Haven’t posted lately because there’s not really much going on!
Although it is definitely feeling better day by day, my ankle is still not ok for riding. I can put weight on it now, but it still is a little swollen at the impact site, which was basically right to the bone, since there’s not much of anything but skin and then bone right at your ankle bone and above that. My doctor thinks it might be a bad bone bruise, and recommends that I give it a few more weeks so that it can heal completely.
So much for the end of July/early August show plans. Have no fear though, Mabou has found another way to quickly deplete my bank account. Enter: the chiropractor.
For some quick background, ever since I got Mabou, I have wanted to have him treated by a chiropractor. From my research, it is not unusual for horses off the track to need adjustments and have areas of muscle soreness, as racing is pretty strenuous. The chiro we used in the past went MIA, so when the Hampton Classic prize list came out this year and we saw a holistic veterinary practice in there, we figured it was worth a shot. (it also so happens that Margie Goldstein Engle’s husband is part of this practice, so thats kind of cool)
We scheduled an appointment for several horses and the chiro came out last Thursday. From the outset, I really really liked her. She was honest, thorough, and didn’t rush at all. She watched Mabou walk to evaluate his gaits and look for any asymmetry, and then tested his entire body for soreness (including his hooves and teeth!) She immediately noticed that his one hip was higher than the other, and that his hips seemed locked, and did not swing as he moved the way that they should. She also immediately noticed that he had muscle atrophy on his face (who knew horses had face muscles), and that he was super sensitive when she touched the area, thus showing that he had very bad TMJ. Upon testing him for soreness, she found that the poor boy was sore basically everywhere in varying degrees. Worst was his lower neck, shoulder, lower back, hips, inside of his stifle, and he was also sore in his poll, withers and his entire back.
Let’s just say when we discovered this I FELT HORRIBLE FOR HIM. We had thought since we got the custom saddle that his back was doing better, as he doesn’t react if I probe it with my hands. However, the vet was able to test along the different muscles of his back and truly determine that he was hurting.
She did some range of motion work on his poll to help with the TMJ and also did a lot of work to open up his shoulder joints, which were pretty locked. When it came to his hips, he was totally not feeling any efforts she did to get them unlocked (probably because it was uncomfortable!) so she did some acupuncture on him and laser therapy along his back and hips. He LOVED the laser, he gave us big yawn right after big yawn.
She decided that she would leave it at that for the day, so that we didn’t do too much to him in one session, and recommended a follow up appointment within 2 weeks to continue fixing his back and to get those hips unlocked. From now until then, no riding. Which I guess if I have to give him off, now would be the time since I am also sidelined.
I feel bad for him, he raced until he was 10 or so, so he had a very long career and could have been living with this pain for quite some time. This show season will be sidelined as we work out these body issues, as those are definitely priority. The vet did say that after we get the initial scar tissue worked out and restore his range of motion, then we can maintain it with just a few sessions a year and various exercises that she will show me to do. He has always been such a good boy, I am really looking forward to how wonderful he feels to ride when he is not hurting!