Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm Back!!

Sorry for the really long delay in posting. I have been so busy with exams and Fox that I have just had no time. But exams are all done now (phew) so I had better give you guys an update.

Fox has been just so patient. I am super impressed. He does have the odd moment when he stamps and tosses his head with impatience. He’s right, it does get bloody boring. We are still not handwalking so the only exercise he gets is his walk from the paddock to the hose. No fun for a big active horse like Fox.

Our current routine goes like this.

Mornings: Cold hosing 20 minutes
Homeopathic remedies: Ruta, Rustox which we are stopping tomorrow and Argmet
Handgrazing if I’ve got time

Evenings: Tennis ball work, massage and stretches. We do front leg stretches, lateral neck stretches and belly lifts.
Homeopathic remedies: Arnica, Calciflox and Symph

He wears his Back on Track boots all the time now. They get swapped to his front legs during the time I’m there and then back on the hind legs.

The farrier came on Monday. He is an amazing guy. Talks and talks and talks in really technical terms so I struggle to keep up. He also is Scottish so that doesn’t help with the understanding. He diagnosed the damage as being to the cruciate ligament which is part of the stay mechanism in the fetlock joint. I’ve tried to do a search for a pic on the net but can’t find anything. (Before you ask why I trust this guys diagnosis, he’s a highly qualified farrier from the UK who specialises in remedial work. He trained with some of the top farriers there who write books on anatomy. He also went to vet school.)

Fox’s feet were a mix of good and bad. The old farrier had given them an ok shape but messed up the balance. Especially in that left hind. New farrier said we could try and keep him barefoot for now which I was really pleased with. Though if things don’t progress like they should, we may have to resort to shoes. New farrier rolled the toes more and really worked on that left hind to bring it level. The front hooves look completely different and the left hind looks so much better. I will try and post the pics in the next few days.

We also had our second appointment with the physio on Tuesday. The first thing she said was ,wow, he’s looking much better. His muscles weren’t so tight he wasn’t nearly as lame and his bum had levelled out a bit too. It was so good to hear feedback that what I was doing was making a difference cause sometimes it really doesn’t feel like it does. She worked Fox all over and boy did he enjoy it! She found a spot of tightness along his back on each side, Fox would stamp his foot and turn round as if to point to where it was he wanted her to rub when she wasn’t going hard enough. We both had a good laugh he was so cute. He tried to give me a groom too when she was massaging him. She then got out a vibrating machine thing and worked on the fill in his legs. It helps to release the lymph fluid and increase circulation. We have another session of that tonight.

This morning Fox was feeling GOOD! He did some airs at the end of the lead, freaked the dogs out. I swapped his boots to the front legs and went to hose the injured leg. Normally the swelling is so obvious I don’t have to think about which leg it is. This time I couldn’t tell. There was absolutely no sign of any swelling at all. Nothing. His legs felt tighter that they EVER have. I cold hosed anyway. The swelling has been up and down (not this much down before) so I’m trying really hard not to get my hopes up. But it means we are on the right track. We’re doing the right things and that is so good to know. I’m hoping that the swelling will still be down when the physio comes tonight cause I would really like to get her expert opinion on what’s going on.

So I’m feeling excited but trying very hard not to!


  1. Your farrier sounds fantastic! I'm pleased that there wasn't any swelling this morning, may that continue on!

  2. GREAT work! I'm happy that Fox is doing better! Keeping him barefoot might also increase the circulation in his legs... hooves are like little pumps (or hearts) that take the blood from the lower leg and push it up the leg with each stride. If you watch closely a good barefoot hoof, you will see it expand as it touches the ground and bares weight and then contract as it leaves the ground and becomes non weight baring, that is what pushes the blood up the leg. In shod horses, the hoof cannot expand and contract, therefore leaving oxydated blood (or blue blood) in the lower legs. This can create a numbness of the lower legs in shod horses and constrict blood flow, which can cause some kind of damage to tissues, since they are getting no oxygen. If you are interested in more info, I can provide, I just don't want to sound boring if ever this doesn't interest you. Best of luck!

  3. I'm hoping you misunderstood him because the cruicate ligament is in the stifle... just FYI.

    What you're doing sounds great though and the fact he's doing better is great!!! :)

  4. LOL AutumnBlaze I probably did, which would be why I can't find any pics! Will check with physio on Monday.

    One Dandy Horse - Would love more info. I've been doing lots of reading on the net trying to educate myself and I really think barefoot is the best way!

  5. Autumn Blaze, there is apparently, more than one cruciate ligament in a horse. The one Fox has damaged is the cruciate distal sesamoidean ligament. Distal meaning closer to the hoof. I found some pics in an article but can't post them grrr.

  6. Raven - I got thinking about it and tryign to look it up after I posted and you're right. I didn't ahve time to come back and say I typed too soon. :) So, I apologize! Most important I'm glad he seems to be feeling better!