I mentioned in my most recent ride journal that Guinness has been feeling a little off recently. Being an older horse, his joints are really starting to feel the years of hard work. Knowing that, I try not to panic when inconsistencies pop up.
|"I am 17 going on 18, I'll take care, of you..."|
Well, no. At this point, I think Pig's front fetlocks are basically fused. They haven't truly bothered him beyond some slight stiffness for a long while (Quick!! Everyone knock on all the wood!) Instead, what I think we're dealing with is a variation on the stifle issues from last spring.
If you'll remember, I noticed something funny with Guinness' movement behind after his recovery from our trailer accident. The vet diagnosed the issue as stifles, not hocks. We injected the right side, and went on our merry way.
To update on that, Pig felt pretty great after the injections. I felt some weirdness in July, though it felt more like weakness than an actual issue. I was reluctant to do injections again so close to the last injection date. Knowing he needed a little help though; I accepted a friend's help and tried Estrone. That seemed to help enough to get us through reconditioning. I only did one shot, and never noticed an uneven weakness.
Until this month, that is. And now, the weakness is more of a severe problem like this spring. Unlike before, the issue seems to be manifesting in both the left and the right hinds. It's very funny to feel and hard to capture on video. Here's a clip of Guinness doing his weird stifle dance with the right hind this spring...
|"Watch me do the dance of my people. My old and chronically weak stifled people."|
So what's the plan? Immediately, I stopped pushing things. We backed off collection work, only asking for a 1st/2nd level frame. (Goodbye 3rd level, pushing 4th. You were fun for a little while.) The bareback rides have gone a long way toward helping sort out the stiffness before it gets to be a bigger problem. And, I did another round of Estrone injections last week.
One week out, Pig is no longer dramatically catching or swapping a hind. He's still feeling weak in an unbalanced way, but it's obvious that the Estrone is helping a lot. I'm trying to decide if I want to go ahead and try a more regular treatment with the Estrone, or make a vet appointment and get injections done. It's possible the Estrone might get us through the winter, and Pig's lighter work schedule. Once spring hits, we could do both injections and Estrone and really hit the ground feeling great for show season. I'm still undecided.
For this week, the Estrone seems to be working enough to start asking for a little more engagement, think a 2nd/3rd level frame. I'm getting a little resistance from Pig when I first ask, but he's happy enough once he compresses into the collection and feels just fine working there. He tires quickly in that frame, though. I'm trying to be aware of when he's starting to tire, so he doesn't accidentally weight his stifles funny just due to exhaustion.
What do you think? More Estrone? Call the vet and and tell my husband my old man horse stomped all over his Christmas presents? Anyone have a lead on knee replacements for horses?
Argh. Getting old is a PITA.