge and he was DEAD lame on his right front. Like abscess or bruise lame. Back tracking... last farrier appointment we took him out of his comfy wedge pads and put him in a mild version of a suspensory shoe. Then Saturday my friend and I went on a walk trail ride around the neighborhood. Which has a lot of lime rock. So. There is the bruise or abscess. I actually started tearing up which both his vet and Mr. GY were kind enough to ignore. His vet reviewed his bone scan and his report from that day that included x-rays of his hock. The bone scan showed moderate to intense uptake in tibiotarsal and proximal intertarsal joints of his right hock. The x-rays showed an OCD lesion in one of those two joints. Simplest explanation is that what had been a "quiet" OCD lesion (small, round) while he was racing (pulling himself around on his forehand), is no longer a quiet lesion now that he is (trying) to be a sport horse (sitting back for collection and taking off over fences). She suggested we try injected both his upper and lower hock joints and see if he gets better. Her thought was that the suspensory ligament without a lesion on ultrasound is just from compensating for a sore RH. 

Play session with Mr. GY's older horse who wouldn't hurt a fly

Insert a shockingly short 3 days of wrapping his foot and he's now about 80% better on his right front. Which I think is about as much better as he'll get without a shoe on. No abscess blew out that I can see, but he went from dead lame at the walk even on Tuesday to sound at the walk and much much better at the trot on Wednesday. Weird, but I'm not going to question it. His vet recommended NOT soaking the foot and instead just applying animalintex pad to the spot where it was squishy and reactive to hoof testers. She said soaking the whole foot of TBs is asking for so much trouble and is a bit dated as a recommendation at this point. The first day of wrapping I pulled a dumb and put vet wrap on AFTER the duct tape boot. So that one didn't hold very well, but every other day has been fine. 

His farrier is coming out Monday morning to put him back in his pads. THAT was a failed experiment for sure. Then Tuesday morning his chiro vet will be out to inject him. 

I'm hoping this is the key. His insurance did end up covering his bone scan, thank goodness, so that recharged me a bit, not just financially, but also emotionally. I'm not sure how that worked, but the insurance company got all the same documents I did; I just deposited the check and didn't question that stroke of good luck. Small recharge aside though, I'm still SO close to being done with this. He's serviceably sound at this point, depending on your definition of that. Experienced people watched him go last week and said he looked almost perfect except for the mild intermittent left front. But he doesn't feel close to perfect to me. However he still runs and plays in turnout like an idiot (we're taking turns letting him out with the other horses who won't beat him up when he's a pest). He looked like a puppy dog begging to be chased this morning while he was harassing Mr. GY's horse. He would feign biting and then launch delightedly away when he was threated with a bite or kick. He'd prance a smallish circle and then come back to repeat the process. Clearly he feels good enough to run and play of his own volition.   

I have a friend who would probably take him to be her personal trail horse and lead walk/trot rides from (2-3 rides a week, 60 minutes at a time). He is quite a joy to trail ride and the things he doesn't like (getting clipped and getting groomed) are not things he would need to do much of (grooming) or at all (clipping) in that job. He trailers, ties, can go in front or behind very politely, has as little spook as I've ever seen in a horse, and has a lovely swinging walk that you don't have to nag him into. Trail riding Saturday it was 41 degrees and windy AF. He was absolutely perfect. And he's been out of work for 30 days. He is genuinely the same horse whether you ride him every day or once a month. Well, he's a bit more of a pest on the ground when he's not working consistently, but under saddle you cannot tell at all. 

His/my deadline to determine if he is going to find himself a new pasture and job is the end of 90 days from the suspensory diagnosis, March 28th. I had to draw a hard line somewhere. He has SO much going for him with his mind and willingness and even decent athleticism when sound, but I cannot keep this up emotionally or financially. He's been out of work for just as long as he has been in work over the past year and I have scratched more shows than I have competed (March - feet, August - cellulitis, December - whatever TF this is).


  1. on one hand, my first two years with charlie were jam-packed with all manner of dings and dents and destroyed plans, and it felt like we were constantly in a cycle of "starting back up again" after some period of recovery or rehab. it was exhausting, but also maybe sorta par for the course of transitioning a horse from racing to sport??

    so, from that perspective, i'd say "be patient" or something like that. except.... all of charlie's issues (including when he needed actual surgery) were really truly just minor dings and dents, mild maintenance or random injuries etc. it was always 100% expected that he'd be perfectly sound for my purposes.

    so.... not quite exactly the story you're getting from the vets on Yoshi, ugh. i'm so sorry you're having to go through this with what was such a promising horse. here's hoping you get enough clarity to feel confident in your choices come March 28!

    1. Thank you <3 I know a lot of this is par for the course, I'm just feeling so defeated by this last incredibly extensive and expensive work up without complete answers.

  2. I hope the pads and injection help him feel better, and that it makes your decision on what to do with him at the end of March easier. You've definitely gone above and beyond trying to keep him comfortable so if a sport horse career won't work for him and he can find a home as a stellar trail horse, sounds like it might be good for everybody. Fingers crossed for you either way!

    1. Thank you <3 I am so glad he is a good minded horse so I have another option for him.